Israel National Trail
Israel National Trail, Israel
From the North to the South: Hiking the Israel TrailFor a country so complicated, Israel is small—so small you could walk the length of it. And people do.
The Shvil Israel, or Israel National Trail (INT), traces the length of the country from Kibbutz Dan, near where Israel meets the borders of Lebanon and Syria in the North, to Eilat in the South, a total of nearly a thousand kilometers (or about 620 miles). Inveterate hikers may take on the full span of the trail, generally at least a two-month enterprise, usually starting in early spring (February to May), before the harsh summer heat sets in. The INT, which National Geographic has deemed one of the world’s “holy grails of hikes,” includes countless breathtaking sights. Grand, unpeopled desert vistas in the Negev. Ancient monuments to civilizations long gone. The cragged swath of the Makhtesh Ramon, where Nubian ibexes stroll as casually as proprietors. Valleys blanketed with neon-bright wildflowers. A long stretch looking out at the sparkling Mediterranean between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Verdant hills and deep-green forests. If the season is right and the rains have cooperated, there is water in the form of rivulets, rivers, waterfalls, the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee, and more...