"The Israel Trail" ("Shvil Yisrael")
How long does it take take to cross Israel all the way from north to south?
Less than one day if you are driving (a distance of about 470 km). But there is another way, an 850 km-long hiking trail from the northern end of Israel (Tel Dan) to its southern end (Eilat).
There are many well-marked nature trails all over Israel. The "Israel Trail" project ("Shvil Yisrael") undertook to incorporate many of the existing trails, plus new ones, into a unique continuous trail, crossing the whole country and including some of the best views and some of the most interesting sites. Many different landscapes, mountains, fields and meadows, rocks and deserts, springs and flowing streams, archeological sites, all of these can be seen along the trail. And the great advantage is that you get to appreciate the true nature of the land. Hiking the Israel Trail is a hike through history. You can feel the spirit of the land of the Bible, something you often miss driving on the highways. On the other hand, on the Israel Trail you can also get a more intimate feel of everyday life in modern Israel.
So - look for the orange-blue-white mark of the Israel Trail, and start walking!
Don't let the 850km length intimidate you: If you have enough time and energy you can choose to do a long stretch of the trail, but you can also choose a short segment of a few kilometers only.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
For those who like hiking
For those who like hiking, the Jerusalem Post produced a great book in English with approx 25 walks, from simple one hour ones through to 15kms circulars. Although written back in 1991, many of the walks are still current and are easily traced (although because of the current security situation, the walks in the Judaean desert/hills to the east of Jerusalem are not a good idea). Walks are also categorised in terms of ease (or difficulty!) and approx length. Readily available in book shops, I have used it a lot, particularly in the Golan Heights and the Galillee region. Chances are you'll meet very few people, particularly on the longer hikes (except at the beginning or where the track takes you to past a more popular spot). Some of these walks really do take you off the beaten path.
Images are from the El Al walk in the Golan Heights - a 15kms hike through the south-eastern Golan Heights. It's 7 hours, and hard work!
Utopia - Orchid Park
Utopia is an orchid park near Hadera / Netanya and Bet lid junction on a kibbutz called Bachan.
You can find here orchids , winged animals for children , butterflies.
The park is open from 8:00 to 17:00 during the week.
A ticket will cost 50 nis.
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
The parrots ranch is located in Kefar Hess , in the middle of the Sharon , close to Kefar Saba and Raanana (on Route 4).
Inside the ranch you will find a big room with parrots , other animals to feed and to pet.
This is a place mainly for children but even adult people will enjoy holding a parrot.
Entrance will cost 25 nis for an adult and 35 for a children (not a mistake here).
The place is open from 10:00 to 16:00 during the week but on friday 10:00-15:00 and saturday 10:00-17:00.
If you want a parrot you can also buy here.
- Family Travel
Tel-Aviv: Reuben Reuben Museum
a small art gallery with art from israeli artist reuben reuben. has some very nice pictures, and very low entrance fee. you can see the development in reuben's work: from his early work, to his later work.
Kokhav Ha-Shakar Nature Reserve
Located in the region of Samaria or the 'West Bank' for the media fed person lies a wonderful unobstructed view of the Jordan Valley, the hills of the Shomron and a distant view of the Dok Fortress over hanging the city of Jericho.
To get to this shangri -la take highway 1 out of Jerusalem heading west towards Jericho. At Ma'ale Adumim Junction make a left, this is highway 458 and it will take you to the turn off for the nature reserve.
As always caution and discretion should be used in this region and under no circumstances should you be in this area after dark.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
BethEl Beit El Bet El Bethel
There are two Beit El's today- the biblical place located in the now Arab village Beitin and the Jewish settlement across the valley that was incorporated in 1977. The pictues here are from the settlement which also lies on historic grounds. It should be understood that each location is approachable but it should be tackeld with a guide who knows the areas and protocol for the region.
The importance of Beth El can be found in Genesis 35
1 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Hebron is a semi-complicated, semi-dangerous place to visit and if you're really keen on visiting it you should d your homework first. All vehicles traveling to this location require bullet proof glass due to stones being thrown and the rare sniper. The #160 bus from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station will take you directly there and they have times on the web site www.egged.com.
Second thing of importance is to make certain before you go that the site is open for your faith tradition and that security has not shut the place down. It does happen regularly so check using the web site I provided.
Lastly regarding dress- be conservative. I see so many women scantily clad who throw on a shawl and think they are modest by doing so. Please dress appropriately, it's been known for women to be assaulted for being under dressed and no matter what you think your rights ought to be at the time of an attack it makes little difference. Women should have their arms fully covered, pants or dress to the ankles [ some places pants will not be permitted worn by a woman] and and a head covering. For the men a long sleeve shirt however short sleeves generally don't create a fuss and of course pants no shorts. Men also need to wear some sort of head gear whether a kippa or a hat it's up to the person to choose.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Don't forget the Negev
The stunning desert in the South of the country is a great access point to the Sinai and the sites of Petra and the Wadi Rum in Jordan. Beautiful desert scapes, the seaside resort of Elat, and maybe even a stay at one of several kibbitzim in the desert make it worth the four hour bus ride from Tel AvivRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Budget Travel
By the Book
The Jews have always been known as the “People of the Book." Hebrew Book Week proves the Jews are truly deserving of this title.
Every June for the past 46 years, Israel has set aside a block of time to celebrate the written word. Maybe there are such events in other parts of the globe, but the scale of Hebrew Book Week, and the incredible book frenzy that seizes the entire population, young and old, religious and secular, are hard to beat.
The editor of Masada Press, Bracha Peli, launched the first Book Day in 1926, offering books at a discount. From 1961, it became a week-long event featuring outdoor book fairs, price reductions at all book stores, book signings, poetry readings, lectures, literary workshops and kids activities.
Israel is a small place, but it publishes an average of 400 books a year. Some 2 million books are sold during Book Week alone.
Traditionally, the fair in Jerusalem was held in open parks but in the wake of security concerns, it moved to the grounds of the Israel Museum.
This is a people-watching event par excellence. People of every stripe, from professors and parents pushing strollers to ultra-Orthodox black-hatters and belly-button pierced teenagers, crawl out of the woodwork in the late afternoons and evenings to browse through the colorful stacks or present the booksellers with itemized lists.
The walkways leading up to the main building of the museum are lined with book stalls. Bored with books? Note the ancient sarcophagi, carved marble columns and bronze statuary interspersed between the stalls – or take a moonlight stroll in the museum’s Sculpture Garden. Whether or not you actually buy anything – sometimes the crush is so great you can hardly get near the books – just being there is an experience.
Not knowing Hebrew should not scare you off. There are some English-language books on sale, and you can pick up dictionaries, guidebooks and maps at a discount.
2007 venue: Old Jerusalem Train StationRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Gan-Garoo is a lovely farm, located near Mount Gilboa in the north east of Israel and not far from Bet She'an.
In Gan-Garoo you can meet the sweet Ozzi kangaroos as well as Kuala bears and other anmals. You can spend time with the kangaroos as they arewalking, or shell i say jumping around free and used to people, The Kuala bears though are having their own kept area and people can NOT touch or bother them as they are very delicate and sensitive
and most time sleepy.
Its a wonderful attraction for Kids but even to me as an adult it was really lovely to finally meet those sweet sweet kangaroos personaly ! I just loved them.
Hatzbani (Snir) Stream
This is one of my favorite nature preserves in Israel ! Located in the north of Israel
near Kibbutz Dan and Dafna.
The area is so relaxed.. the hiking is partly in the water and partly along the srteam, pretty easy rout actually. Basically there are 2 walking routs, one which is shorter and the other one which is longer.
I was there just last Friday, We have done the long one which is really fun. At some point we stopped for some rest and relaxing time, took our clothes off and enjoyed the cool water.
If you're looking for hikes and less regular places to visit or lets say the none touristy sites than you should visit here, just better not during the Jewish holidays time when its more packed with locals. The hike it self in a relaxing walk should take less then an hour....
well... depends on you..
Mount Gilboa is located in the north east area of Israel and not far from Bet She'an.
The views from this mountain is amazing as it watches all the area of Jizrael Valley.
The best time to visit this area is between Feb' - April. At this period everything bloom !
Many flowers, among them the most famous one, the Gilboa Iris which blooms
on March and is rare ! Oh And better arrive a day after the rain where the chances to have a better visability on the beautiful valley is higher.
If you like excitments then on the top of the mountains you can do paragliding ! i have no idea of what the cost is but it looks great though a bit scary ...maybe next time when im there.
I wasn't too lucky and didnt have best visability and therefore this photo.... which could obviously be a much more beautiful one.
Church of the Beautitudes
This Church of the Beautitudes is believed to be the place were Jesus christ is
said to have given the Sermon of the Mount.
You can find it on the road that goes aroud the sea of Galile, on the
north west side, Located on Mount of Beautitudes and overlooks the Sea of Galilee.
The View from the church is beautiful and Its basically near by many other holly sites.
A lovely little town the mountain on the way (from south) towards Haifa... its location is great and it watches the coast line. about 40min' drive from Tel Aviv.
There are some beautiful things to see here besides the beautiful streets and houses.
Ha'nadiv Gardens for example, located on 4500 dunam ! dont miss the roses gardens and the waterfalls garden. Another thing is the Smells garden which was mostly made for blind people or people whom have problems with their eyes, they can touch the plants and smell them and they have signs in braille writing.
In the summer Concerts are taking place there on Sunset times ! (04-6293333)
the Winery (Yekev in Hebrew) which is in a nice old building from 100 years ago, you can have guided tours there and even take part in the vintage (if you're visiting in the season).
Besides all that and more you can find beautiful little cafes' and restaurants. nice place for a day visit.
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