Check out this cool collection of photos of the great outdoors, Israel style...
Though being roughly the size of the State of New Jersey, half the size of Denmark, a fifth of the size of South Korea and 1/350th the size of Australia, Israel offers perhaps one of the most varied landscapes and opportunities for outdoor adventure the world over. And the best part about it is that since the country is so small you could wake up in the morning and do whatever you like. From desert hikes to skiing to scuba diving along the coral reef, Israel is a playground for the outdoor enthusiast.
Where do you want to chill out? The Dead Sea – the lowest place on Earth – is known for its healing powers – a day there floating in the water, putting on the mud and relaxing in the spa will make you feel like new. The sandy beaches along the Mediterranean Sea can make anyone forget their worries. There are plenty of hot springs and spas, especially in the north, such as Hamat Gader, built by the ruins of an old Roman spa. At Gan HaShlosha (Sachne), you may think you have found the Garden of Eden. Finally, taking an easy ride on a raft down the Jordan River is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.
At Rosh HaNikra on Israel’s northern coast, be amazed by the beautiful blue grottos. At Mitzpeh Ramon in the south, look out over the giant machtesh (like a crater) which stretches as far as the eye can see. Climb up the Arbel to an incredible lookout over Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) or head across the lake for a beautiful sunset view. Explore the incredible coral reef of Eilat from the Underwater Observatory – or first hand with the aid of some basic snorkeling gear. You can even swim with dolphins! Finally, experience the magic of a desert oasis in Ein Gedi where you can swim in pools and relax in waterfalls all in the middle of the Judean Desert.
Spend some time picking fruit or harvesting vegetables with Table-to-Table, planting trees, participating in an archaeological dig among other opportunities.
Israel offers a multitude of outdoor activities for your enjoyment. Ride on camels, donkeys, horses, ATVs, segways, bicycles, kayaks (on the Jordan River) or in hot-air balloons, jeeps or even helicopters. Or enjoy sports – from scuba diving in the Red Sea, rappelling in the desert, canyoning, desert archery, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, spelunking, zip lining, cave crawling, sand surfing, skydiving, tornado boating, banana boating and even skiing in the north on Mt. Hermon.
HIKING & BIKING
Israel’s topography offers opportunities for all kinds of hikes, from water hikes to desert hikes, and for all levels of hikers. For those with the time and desire, try the Israel National Trail – 850 km (530 miles) long from north to south, which usually takes between 1 to 2 months to complete. Or try the 140 km (88 mile) long Golan Trail through the Golan Heights which takes about 7-10 days. The Jesus Trail in the north has just been mapped and takes 3-6 days to do. The Israel Bike Trail is also a possibility.