July 14th 2015
If you’re visiting Israel during the summer and looking for some outdoor fun, make sure your itinerary includes the best hot weather nature hikes that Israel has to offer – areas that allow you to enjoy amazing natural adventures but without suffering too dramatically from the Mediterranean heat.
Here are five great hikes worth checking out.
Luzit Caves – Open to the public 24/7, the caves and tunnels near Moshav Luzit in the Shefelah region are made of limestone. Exercise caution when trekking through the many holes! Originally dug up during the first millennium, limestone was quarried here for building purposes. Of course, navigating tunnels and caves will keep you out of the sun – make sure to bring a flashlight so you can see the dark nooks and crannies.
Mei Kedem – The 2,000-year-old “ancient waters” of the Caesarea aqueduct in Alona Park was once part of a 22-mile-long tunnel system used to convey water to Caesarea – although on this hike, you’ll walk through a fraction of that length. Take care when you walk, even if the water does not rise high, because the path is not always smooth. Bring flashlights, water shoes, and know that you’ll be wet when you emerge.
Nahal Amud – In the scenic Upper Galilee, Nahal Amud bears the name of the pillar that is found near a channel of the stream (“amud” means pillar in Hebrew). The 4-km. hike is a popular one, and it includes a steep climb, so be prepared with both water and energy. The trail ends at a wading pool, and taking a dip is welcome respite in the summer, if only to splash and cool off.
Nahal Zavitan – At 19 km. long, Nahal Zavitan is the longest stream in the Golan, and it is punctuated by refreshing pools where hikers stop for a dip, although there are no lifeguards here. The area boasts several beautiful hikes, ranging in difficulty from “easy” to challenging for all but the most experienced hikers. With a little planning to determine which path is right for you, you might find this hike the highlight of your summer.
Zedekiah’s Cave – Also known as “King Solomon’s Quarries,” Zedekiah’s Cave is accessed through the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, near the Damascus Gate. A massive cave of about 5 acres, the site remains mysterious in many ways. It is deemed by some to be the quarry for the First Temple, despite shaky historical evidence. The cave is also linked to the biblical King Zedekiah – and for reasons that are surely intentionally shrouded, it has significance to Freemasons. Visit during the week from Sunday through Thursday (nominal fee and guided tours.