Israel National Trail: Caesarea to Nazareth


    enquire now 8 Days From NZD $2,290 pp twinshare
    Independent traveller
    Terms & Conditions apply

    The Israel National Trail runs approximately 1100 kilometres from Kibbutz Dan, near the border with Lebanon in the Upper Galilee in the far north of Israel, to Eilat on the Red Sea in the far south of the country. This self-guided walking section commences from ancient Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast and traverses over the green mountain ranges and fertile plains of Mount Carmel and the Jezreel Valley to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. Following well-defined paths, this hike offers a vast variety of sights, landscapes and cultural experiences, across the rolling hills of the Lower Galilee, passing through Druze, Jewish and Bedouin villages, historical sites and nature reserves; whilst enjoying a warm welcome and friendly hospitality at your accommodation at the end of each hiking day.

    Highlights

    • Trek from the Mediterranean coast to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus
    • Traverse over the green mountain ranges and fertile plains of Mount Carmel and the Jezreel Valley
    • Explore the ancient ruins and mosaic floors of the Roman city of Zippori
    • Discover Druze, Jewish and Bedouin villages
    • Enjoy a warm welcome and friendly hospitality at your accommodation at the end of each hiking day

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Join Caesarea
    You will be met by our local representative and provided with a Welcome briefing. You will be provided with safety instructions, explanations of how to operate the GPS navigation program, a local telephone with emergency contact numbers, and one information pack per room booked. Time permitting, it is highly recommended to join a tour of the Old City today (not included in the tour cost).

    Day 2 Hike to Zichron Ya’akov (7.5 hrs, 17 kms)
    The route goes from the north end of ancient Caesarea, the city built by Herod in 10 B.C. in honour of the Emperor Augustus. The day starts with a pleasant morning walk along the Mediterranean coast passing a well-preserved Roman aqueduct and a small fishing village situated at the source of Nachal Taninim (Crocodile River – there were still crocodiles here up to the beginning of the 20th century). The trail continues eastward towards Mount Carmel through an area that was once covered with swamps. On Carmel Mountain there are amazing observation points, ancient agricultural farms which have been restored and other surprises until you arrive at Zichron Ya’akov. (B)

    Day 3 Hike to Ein Hod Artists Village (6 hrs, 16.5 kms; including caves approx 7.5 hrs)
    This morning there is a short transfer from Zichron Ya´akov to the start of the trailhead. You will soon see a large carob tree representative of the plant life in the region. The trail today crosses the western part of the Carmel Mountain slopes parallel to the coastline. In the first part of the day, the wide paths cross an area of bushland that changes to natural forest growth combined with pine trees. You will see glimpses of the stunning coastline scenery to the west. Further on, there are a number of forest parks where you can get some rest and take in the views. You can also visit the nature reserve of prehistoric caves, olive groves and almond trees, and terraced ravines until you arrive at Ein Hod Artists Village. (B)

    Day 4 Hike to Usfiya (5-6 hrs, 15 kms)
    The trail starts in Ein Hod and immediately you will notice the renewed growth after the great fire of 2012. The path goes through rocky, rugged limestone landscape winding over the boulders from time to time. The trail is, relatively speaking, more challenging than the previous days with many ascents and descents. There are beautiful spots hidden in the wadis or springs; ancient stones and stories dating to World War II and the British Mandate in Israel. The day ends in the Druze village of Usfiya located on the top of the Carmel Mountain commanding a panoramic view of the surrounding green. (B)

    Day 5 Hike to Kiryat Tivon, transfer to Ka´abiya Tabash or Bethlehem of Galilee (6.5 – 7 hrs, 16 kms)
    Today’s walk starts in the narrow streets of the village of Usfiya and continues past the spring towards Nahal (stream) Yagur. The trail in the canyon winds between rocks and waterfalls in the shade of natural wood growth – oaks, Terebith Trees, Juda´s Trees, Laurestines and True Laurels. When leaving the stream the Haifa Bay unfolds before you. You can stop for a while at Kibbutz Yagur at a café to rest and relax. Further on the landscape changes completely from limestone to the rolling, rounded hilltops of the Lower Galilee. Along the way you will pass a Moshav and a Bedouin tent, and end at the well-kept little town of Kiryat Tivon. From there you will be transferred to your accommodation at the bedouin village of Ka´abiya Tabash or Bethlehem of Galilee.(B)

    Day 6 Hike to Hosha´ya (7-8 hrs, 18 kms)
    Today’s trail crosses different cultures and forms of settlement. It starts in Ka´abiya Tabash or Bethlehem of Galilee and continues through Bedouin villages in the hills surrounding Nachal Zippori. The trail crosses a stream and big spring, and passes through densely wooded hills and fields, before continuing over one of the busiest intersections in the north of the country. Olive groves and orchards line the trail close to the Moshav and ancient city of Zippori (Sepphoris). (B)

    Day 7 Visit Zippori National Park, hike to Nazareth (4 hrs, 9.5 kms; not including the tour of Zippori)
    The day starts with a visit to the National Park of Zippori, which was the capital of the Galilee and an important Jewish centre in Roman times. The tour is self-guided and lasts about two hours.; the ancient city with some of its houses renovated, streets, bathhouse, magnificent villas, theatre, impressive mosaic floors (one depicts a woman known as “the Mona Lisa of the Galilee”) and a sophisticated water system. At the end of the day, you will reach the outskirts of Nazareth (the city of annunciation, where Mary received the news that she was to give birth to the Son of God) and through the alleys of the old town you will arrive at the hotel in the centre of town. It is highly recommended to take a map from the hotel and tour Nazareth’s many attractions. (B)

    Day 8 In Nazareth, trip concludes
    This morning will be free at leisure. Trip concludes after breakfast. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 7 breakfasts
    • 7 nights in comfortable hotels and B&B’s on a twinshare basis
    • Trail transfers as listed in itinerary
    • Use of GPS navigation system
    • Luggage transfers as listed in itinerary
    • Welcome briefing, and one information pack per room booked
    • Emergency hotline

    WEX-INT

    Images courtesy of WorldExpeditions