If you never hiked in Israel independently I would recommend you reading this article.

Shlomo Mountain

Eilat mountains are some of Israel’s best hiking area. Many tourists who visit Eilat goes to the Red Canyon. It is nice, but it is far from the city and the canyon is just 200 meters. In my opinion, not worth to drive all the way there.

Shlomo mountain is one of the highest peaks in the area and it is walking distance from the city. from the top there is an amazing view to the Gulf of Eilat, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia!

The climb and the descent can be quite challenging because of the steep and rocky slopes.

Several trails lead to the mountain. You can make it a full day hike, half a day, or even just a couple of hours. I took a screenshot from Amud anan:

The big X is the peak.

The quickest way to get to the top – Drive/hitchhike from Eilat to the Road starting point.
from there walkingon the blue trail to the X and coming back the same way.

Half a day – Walk to the North West of the city to the city starting point. Black trail >Green trail > climbing with the blue trail to the top. continue with the blue trail to the road (road starting point) and hitchhike back to the city.

Full day – One of the most beautiful hikes of Israel. Start same as the half a day hike > Red trail > Green trail > Red trail > connect to the Israel trail all the way to the end.  For the full day, start with sunrise, take enough water (Always ahve a bit extra, take 5 liters per person ) and have decent walking endurance.

Sde Boker

When people want to experience the Negev, they usually go to Mitzpe Ramon. If hiking is your main priority you should consider going to Sde Boker, the hiking capital of the area. All the hikes start straight from the village which is easy to reach by public transport.

Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, moved to the kibbutz inspired by his vision of cultivating the Negev desert. He is buried in Sde Boker and his home is a small museum. 

 

Ein Avdat

If you are looking for a short and easy hike, this one is for you.

Difficulty – Easy

Length – 2km

Most common hike here is entering the nature reserve of Ein Avdat. It is a beautiful stream, difficulty is easy, and vey short hike. It is usually crowded with families and school trips.
Because it is a nature reserve there is an entrance fee.

Ein Akev - Medium full day hike.

Beautiful spring, Amazing 360 view.

Difficulty – Medium.

Length – A day.

Many trails in the area. You can do short day hikes, or patch a few trails together and spend a week walking around. Here I recommend you a full day hike which includes the 2 highlights of the area :
Ein Akev- A beautiful spring
Chod Akev – A beautiful peak with 360 view.
A tiny Bedouin camp in which you can enjoy some traditional pita and tea in the middle of the hike.

NOTE: Sde boker is split in to 2 areas: A Kibuttz and a Midrasha (school).

Start at the Midrasha Take a short red trail which goes south> connects to the green trail which goes to Ein Akev> Red trail which goes North East to Chod Akev> Continue with the Red trail untill the Green trail > Goes North West to the black trail all the way back to the midrasha. 
Possible to take the blue trail north to climb another beautiful peak.

HaKarbolet

Probably the most special hike in Israel, one of the most difficult ones too.
The core of the hike is walking on the edge of the big crater. The streams that go through the tilted layers create some bizarre scenery.

Because it is more advanced hike I trust you to find it by yourself.
I recommend to do it in 2 days.

Start in Sde Boker, and finish in Oron factory. From there you can hitchhike back to civilization.

You can take cool photos because of the tilt layers.
You can take cool photos because of the tilt layers.
Messages from previews hikers

Ein Gedi

One of the famous nature reserve in Israel. Most people do the basic trail to the big waterfall or climb a bit up the mountain. The reserve has many trails that are amazing and worth exploring.

A song praising the beauty and the calmness of the place written by a 16 old boy while sitting in the reserve. became a great hit in the 60’s  and since was performed by all the great artists of Israel. the lyrics are amazing in Hebrew:

The reserve has many trails and paths that suit for all. From a couple of hours hike between waterfalls and pools to a whole day climbing the ridge to beautiful lookouts. All over the reserve, you will see ibexes and rock hyraxes. In the past, there were also leopards in the reserve but now they are extinct. The last one was seen in 2007 in kibbutz Ein Gedi, skinny and sick as he broke into a house tried to eat the family dog.

Reserve infoprices and opening hours.

Beautiful map of the reserve here

The Reserve has 2 streams:

Wadi David – The more famous and touristic stream, most popular hike in Ein Gedi. The bottom part is very touristic and the trails are very easy and accessible.

 Tip: My favorite part in this Wadi is the ‘window waterfall’. It’s a challenging walk in a narrow gorge with pools, using fixed metal handles the reserve installed to help you pass through those challenging parts.

The red trail goes there and right before it meets the green trail you can see a none color trail which leads to the ‘window waterfall’. ask the rangers on the reserve for more details.

 Wadi Arugot – The Less touristic hike in Ein Gedi, more challenging. The pools here are bigger and more suitable for a swim. if you start early I recommend going to one of the views on the top of the ridge.

NOTE: the reserve is highly maintained and has strict rules. Because of the wildlife in the area, there are opening hours for the reserve which changes between summer and winter.  Consult with the rangers at the entrance about hiking in Ein Gedi depends on the time you have, fitness and conditions in the reserve.