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The Israel National Trail passes through the entire country, from Kibbutz Dan, near the Lebanese border in the North, to Eilat on the Red Sea coast in the South – a hike of more than 1,000km across a vastly changing landscape. It has been listed in National Geographic's 20 most "epic trails". The Trail takes an average of 45-60 days to complete if walked continuously, though many divide the hike into sections, completing the trail over the course of several years. The Trail attracts a unique range of hikers, from within Israel and from abroad, all searching for something else: recently released IDF soldiers exploring their country; visitors from northern climates lured by the desert; Christian pilgrims coming to walk the land of the Bible; professionals taking time out to work through a mid-life crisis; senior citizens taking on what might be their last major project, and friends spending some rare, uninterrupted time together. The Hebrew word for ‘Trail’ or ‘Path’ is ‘Shvil’ and those who walk the Trail are nicknamed “Shvilistim”.

about this section

Shelly & Hagar, at Mitzpe Ramon.

"I’ve learned not to forgo an experience because of the instinct to hurry along to the next destination. I allow myself to take breaks, to enjoy the view and to spend some time with the people I meet along the way.” Hagar