Mount Arbel: The Ultimate Israeli Hiking Experience
A Must Read for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors
Israel is full of attractions, nature reserves and interactive activities. Whether it’s your first time visiting the Holy Land, you’re about to embark upon a Birthright Israel trip, or are looking for new sites to visit, you most likely want to see and experience the best of what the country has to offer. Located in Israel’s Lower Galilee region,Mount Arbel is extremely popular among locals and tourists, due to its rich biblical history, breathtaking views of the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon and many hiking options, varying in length and level of difficulty. It is also the only approved base jumping location in the entire State of Israel.
Tourists, arm yourselves with a map of Mount Arbel and prepare to enjoy the ultimate Israeli hiking experience.
For the beginning hiker
Beginning hikers will enjoy walking along the 30-minute loop trail, marked on the map in black, to the Carob Tree Lookout. Once you have reached the scenic observation point, prepare to be wowed by the impressive and expansive cliffside view. Another light loop hike stretches to the local ancient synagogue and Talmudic-era village, for a simultaneously educational and physically invigorating experience.
Tourists with slightly more hiking experience might opt for a longer, more challenging route. A loop trail bypassing Moshav Arbel to reach the synagogue in the Talmudic-era village and Arbel Spring will transport you on a ninety minute to two hour journey through time. Another moderate route takes you from the parking lot to the Labor Battalion Rest Area, the remains of a quarry from the 1920s. Following a steep slope, this two-hour hike does not loop, so post-hike transportation should be arranged in advance.
Two of Mount Arbel’s three-hour hiking trails are meant for expert outdoorsmen. The first, a loop trail with a steep descent and ascent, uses hand foot holds embedded in the rock formations to help hikers trek to the Carob Tree Lookout, down the cliff, westward to the Cave Fortress and back to the parking lot. The second, a one-way trail, also uses hand and foot holds, extending down a steep slope to the Arbel Spring.
Visiting the site
As Mount Arbel is a National Park, the site is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the summer. During the winter months, the park closes an hour earlier, at 4:00 p.m. An entry fee is required, to keep the region maintained according to high safety and cleanliness standards. Only marked trails should be followed. It is recommended that each hiker carry three liters of water, to avoid dehydration.
Hiking on Mount Arbel is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Israel. The many trail options and stunning views ensure that each tourist, Birthright Israel participant or local enjoys nature’s beauty and experiences one of Israel’s outdoor treasures firsthand.