The idea of creating a tourist route passing through all Israel, was offered in 1985 by Abraham Thamir.
The Shvil Israel trail was laid by thousands of volunteers - both Israelis, and foreigners. It is not just a simple trail. It is a national property and a subject of pride.
The trail begins in the kibbutz Dan, in the north of Israel. At the junction of the borders of Lebanon and Syria. Then, continues through the Upper and Lower Galilee, Genisaretsky lake, Carmel's mountain, the Mediterranean coast, Judaic mountains and the Negev desert. The trail comes to an end in Eilat, on the bank of the Red Sea.
The Shvil Israel trail covers a distance of 960 kilometers. The travelers going on the trail should pass by the ancient cities of Caesarea and Apollonia. There they can visit historical places, see the ruins of the ancient Nabeyskih and Roman fortifications, as well as archeological excavations areas.
A part of the trail goes on sites of the road constructed by Romans. In places where Hebrew prophets lived and preached. Where Jesus Christ and the Apostles extended the Good News. To travel along this trail gives the unique chance to walk in their footsteps. And exactly as they did it - by foot.
The landscape of the Shvil Israel trail varies a lot along the way. Mountains and craters, ravines and fields, gorges and sandy barkhans, date groves and beaches, pastures and orchards, rivers and lakes, streams and underground sources. There is everything. The only thing missing is, drinking water.
In Israel, they drink the sea water that is freshened at special stations. This water is not as tasty as natural water. But it is safe to drink it. The crude water is used only in exceptional cases— for example, for waterings the fruit trees. There are warning signs to indicate when the water is not drinkable.
There are probably more reserves in Israel, than in any other country of the world. If, of course, to judge by their quantity, not by the territory occupied by them. Even if there are only three trees growing together — it is already considered a national park. The biggest reserves, according to their area, are in the Negev desert.
In reserves, it is forbidden to pick grass and flowers, to cut trees, to make fire, to establish tents and even to stay overnight on their territory. In big national parks, that can't be crossed in one day, there are special allocated platforms for camping. And still, it is forbidden to be make fire.
The trail is marked by three-colored signs. The three stripes, by their color and arrangement, have strong resemblance with the Russian flag. But this similarity is only accidental. Colors have other symbolic meaning. White is the mountain Hemron. Blue — Tiberias Lake. Orange — the Negev desert.
There are a lot of trails in Israel, most divers. They are marked by the blue, green, black and red color codes. Sometimes the trail of Israel partially coincides with some other walking route. When this happens, it is necessary to go by the two-color marks instead of three.
The best seasons to track the trail are spring and fall. It is too hot in summer and too wet and cold in winter.
Shvil Israel trail can be walked during the term of 40 to 60 days, depending on your level of physical training. The authors of the guide with the popular name the"Red List", recommend to do it in 48 days, and allocate a few days for rest and sightseeing.
The trail is broken into one-day walking distance sights. They are accessed so, that if having started the trail from early morning, the hiker could by the evening, reach the place where there is a hotel, an organized camping or at least a platform for the tent. And most importantly — the water tap.
There are hardly any restaurants or snack bars on the trail. The grocery shops are more frequent. So we have to buy all the products for the next several days at once, and then carry them in the backpacks. It is only possible to cook food on a gas torch. It is forbidden to make fire, almost everywhere.
The Shvil Israel trail begins on the territory of the agricultural kibbutz Dan, located at the steps to the Golan heights, on the junction of the borders of Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
Edit by Dean Novak.
Narration was done by Frederic Moretti
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