I had a chance to visit the Holy Land on a guided tour and was rejuvenated to say the least. Visiting historic and religious places allowed me to understand religion a lot better. What made me stand up and take notice was the number of backpackers ready to walk through the vast expanses of open land scattered with these sites, each of which have historical facts written down in volumes of about 200 pages. I did manage to go on a custom-designed family hike, and my experience was so good that I spent hours detailing the most famous hiking tours one could attempt.

How I Combined My Holy Land Visit with Jesus Trail
My visit to Israel started with fulfilling a personal quest to know more about Christianity, but what could give anyone more satisfaction than following the trail that Jesus left behind. The Jesus Trail covering 65 kilometers, interlinks places that Jesus visited during his lifetime. It begins in Nazerath and includes passage through historic places like the Mount of Beatitudes, the Horns of Hattin, and Mount Precipice. The trail has been actually designed by two specialists, one from Israel and the other from the United States. So if I follow the trail, I’d find three stripes marked on rocks which indicate I am on the right track. It is well maintained and several organized treks are available. Depending on how adventurous I feel, I can download the GPS coordinates for the Jesus Trail and rough it out with a small group or join a well-established travel group.

Israeli National Trail (INT) – A Hike to Remember
I wish I had the time to walk through all the never-ending footpaths that so many other backpackers have managed to walk on in the past. One of the longest treks to venture into, the INT takes hikers along a 940-km trail from North to South Israel. It starts at the Israeli border with Lebanon and covers almost everything I would like to see in Israel including the mountains of Galilee, the capital Tel Aviv, heritage sites, and the Negev desert. I was advised not to attempt the entire trek at one go, simply because it would take too long. I came across many splendors along different portions of the hike, which made me decide I would complete the other portions in time. The Jesus trail also meets up with the INT at places, and the markers then have an additional orange stripe to help trekkers.

Spice Trial Tour- One for the Future
With its limited resources, Israel has managed to survive in hostile conditions for a long time now. They have learnt how to conserve water. Drip irrigation, which has now spread across the globe, has enabled them to grow fruits and vegetables in the middle of the desert. The Spice Route Trail is an organized tour which is not that strenuous as it combines trekking with easier travel options. What is more important is the detailed understanding I get of how exactly regions like Negev and Nabatean are fruitful and how wine is grown along the track. It is definitely one for the future.

Tagged: Stuart