Home » Water Hikes in Israel: My Top 5 Picks + Bonuses

Water Hikes in Israel: My Top 5 Picks + Bonuses

by backpackisrael

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the summer. The weather is too hot to walk around in the afternoon, and most hiking trails are out of limits. But luckily, there are some places in Israel with flowing water – also in the summer. In this post, I’ll tell you about my favorite water hikes and will also give you some names of refreshing water springs.

Most water hikes are located in the northern part of Israel, but there are also places in the desert. Many places are not accessible by public transportation, so you’ll need a car.

Ready? Let’s go.

Local tip: If you’re planning to visit several nature parks, you might want to get the Israel Pass. If you’re living in Israel, it might be a good idea to purchase a “Matmon” yearly pass, that will give you access to all INPA parks in Israel for a year.

My top 5 water hikes in Israel

Nahal HaKibbutzim

I think Nahal HaKibbutzim is one of the most impressive streams and water hikes in Israel. Unlike other streams in Israel, this one is extremely deep! There are places where you have to swim. So… If you’re coming with children, make sure to gear them with something that will help them float.

Nahal HaKibbutzim is located inside Spring Valley Park (Park HaMaayanot). It’s a free-of-charge park consisting of the stream and a few beautiful water springs. You can rent bikes at the entrance to reach the springs, but I recommend doing the water hike through Nahal HaKibbutzim.

The water hike itself is about 1 km long. Enter the park, turn right, and then walk a bit until you see the entrance to the stream to your left. In the end, there are some water tubes that you can slide through. Then, you’ll need to return in the opposite direction through the stream. Or, you can get out of the water and walk back on a dry trail, fully exposed to the sun.

Before or after the water hike, you can also visit Gan HaShlosha (the Sachne). It’s located right next to Spring Valley Park. There’s an entrance fee, but if you want to relax, swim in a beautiful pool of natural water, and get soaked under a waterfall – it’s worth the cost. You can read about the prices and opening hours here.

How to get there?

Nahal HaKibbutzim is located in the Beit She’an Valley, near Jezreel Valley. It’s about 1.5-hours by car from Tel Aviv and 2-hours by car from Jerusalem.

If you prefer public transportation, you can take a bus to Afula Central Station. From there, take bus 412 and get off at Gan HaShlosha Junction. Then, walk about 1 km to the entrance of Spring Valley Park.   

Nahal HaKibbutzim water hike
The beginning of the Nahal HaKibbutzim Water Trail
Huge water pool at Gan Hashlosha park
Gan HaShlosha Park, a paid park next to the free park

Nahal Arugot

Another beautiful water hike in Israel is Nahal Arugot, located in the Judean Desert right next to Ein Gedi. While most people go to Ein Gedi, I think Nahal Arugot is much more exciting in terms of water. It’s about 6.6-km altogether, and there are long parts where you can walk in the water. The water isn’t deep, but it’s deep enough to be refreshing. There are also some natural pools and small waterfalls along the way.

Read my post about the water hike in Nahal Arugot.

The stream is part of Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. You can read about the prices and opening hours here.

How to get there?

Nahal Arugot is located in the Judean Desert, near the Dead Sea. It’s about 1.5-hours by car from Jerusalem and 2-hours by car from Tel Aviv.  

If you prefer public transportation, you can take bus number 486 from Jerusalem Central Station and get off at Ein Gedi Reservation. From there, you will need to walk about 1.8 km to the entrance to Nahal Arugot.

Water pool with waterfall in Nahal Arugot
One of many water pools along Nahal Arugot

Nahal Kziv

Nahal Kziv is one of the most enchanting water hikes in Israel. You walk through a beautiful forest and there are lots of natural water pools along the way, where you can wade in the water. There are also places where you have to cross the stream, so you will most probably get wet.

Nowadays, the Israeli national water company pumps part of the water from the springs that feed the stream. So, in summer and fall, there’s less water, but still enough to enjoy some coolness in the heat.

Nahal Kziv is part of the Sea to Sea Trail. Actually, it’s the wettest part of the trail. Read about the Sea to Sea Trail here.

If you want to challenge yourselves, you can combine the hike with a hike to the Monfort Fortress. It’s one of the best-preserved Crusader-era fortresses in Israel, built on a steep and narrow ridge right above Nahal Kziv. You can see it from afar when hiking the Nahal Kziv trail.

The entrance is free-of-charge.

How to get there?

Nahal Kziv is located in the Western Galilee, near the Mediterranean Sea. It’s about one hour and 45 minutes by car from Tel Aviv and 2.5-hours by car from Jerusalem.

To get there by public transportation, it’s best to get on a train from Tel Aviv to Nahariyya. From there, walk to the Nahariyya Central Station and take bus number 37. Get off at Harhava Quarter Bayit 181 Manot and then walk another 2.8 km to the entrance to Nahal Kziv.

A beautiful spring of Nahal Kziv
Ein Khardalit, one of the springs in Nahal Kziv

Wadi Prat

Wadi Prat, also known as Wadi Qelt, is an oasis in the desert located in Ein Prat Nature Reserve. This place is less about walking in water, and more about wading in beautiful natural water pools. The stream accompanies you the entire way, and it’s nice to see the contrast between the color of the water and the surrounding landscape. While I have hiked the trail, I think Wadi Prat is more of a place to relax. So, bring a picnic basket and have fun!

Read my post about hiking in Ein Prat Nature Reserve.

The stream is part of the Ein Prat Nature Reserve. You can read about the prices and opening hours here.

How to get there?

Wadi Prat is located in the Judean Desert, near Jerusalem. It’s about 30 minutes by car from Jerusalem and 1 hour by car from Tel Aviv.

Getting there by public transportation is not recommended, because there’s a long and steep road leading from the bus station to the nature reserve. Climbing back up would probably be super exhausting.

A pool with a waterfall in Nahal Prat
A small pool along Nahal Prat

Nahal Amud

Nahal Amud is the fifth water hike on my Top 5 List. It’s charming almost like Nahal Kziv. I felt like Nahal Kziv had much more points where you can enter the water. But still, Nahal Amud is charming. You walk in a green and beautiful forest, and there are lovely waterfalls and natural pools along the way, like the Sekhvi Pools.

The stream also has some history around it. There are 26 ancient flour mills along the entire length of the stream, which means it’s the largest cluster of flour mills in Israel. This large number is probably connected to the proximity to the city of Safed.

The family-friendly water hike is a 3.5-km circular trail. There’s a more challenging trail that continues down the stream, but it’s completely dry, so I wouldn’t call it a water hike.  

Nahal Amud is part of the Israel National Trail. You can read my post about the hike in Nahal Amud as part of the Israel National Trail.  

The stream is part of the Amud Stream Nature Reserve, You can read about the prices and opening hours here.

How to get there?

Nahal Amud is located in the Upper Galilee, near Safed. It’s about 2-hours by car from Tel Aviv and 2.5-hours by car from Jerusalem.

Getting there by public transportation is not recommended. It will probably take you half a day to arrive and there’s no bus station right next to the reserve.

Sekhvi Pools in Nahal Amud

Other recommended water places in Israel

So… I told you my top picks, but there are also other recommended water places that you should know about. Here are some more places where you can enjoy some time in the water:

The Lower Banias

You might have heard about the Banias Nature Reserve. It’s a very impressive reserve with water and archeological findings, but I actually want to recommend the Lower Banias stream. It’s a part of the stream that is not part of the nature reserve. You walk along the stream and there are many shaded points where you can enter the water. And it’s free of charge!

While you’re in the area, you can also book a kayaking or rafting trip on the Jordan River.

How to get there?

The Lower Banias is located in the Upper Galilee, near Sde Nehemya. It’s about 2.5-hours by car from Tel Aviv and about 2 hours and 45 minutes by car from Jerusalem. To get there, look for “חניון האקליפטוס” (“The Eucalyptus Parking Lot”) in Waze or Google Maps.

Getting there by public transportation isn’t recommended.

The Majrase

The Majrase is a wetland reserve, where several streams from the Golan Heights meet and merge together on their way to the Sea of Galilee. There’s an 800-meter water trail that passes through the stream. Some parts are very deep. In some seasons, you can even swim through parts of it. I think it’s a lovely place, especially for families with kids. Just make sure to gear your kids with floats.

There are picnic areas near the stream, so you can finish the visit with a nice picnic.

The Majrase is part of The Majrase Nature Reserve. You can read about the prices and opening hours here.

How to get there?

The Majrase is located between Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. It’s about 2-hours by car from Tel Aviv and 2.5-hours by car from Jerusalem.

To get there by public transportation, take a bus to Tiberias Central Station. From there, take bus 147 and get off at Ma’ale Gamla Junction. Then, walk about 2 km to the entrance to The Majrase Nature Reserve. It’s not so recommended, because it would take you at least 3.5 hours to reach the place by public transportation.

Itamar Spring

I want to finish this post with one of the most beautiful water springs I’ve seen in Israel – Itamar Spring. It’s a small water spring, but the water is SO clear! You can see the bottom of the pool. And that’s very rare in water springs.

How to get there?

The spring is located on the Israel National Trail, in the Jerusalem Hills. If you’re not walking the Israel National Trail, it’s about 3-km from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. There’s a dirt road that leads close to the spring. Search for “Itamar Spring” (מעיין איתמר) on Waze or Google Maps.

Itamar Spring. Beautiful!

Conclusion

Many think that Israel is a desert, but there are a lot of places with flowing water – also in the summer. While most water hikes are in the northern part of Israel, there are also some beautiful water hikes in the desert. Whichever hike you choose, you’ll probably enjoy it. Have fun and make sure to put on sunscreen when you’re not in the water!

Save it for later!

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