Sea to Sea – Israel Trail

Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee trek (sea to sea)

 

Duration 3-4 daysDistance – 65 kmDifficulty – mediumStart – Gesher HazivEnd – Genosar Nearest towns – Naharia, Tiberias Transport – bus or train Preferred season – year long

Preface This beautiful classic trail is one of the most thrilling, green and hurt-warming trail. 3-4 days of trails in the northern part of Israel from the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee, through Byzantine fortress, icy streams, green mountains and lovely villages. Planning

  • When to trek This trek can be traveled year-round with the spring (march to May) being the best time to go because of the lovely flowering, the flow of water in the streams and the light chance of raining. During the summer (May to September) it is hot between 12-16 and one can rest near a fountain during these hours. In Winter (October to March) there is a good chance of rain.
  • What to bring There are villages to sleep in during the trek (relatively expensive) so bringing camping equipment is not required but it is strongly advised to trek with camping equipment including a tent during winter and spring and sleep outdoors.
  • Maps The map needed for this trek is map number 2 that can be purchased at almost all trekking equipment stores around Israel and may cost up to 70 ₪ . Contact us by email to check if lending is possible.
  • Access towns:
    • Naharia
    • Tiberius
      • An ancient city located near the end of this trail and lies next to the beach of the Sea of Galilee. It hosts interesting sites such as Capernaum national park (20 min. drive), the Donna Grazia’s House – Historical Museum and many more museums and historical sites (links to these sites are below). Also, Tiberius rests nearby the sea of galilee which has great resorts and beaches. A great resting place is locates 20 min. drive from Tiberius and is called Hamat Gader (חמת גדר) ), a natural hot springs and spa.
      • Capernaum national park site
      • Museums and historical sites in Tiberius
      • Hamat Gader site – http://www.hamat-gader.com

Getting there and away: a.      Starting Point (west):

  • The trek starts near the village of  “Gesher Haziv” (גשר הזיו). It is located 5 kilometers north of the city of Naharia.
  • Public Transportation :
  1. Naharia is accessed with bus or train from Tel Aviv. Trains leave daily from one of the train stations (center, Hahagana and Hashalom) every hour or so. The trip takes about 1.5 hours. Bus can be taken every hour from the central station in Tel aviv to Haifa and then form there to Naharia. It is less advised, less time-efficient and more expensive.
  2. Israel railways site – http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/HomePage.aspx
  3. Egged (bus company) – http://www.egged.co.il/Eng
  • From Naharia to Gesher Haziv there are 2 options to go. One is via taxi from the train station. It is more efficient but more costly and costs around 100 shekels for a taxi. The other option is buy bus. There are buses that leave every hour from the train station in Naharia and are efficient. They cost around 10 shekels. The bus number is changing but the company is “Nativ Express” (not Egged! )  Locals will be happy to help. Updated Scheduale can be also accessed at http://bus.co.il

b.      End of trek town (east) :

  • Trek ends at the shore of the Sea of Galillea  north of Tiberius.
  • Public Transportation :
    • Buses from the central station in Tiberius leave to Tel Aviv every 30 minutes and buses form Tiberius to Jerusalem are available every 2 hours.
    • It is possible to hitchhike from tiberious south (to the coast and TLV), and may even be a much shorter ride as the driver won’t be stopping in Afula on the way. Hitchhiking is much easier of Friday, Saturday and Holidays, when many people  travel to this area for hiking and other recreation activities. Ask for local advise as where is the best place to stand.
    • Hotels:
    • Restaurants

Supplies

  • Supermarket :There  are numerous Supermarkets in Na’aharia. When you get off the bus or train, ask locals and they will show youthe closest supermarket of grocery store (there are dozen of them). Another option (what we do a lot of times, because the train is so close to the trek’s beginning, is supllying in TLV or where you’re staying and just carrying it all with you on the train… Cooking gas is available at Lametayel (see Be’er-Sheva’s dedicated part for maps and info) and gasoline for liquid fuel is available at the gas station in front of the CBS.
  • ATM’s :There is an ATM (“Kaspomat” in Hebrew) at the entrance to the CBS
  • What to eat and how to pack in the desert (link)

Water : This trek goes through numerous sites where one can feel up water. Day 1 –  fill up in Ein Tamir (water needs to be sterilized before use) or go to the village of Hila and ask locals. Day 2 – feel up in Meron resting area. There is a tap that one can use. Day 3 – feel up in the resting are near the village of Meron or in the town of Safed. Day 4 – feel up in Genosar beach.

  • Relevant Phone numbers:
  1. Park Rangers :Ben On Valenski 057-7762144.
  2. Field School[1] (NPS): Akhziv Field School  04-9823762
  3. Emergency :
  4. Cellular Covrage :Cellular Covarge is reasonable.
  5. No Firing Zones are accessed along the trek, so you can trek whenever you won’t[2]

The Route

  • Day1 – from Akhziv beach to Ziv fountain resting area 8 hours, 16 Km

  The first day walk is in the Kziv river. Start off from Akhziv beach (yes, these are two very similar names to closely located places) to the east, below the highway. The first 5 km are walked between orchards. The walk is at a level altitude. After 5 km you reach the second highway. Cross it and continue to head east in the river. In this area the river becomes steeper and the orchards end. You will reach a parking area after 1.5 km . stay in the river and enter a trail marked green. Continue in the river for 6 more km, walking in the river and crossing a few streams on your way.

  1. After those 6 km you will reach a red trail crossing in your way. This is where you can enter the first side trip. Continue on the green trail. After 3 more km while crossing a few fountains and walking in the steep river you reach Tamir spring (Ein Tamir ( עין טמיר . This fountain is one that is hard to find but is most rewarding. The best way to find it is to reach a blue trail that crosses your trail to the north and another red trail that crosses you to the south. A small stream that goes upward from the main river leads you to a narrowing in the stony mountain. Leave your bags outside the entrance and enter the narrow stream – headlight is obligatory for entering. You will enter a tunnel with the stream flowing in it. It is very narrow and you can walk inside it for about 20 minutes until reaching the spot where the water burst out of the stone. You can fill up your water there (it is necessary to purify them prior to drinking)
  2. After you return from the tunnel, head back to the green trail and continue to follow it for another 2.5 km until you reach a resting area with a road to the south. There is no option for filling water there so fill up at Tamir spring. The first day ends there.

 

  1. Montfort fortress side trip
  2. 1 km round trip.

 

  1. From the green trail, head south with the red trail for about 15 minutes heading to the large fortress ahead.

 

  1. Information about the Montfort side trip – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montfort_Castle

 

  1. Hotels for the first day:
  2. If you wish to sleep in a hotel on the first day, take the red trail from the Tamir spring and climb south from the fountain for 25 minutes, reaching the village of Hila. It is necessary to order in advance.

k.   Day 2 – from Ziv fountain to Meron resting area. 8 hours, 16 km

  1. In this day you continue your walk inside the kziv river and at the end you enter a new stream. You will meet some fountains today.
  2. From the rest area where you slept, you leave the wide green train and head up east with the narrowing green trail. In this part which is 5 km long, you walk through dense vegetation and inside the steep edges of kziv river. Continue your walk until you reach the road. You can continue inside the river or take a side trip to the beautiful Druze village of Horfesh.
  3. The next part of the river has much more floe of water into it. The river takes a southern heading for about 2 km and then continues east. After the turn to the east walk for another 30 minutes or 2 km and arrive to a fountain which has a long water through. You can enter the cold water and there is where you can fill up water (requires purification).
  4. Continue east at first with the green trail which leaves kziv river about 1.5 km from the fountain to a stream called Moran stream. The trail receives a north-eastern heading and then straightens to the east. From that point, head on for another 1.5 km to another fountain, which reminds the previous one. From that point you walk another 1 km to the resting area. It is located where the green trail meets the road. You will see some buildings on your west side and a large parking area on your eastern side. Continues to the parking area and enter the grove east from the parking area. There is a water faucet in the southern part of the parking area.
  5. If you prefer sleeping indoors, enter the buildings across the parking area. This is a nature hostel called “Mount meron Bet-sefer sade”. Call in advance to 04-6980022 to reserve.

 

  1. Side trip
  2. 2 km

 

  1. From where the green trail meets the road, take the road to the east and climp for one kilometers until reaching the center of the authentic Druze village of Horfesh. Here you can meet the locals and seat down to eat at a local restaurant which serves eastern foods and eastern sweets. After refreshing, continues to walk on the main road and look for a    blue trail on your southern (right) side. Walk down with it and enter the strean to the south. You will meet the green trail after another km. continues with it to the east.

Day 3 – from Meron resting area to Koves Fountain 7 hours, 14 km

  1. From the resting area, continue with the black trail (also marked with the Israeli National trail) to a south-eastern heading climbing for an hour until reaching the top of Mount Meron. Mount Meron is the third highest mountain in Israel. You can see from the top the Hermon mountain to the North, the Galil region to the north and the west. Lebanon is visible to the north. You can also see the Golan heights to the east.
  2. From the top of the Meron, you start descending with the Israel National Trail mark to the south into a big resting area on a saddle. Continue south with the Israeli National Trail mark (INT from now on) and then east for 2.5 hours from the mountain top until reaching another rest area. Fill up water there at the western part of that area. If you wish to buy food, walk from the resting area to the north with the road for 15 minutes and enter the village of Meron to your left (west)
  3. From the resting area, cross the road and continues with the INT mark, entering another stream which is descending to the east. You descend down for 3 km from the road until you reach 2 pools inside a shadow area. These are “Sechvi pools”. After resting there, continue south, inside the stream, following the INT mark for another 2.5 km until reaching a blue trail that climbs to the east. Climb with the trail for 20 minutes until reaching an old building with a fountain nearby. This is the sleeping point for the third day.

 

  1. Sefad
  2. The town of Sefad is one of the oldest towns in Israel. If you wish to visit, head east from the pools of Sechvi with the green trail at first and then turn to the south with the blue trail to the road. Walk on the road to the south and enter Sefad. In Sefad you will find museums and historical sites

 

  1. Sefad Historical sites internet site – http://www.safed.co.il/

 

  1. Day 4 – from Koves fountain to Genosar (the sea of Galilee)

17 km, 8 hours

  1. From Koves Fountain, return west and descend with the blue trail until returning to the INT marking. Follow the mark to the south inside the cliffs of the Amud stream. You might be lucky to sea wild boars. You walk inside the stream for 2 hours until crossing the road and then for another 2 hours inside the same stream. You will reach a large AMUD. From there, continue with the INT mark and cross another road. The trail leaves the steep edges of the stream and widens. It

[1] See Glossory
[2] At some regions where the IDF Trains, training firing zones are located. These areas can be accessed on Friday and Saturdays, when there are no training activities, are during other days after receiving agreement from the incharged officer. Phone numbers are listed under “General Info”