There are a million beautiful hikes in Israel. From Ein Gedi and Nahal David, to Masada, to the Yehudiya Nature Reserve, and then all the way north to Banias… the hiking options are endless.
And while not everyone is a hiker (myself included at times), hiking in Israel really is for everyone. On any given day you’ll see babies, teenagers, adults, soldiers, and grandparents alike just hitting the open trail.
And one of the things I find to be the most special – especially for people with food allergies – is that there is an expectation for you to pack your own picnic. Everyone does it and it’s the absolute norm.
That alone makes me even more comfortable because I’m not confined to whatever the park allows and sells.
On this particular hike, I brought the following goodies:
TONS of water
Banias Nature Reserve
Banias is considered the biggest waterfall in Israel. There are two ways to get to the reserve. I entered through the Falls entrance – off route 99. Once parked, you enter the park through the clear entrance of the trail. At the trailhead you are given a map and entrance in exchange for 27 NIS.
Once you enter the reserve, you have beautiful views of the valley where you wonder to yourself, did I come to the right place…. cause…. I don’t hear or see water..
Then you walk a little farther and realize yes, you’re at the right spot. The majority of the hike is easy, but there are rocky and steep parts – so be aware. Other parts are suspended over water (and that’s effing cool) – especially closer to the actual waterfall.
Once we reached the waterfall (I took my mom) we stumbled upon a large group of Arab women visiting on an organized tour from Jeracho. They spoke little English, and even less Hebrew. But they were exceptionally kind, bright-eyed, and friendly. They offered to take our picture and asked if we would take theirs. The proud mothers instantly gravitated toward mine, and I talked with one of the daughters.
When they left, we had the waterfall to ourselves. It was insanely hot but the area is shaded by beautiful overgrown trees which made it a perfect place to take a break and have a snack.
When we were finally ready to go we made our way slowly back to the parking lot. At the lot there is a small kiosk connected to the trailhead where you can buy cokes, waters, and chips. We didn’t.
We saved our appetite for a cute restaurant in a small Druze village called Masade.