National Geographic magazine has included the Israel National Trail among a list of the world's 20 best hiking trails, which also includes famous trails in Nepal, the United States and Tibet.

"The trail powerfully connects to something that often gets lost in all the headlines: the sublime beauty of the wilderness of the Middle East," says the magazine, which measures the trail at between 580-620 miles. It also notes how the Israeli trail offers hikers an opportunity to visit biblical sites as well as major cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

"In fact," it says, "the joy of the trail is meeting the Israelis hiking it, and spending some time in small kibbutzim where the local people will take hikers into their homes. On the trail, there is peace and friendship."

Among the others named on the "holy grails of trails across the world" list are Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail, which can be traversed in four to six months and the Appalachian Trail, which stretches through the United States, Canada, Greenland, Scotland, Spain and Morocco (though the article focuses on the 3,000 kilometers in Canada ).

Other great hikes that are named include: Copper Canyon in Mexico, the Yoshida Trail on Japan's Mount Fuji, the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru, the North Drakensberg Traverse in South Africa and Lesotho, and Mount Kailash Pilgrimage in Tibet.