Despite the small size of our beloved Land of Milk and Honey, Israel has a wide variety of places to do extreme sports and activities. These options are more than suitable for all of those adrenaline junkies looking for more adventure than just discovering the best hummus places in the country (believe us, that can be an adventure too).
Ranging from the green north to the dry desert in the south, from the tops of mountains to the depths of a cave, each of these places will suit the different levels of adrenaline you are searching for, whatever that level might be.
This category might be a bit obvious, since there are many bodies of water in Israel, such as the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Sea of Galilee. In this beautiful country, you can go surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can also find many surfing schools, as well as specialized schools for wind and kitesurfing, along the coastline of Israel.
Kayaking and rafting are also included in the extreme sports you can do in Israel. Located in the Upper Galilee, a gorgeous area, by the way, you can find kayak centers where you can take a ride or raft down the Jordan River. If you are looking for a more thrilling experience to then share with your grandchildren, you might want to take the harder routes. It is totally worth it!
But how do you say surfing in Hebrew? How can you negotiate with the person who’s going to be selling this experience? Allow us to teach you a few new words that are going to be extremely useful for this category of sports:
To surf: לגלוש – It is pronounced “lee-glosh” and it can also be used when you are referring to “surfing the internet”.
Wave: גל. It is pronounced “Gal”. Don’t get confused, we are not talking about waving to someone you know in the street, but about the beautiful turquoise waves that we can see in the Mediterranean Sea.
Popular extreme sports in Israel include canyoning and caving around the area of the Dead Sea and the Arava area in the desert. These are some of the most dangerous sports, but they have also become very popular over the years. We can’t deny it, if it is dangerous, Israelis will most likely love it.
Canyoning entails climbing down a cliff in a harness with a guide and getting around obstacles on the way down. An astonishing view of the surrounding nature is included and you will have a great sense of accomplishment when you finally plant your feet back on the ground.
Caving is similar to canyoning, except you’re making your way through a damp, dark cave. You will walk through narrow passageways, see underground animals, carvings, drawings, etc.
Exciting, isn’t it? Actually, this could be an amazing option for a date. Ok, maybe not for a first date, but a high adrenalin getaway is always a phenomenal option.
Indeed, we want to take this opportunity to teach you some other words that will be useful for those adrenaline junkies who are more into this category of activities:
To Climb: לטפס – It is pronounced “leh-tah-pes”, as simple as that. You can use it to mark the rhythm when climbing a mountain: leh, tah, pes, one, two, three, leh, tah, pes… got the idea?
Mountain: הר – It is pronounced “Har”, and you need to be sure not to over-pronounced the H of it. We know that was your first instinct. So bring your H down a bit.
Up in the air
Are you more interested in seeing Israel from above? Then you can go parachuting and paragliding. These are the more obvious activities to think of when it comes to extreme sports. Nevertheless, they are still an exciting sport to take part in. Freefall or glide over the desert, the coast of the Mediterranean, or the beautiful landscapes.
One of the best cities to do this in is Netanya. Located about 20 minutes from Tel Aviv (and also offering amazing spots to celebrate a wedding), the best guides within the field of paragliding and parachuting get together in this area, offering both locals and tourists the possibility of literally flying around their country.
Not recommended for people with a fear of heights though! So if my dad ever asks you if I did this, deny it, even though… it was a breathtaking experience.
Sky: שמיים – It is pronounced “sha-ma-yeem”. Not so long ago, we discussed with you the fantastic songs of David Broza. In one of his best hits, he speaks about the sky. We invite you to listen to the song, and to learn some new lyrics in Hebrew.
Parachuting: צניחה – It is pronounced “tznee-cha”, and if you learn how to pronounce this word well, you can even yell it on your way from the sky to the ground!
That’s right, sand surfing! It is basically snowboarding or surfing on the sand. Since Israel has a large area of sand and sand dunes, the large (sometimes too large) desert is perfect to go sand surfing in.
It is definitely an experience like no other since you are quite literally surfing on the sand. See the magical scenery of the desert in an extraordinary way while also getting your adrenalin rush.
And don’t worry, you’ll definitely have sand mountains of different sizes. If you want to descend from a high place, the desert can offer it to you. You see? Not only the tablets of the law can be found in the desert! Prepare yourself to sweat and enjoy.
Do you know how say sand in Hebrew? Sand is חול, and it is pronounced “chol”. Yes, the exact same pronunciation for a day which isn’t a holiday. Maybe this is because we have as many work days as sand on the beach? We’re never going to know…
Skiing and Snowboarding
So you said skiing in Israel? Then we say: Mount Hermon. This majestic, breathtaking mountain is located in the Golan Heights. The slopes for skiing and snowboarding are open during the winter and offer different paths from beginners to intermediates. It is a completely unexpected activity to do in Israel, so in addition to the adventure you will take part in, you will have an unusual, awesome story to tell.
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But how do you say snow in Hebrew? We have gone over several terms and words, but do you know how to refer to the main asset of Elsa’s kingdom? Snow is שלג, and it is pronounced “she-leg”. Now you will know how to get to this part of the country, and how to comment on “Frozen” with the youngest Israeli member of your family.
See? The options are endless! Whichever one you chose will be guaranteed to get the thrill you are seeking. We’re sure you could have a much better experience if you just knew how to speak Hebrew. To learn these, and many other concepts, our online Hebrew courses are the ultimate solution.
Take a look at the options here and begin your learning process today. Behatzlacha! (if you don’t know what this last word means, you should sign up for our courses fast!)
Going back to the activities for adrenaline junkies, make sure to take a video of your activities and have fun. But most importantly: be safe and warm! (We all have a Yiddish momma living inside us, sorry).