Most travellers get their fair share of outdoor activity walking the city's streets, including the alleyways of the Old City. But Jerusalem's western hills are a good destination for day hikes, with a surprising degree of isolation and nature considering their proximity to the city.

Cycling

Jerusalem's network of paved cycling trails is constantly being expanded. A popular new one runs through HaMesila Park along a disused railway line for 6½ km from the First Station complex to Malkah. The highly recommended Jerusalem Trail is a 42km circuit that connects the Israel National Trail with Jerusalem, meandering through the Jerusalem Hills and around the Old City.

Hiking

The Ramot B area in northern Jerusalem has trails with nice views. You'll see others on Saturday and Sunday, but likely have the place to yourself during the week. Park at Gan Hakipod and walk away from the kids’ play area towards the ridge and you'll find several trail heads into the 'wilderness'. Jackals, Gazella Gazella (the local gazelle species) and rare species of cat are sometimes seen.

To the south is the more remote Ramot forest, while to the southwest is the Beit Guvrin area where you can see ruins, caves and other historical sights on walks; one recommend trail takes you to the top of a hill with wildflowers in Netiv Hala just off the Hwy 375.