July 15, 2019     12 Tammuz 5779
Places To Tour Israel - Off the Beaten Trail
    Places to Tour Israel - Off the Beaten trail
Derech Burma West

Nearby City: Beit Shemesh

Derech Burma is one of the famous roads in modern day Israel for it's role during 1948 as a food supply line. An American soldier, Micky Marcus, played a key role in building the "Burma Road". Without the winding dirt road there would have been no way to get supplies and food to the Jewish residents of Jerusalem since it bypassed the main road...

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Ein Tzova

Nearby City: Kibbutz Tzova

Directions:  From Route 1, exit at the Mevasseret Tzion interchange and go towards the Sataf traffic circle (route 386) and then towards Kibbutz Tzova (route 395).  From Route 38, go towards Eshtaol and then take route 395 through Ramat Raziel and continuing to Kibbutz Tzova.  Enter the kibbutz and continue past the hotel guest rooms and its sports field...

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Nes Harim

Nearby city: Beit Shemesh

If you are in the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem area and just want to relax, maybe do a little hiking – the Nes Harim area is for you. Nes Harim is within the U.S. Independence park area, and is perfect for kids and families. There are various playgrounds and...

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Tel Safit / Gath Archaeological Park

Nearby cities: Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Malachi

Our group of 25 met at 6am on a Friday morning at Sdot Micha for a 9.5 trail run to Tel Safit. Sdot Micha is located a kilometer past the entrance of Park Britania on highway 383. It was a cool May morning, not typical for this time of year...

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Tel Tzova

Nearby city: Kibbutz Tzova

Directions: From Route 1, exit at the Mevasseret Tzion interchange and go towards the Sataf traffic circle (route 386) and then towards Kibbutz Tzova (Route 395).  From Route 38, go towards Eshtaol and then take route 395 through Ramat Raziel and continuing to Kibbutz Tzova.  Enter the kibbutz and continue past the hotel guest rooms and its sports field. You will soon see a glass factory on your left.  Continue straight up a narrow paved road. You will see a sign for the pathway to the Tel.   Park on the right side of the road.  

A Tel is a mound containing layers from different time periods. When a building was destroyed, at a later period another building was built on top of the ruins...

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Tel Yarmut 

Nearby city: Beit Shemesh

One of the great things about Israel is how the Land and landscape blend together. A great example of this is Tel Yarmut: an undiscovered gem, all-age appropriate hike, located on the hills to the west of Ramat Beit Shemesh. A great chance to rediscover Israel as a couple, a family, or alone...

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The Atari Ruins - Park Adulam

Nearby city: Beit Shemesh

One of the extraordinary things about Israel is that there is so much history just waiting to be discovered. The Atari Ruins in Adulam Park, right nearby Beit-Shemesh, is one of many ruins in the area. This Ruin is located on one of the hilltops in the Adulam caves park. These ruins are a real discovery. You can walk around, between the rocky walls, see caves, ancient mikvos or just enjoy the relaxing scenery. Don't forget to bring water with you, seeing that it could be very hot.

This hike is appropiate for all ages and very nice for couples. The visit is short and beautiful and gives a vivid example of how life in the village was in that period...

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The Biyar Aqueduct

Nearby city: Gush Eztion

Your family will enjoy this underground water tunnel. Perfect for a hot summer day!

Bring with you a flashlight, water shoes, a small towel, and a change of clothing.  You will get wet and dirty.  Do not take children (or adults) who are claustrophobic. They can relax outside in the shaded areas.

Call the Kfar Etzion Field School (02) 993-5133 for opening hours and fees.

Directions:  Take Route 60 south from Jerusalem toward Gush Eztion.  After you pass the Elazar Junction, the road will curve to the right. Immediately past the curve there is an exit with a sign for the Biyar Aqueduct (and the Path of the Patriarchs – the eastern entrance to the Derech Avot).  Park on the left side adjacent to the park.  Walk into the park and go through the tunnel under the road. At the other side make a left turn. In a few minutes you will be at the aqueduct entrance...

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The Midras Ruins - Park Adulam 
Nearby city: Beit Shemesh
While I was on my way to the Churvat Madras, the Madrad ruins in Adulam Park, I thought it was just going to be a cave that you walk around in. I was wrong. The Madras Ruins were so much cooler!! These caves were pretty narrow.

After hiking to the caves you get to crawl into a very tiny tunnel inside the rocky walls. There are always arrows pointing you in the right direction. I wouldn't recommend to go into tunnels that are not in the right direction, simply because you could get lost. Also, I would not recommend this to people who have back problems being there is alot of turning and crawling.

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 Park Canada Ayalon - write up and pictures coming soon

Neaby cities: Beit Shemesh and Modiin


Path of the Patriarchs (Derech Ha'avot)

Nearby citys: Alon Shvut and Neve Daniel

Directions: Take Route 60 south from Jerusalem to the Gush Eztion Junction. Make a right turn on route 367 towards Kfar Etzion.  In two minutes make a right turn (north) towards Rosh Tzurim.  About 200 meters past the bridge make a right turn onto a dirt road at the sign for the Path of the Patriarchs.

Drive on the dirt road for a few minutes until you see a pillar on the right side.

You are at a Roman milestone marker, marking the 12th Roman mile (a Roman mile is 1400 meters) from the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.  Notice also that you are now on the top of a ridge, the spine of Israel. When it rains, water on the right (east) will flow towards the Dead Sea, water on the left (west) will flow towards the Mediterranean Sea.

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Ma’arat Hateumim (a.k.a. The Bat Cave) Near Bet Shemesh

In the Bet Shemesh area and have a spare 90 minutes for an enjoyable family hike?

Then I would suggest a visit to Ma’arat Hetumim. Bring a flashlight with you since this Karst formed cave is quite large and it will enable you to see while you go down steps to visit the pool of spring water. This natural cave is home to many bats. Please don’t “blind the bats” with your flashlights. To enable them to sleep through the winter (hibernate) the cave is closed to visitors from November through March.

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Judean Hills - Ein Chindack
Seeking a water tunnel to cool off in?

Ein Chindack could be exactly what you are seeking.

This popular spring is located within the Jerusalem hills, on the National Israel Trail route, (which is the 960 km. walking trail from Tel Dan in the north down to the Eilat area in the South.)

This spring has two tunnels. These tunnels were chiseled out of the stone many centuries ago to reach the water source. Each one about 30 meters in length.

Choose your wetness level. The left tunnel is about a half meter deep. The right tunnel is over a meter deep. I particularly like the right tunnel because midway there is a hole above you where buckets were once lowered to the water and the sunlight coming through this hole creates a magical water walk experience.

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Sataf – revival of ancient agriculture

Look carefully as you pass through the Judean Hills and you will notice man made terraces (very large steps…) on their slope. As you can see, the valley area is limited, so man improvised and created flat land for agriculture on the slopes of hills.

The beautiful site of Sataf is especially popular since it focuses on reviving the ancient methods of terrace farming. It is fascinating to watch water from these springs being channeled to different crops planted on these terraced fields. In the Mishna (Baba Batra 3:1 written 200 CE) fields irrigated in this manner were know as Bet Shalchin.

This site has two springs. Each one has a cave and tunnel for you to explore.

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Luzit Caves

The shfeila region is home to many caves and tunnels, since the limestone is this area is soft and easy to excavate.

Among these caves are "bell caves" which are former quarries. The caves are a network of underground connected dome shapes caverns with a hole in the center at the surface level. They were dug during the Roman, Byzantine, and early Arab periods. (3rd-10th century CE). Note the shape of the structurally sound dome and the chisel markings on the walls.

At times, adventure companies come here offering rappelling into the caves. Since there are many "holes" in the ceiling you must be VERY careful when you are up on top.

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