Beauty, History, Nature and Fun
Halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the Judean lowlands, or foothills (Shefela in Hebrew) are a treasure trove of beautiful rolling hills, punctuated with trails, historical sites and tons of fun activities. Here is where David slew Goliath, and where Bar Kochva’s men hid in caves from the Roman legions.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
A day tour in the area can just as easily start from the Jerusalem or Tel Aviv areas, starting with the drive to Beit Guvrin, an ancient city and archeological site, as well as a national park. Dig For a Day is an active archeological site where visitors get to explore the underground caverns and actually take part in the dig. This is a great chance to get your hands dirty and take part in the modern re-discovery of Israel’s history!
After the dig, we’ll grab a bite in nearby Beit Shemesh and then go to Tel Azekah. This ancient city sits atop a hill overlooking the Elah valley, where David slew Goliath.
We’ll see the brook where David picked his smooth stones and understand the lay of the land underlying the biblical events.
The day will end with a visit to the Biblical Natural History museum in Beit Shemesh. The museum shows the connection between local wildlife and Jewish tradition, with a combination of film, stuffed and live animals. It’s great fun and educational for all ages.
Participating in Dig for a Day and visiting the Biblical Natural History Museum depend on availability. Here are some more options for a day in the area that can be done in addition, or instead of sites mentioned above.
- Laturn Armored Corps Museum: Learn about the military history of the area, the Israeli armored corps, and see the different models of tanks up close
- An impressive stalactite cave
- The Srigim brewery, home of some of Israel’s finest craft beers
- Buster’s brewery, where hard apple cider is brewed
- Crawling in caves used as hideouts in the Bar Kochva rebellion
$600 for a car/van from 1-7 passengers. Including driver and guide. Not including entrance and activity fees and food. Private tour with pickup and dropoff from wherever you are.
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