Hike across the Judean planes and up the Judean mountains all the way to Jerusalem. Visit along the way biblical and historical sites, relax near small springs, and in-between enjoy boutique breweries and wineries.
|Length: 60 Km / 4 Days|
|Level: Easy - Moderate|
|Best: Feb - Mar|
|Possible: Nov - May|
480 USD / Person.
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This is a relatively easy Inn to Inn Trek. Distances are moderate, and there are no steep and technical climbs. However, there are many attractions along the way that makes this a beautiful and diverse trek.
- Biblical Sites
- Boutique wineries
- Micro Breweries
- Nice restaurants
- As a bonus, there is also a sense of pilgrimage as you finish the four days adventure reaching Jerusalem
The best time to hike here is during February-March when the area is full of wildflowers. The Trek can still be enjoyable anytime between November and May.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 0 – Moshav Srigim
- We will meet in the afternoon/evening for a detailed briefing meeting to discuss all aspects of the trek, provide you with maps, and make sure that the GPS app function properly.
- Preferred Lodging: Green Heart
- The next morning a taxi will take you to the trailhead.
Day 1 – Across the Judean plains
- A short Taxi ride will take you from the accommodation at Srigim to Beit Guvrin National Park.
- Start your day with a visit to this unique park, which is a mix of unique caves with archaeology and nature.
- During most of the day, you will be crossing the gentle hills of the Judean plains from south to north along the INT. (Israel National Trail).
- Our first landmark of the day is the hill-top archaeological site of Tel Goded. Tel Goded has been identified with the Biblical city of Gat, the home of the prophet Micah. (Detailed Survey)
- From the top, there is a 360° panorama of the surrounding Judean plains, the Mediterranean sea to the west, and the Hebron mountains to the east.
- We continue with gentle ups and downs until reaching the Masua viewpoint.
- A short downhill walk will take us back to Moshav Srigim and our accommodation.
- At Srigim, you can finish the day in the Local Brewery or Winery. (Both websites are only in Hebrew)
Day 2 – David and Goliath
- Distance: 14 Kilometers (6-7 Hours) / Climb: 350 m
- Starting Point: Srigim
- End Point: kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh.
- Overnight: Srigim
- Preferred Lodging: Green Heart
- The hike start directly from the accommodation.
- We first make our way to Tel Azekah. The site where the famous battle between David and Goliath took place.
Samuel 1 17:49 – hen David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.
- After enjoying the beautiful view of the Elah Valley and imagining the biblical setting, we continue to another inserting ancient site.
- On another hilltop overlooking the Elah valley stand the ruins of the Elah Fortress (Hirbet Kaifeh).
- It is the site of an ancient fortress dated to the 10th century BCE. The ruins of the fort were uncovered in 2007. It covers a large area encircled by a 700-meter-long (2,300 ft) city wall constructed of stones weighing up to 8 tons each.
- After getting down from the hill. We climb the 3rd and last hill of the day, Turmus Hill.
- From the top, you have a good view of Tel Azekah we visited in the morning. However, the hill got its fame as one of the best spots in Israel to experience Lupine blossom. (Usually during March and April).
- A short walk from here and you reach the end of the hike at Kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh
- The Kibbutz is named after the “Lamed Heh Platoon”. A group of 35 Palmach soldiers who fell here in a battle on 15/1/1948. (Read More).
- You can visit the memorial site before the Taxi takes you back to the accommodation in Srigim.
- Another option is to visit another Boutique Winery (That is also a restaurant).
Day 3 – Climbing the Judean Mountains
- A short taxi ride will take you to the eastern outskirts of Beit Shemesh, where Wadi Hameara begins.
- “Hameara” translates to the cave. And indeed, after 1-2 km up the wadi, you will spot a cave opening on the northern slope of the wadi. You reached the “Twins Cave” (“Mearat Hateomim”).
- The cave’s name comes from an ancient legend that a barren woman had given birth to twins after drinking from the spring that flows inside the cave. The entrance to the cave is closed during the winter (Nov-Mar), to protect the variety of bats that reside in the cave.
- A visit to the cave is an exciting experience, but bring a flashlight (Preferably headlamp).
- Further up the wadi, we reach another small spring (Ein Safla), and from there, we climb to a small summit where the ruins of Beit Itab are located. The ruins are a mix of crusader remains and a 19th-century village.
- The ruins blend beautifully with nature around — a great resting spot with an excellent view of the surrounding Judean mountains and plains.
- On the way down to the other side, we pass another small spring (Ein Hod), then reaching an old Muslim grave called “Dir a Sheich”. The contrast of the white ruins against the green forest makes a beautiful spot. It is surrounded by fruit trees and spring flowers and makes an excellent excuse for an extended break.
- (In the short version, you skip this detour and walk directly to Barbahar restaurant.)
- From here, we continue high above the Ktalav Wadi (Where we will hike the next day!) until we reach “Barbahar”.
- It is a trendy Cafe/Restaurant with a big outdoor balcony overlooking the mountains — a perfect place to finish the day.
- Our accommodation is just a few minute’s walks inside Moshav Bar Giora.
- Here you can also enjoy another beautiful boutique winery.
Day 4 – All the way up to Jerusalem
- The hike starts directly from our accommodation and down into the exciting Ktalav Wadi.
- The wadi took its name from the Red Ktalav tree (Arbutus andrachne) that populates its forest.
- After the wadi, we follow a rather long series of dirt roads that will eventually lead us to Seadim ruins and the beginning of the “Springs Trail”.
- Over the next 4 kilometers, we will visit five different attractive springs. (Full description here).
- (The short version ends here and skips Ein Handak and the path to Ein Karem)
- The last spring, Ein Handak, is a “Tunnel” spring. The ancient tunnel is carved into the rock to reach the source of the water. The tunnel is almost 50 m long, and the water depth reaches 1.5 m. It’s a unique experience to walk inside the tunnel!! all the way to its end. (You must use a flashlight).
- From here another few kilometers up, the “Hadasah Trail” will bring us to the center of the picturesque Jerusalem neighborhood Ein Karem.
- Enjoy one of the many cafes or restaurants when you wait for the Taxi that will bring your luggage.