Scenic road trrip from Tel Aviv (Or Ben Gurion airport) to Jerusalem

Beit Guvrin to Jerusalem – “Inn to Inn” Trek

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.

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Overview Map

Map of the trek from Beit Guvrin to Jerusalem

Click Map to Enlarge


ABOUT THIS TREK
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.

  • Springs
  • Caves
  • Archaeology
  • 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.

HOW DOES IT WORK ?
  • Your hike from one accommodation the next with a small day back-pack. We transfer your luggage from “Inn to Inn”.
  • Handpicked Hikers-Friendly Accommodations.
  • Hiking Maps. (See Sample1 & Sample2).
  • Trek Guidebook (e-book – See Sample)
  • GPS mobile Navigation App. (See Sample)
  • A briefing meeting at your accommodation the evening before your journey starts.
  • 24/7 Customer service support.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Across the Judean plains

  • Judean plains
    Judean plains
Overview:

Itinerary:
  • We meet you in the morning at the Beit Shemesh Train Station. (About one hour from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem).
  • We will have a detailed briefing, and afterward, a short taxi ride will take you to Beit Guvrin National Park, where the hike begins.
  • 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 you to Moshav Srigim and the 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

  • Tel Azekah - Samuel 1 17:49 - David and Golaith
    Tel Azekah
Overview:
  • Distance: 16 Km (6-8 Hours) / Climb: 400 m.
  • Shorter version:  13 Km (SKip Tel Azekah and Tel Sucha)
  • Starting Point: Srigim
  • End Point: kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh.
  • Overnight: kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh.
  • Preferred Lodging: Netivale
Itinerary:
  • 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).
  • After settling at your accommodation, you can visit the memorial site, and visit another Boutique Winery (That is also a restaurant).

Day 3 – Climbing the Judean Mountains

  • The view from Beit Itab ruins
    Judean Mountains
Overview:
  • Distance:15 Km / Climb:  800 m
  • Short version: 10 Km / Climb 600 m
  • Starting Point: Beit Shemesh
  • End Point: Nes Harim
  • Overnight: Nes Harim
  • Preferred Lodging: Kesem Bahar
Itinerary:
  • 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.
  • From here, we continue to the main road and “Barbahar” restaurant.
  • It is a trendy Cafe/Restaurant with a big outdoor balcony overlooking the mountains — a perfect place to relax.
  • From here there are 2 options:
  • The short one is going straight to our accommodation in Nes Harim. (About 2 Km)
  • The longer one is adding this 5 Km circuit, to visit 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.
  • At Nes Harim don’t miss the opportunity to taste one of the best Kubbah in Israel. At Sima’s Cuba restaurant.

Day 4 – All the way up to Jerusalem

  • Ein Sarig, Hiking the springs trail near jerusalem
    Sarig Spring
Overview:
  • Distance: 18 or 23 Km (8-11 Hours) / Climb: 400 m.
  • Short version: 8  Km.
  • Starting Point: Nes Harim.
  • End Point: Ein Karem, Jerusalem.
Itinerary:
  • 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”. (The 10-15 Kim version skips this section with a taxi shuttle).
  • Over the next 4 kilometers, we will visit five different attractive springs. (Full description here).
  • (The 18 Km 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, restaurants, and galleries in the neighborhood.
  • Your luggage will be transferred to your chosen accommodation in Jerusalem.
    Important Notes on trek ending:
    A) You stay at the end of day 4 in Jerusalem (Recommended):
    * You need to book this accommodation by yourself (Not included)
    * We will transfer your luggage to your accommodation (Included)
    Conditions you need to meet to get this service:
    1) The accommodation is in Jerusalem.
    2) The accommodation has a 24/7 active reception (Not Airbnb and the likes)
    3) The accommodation has free parking in front of the lobby, or the accommodation can guarantee that someone from the staff will meet the taxi driver on the street and take the luggage from him
    B) You DO NOT stay at the end of day 4 in Jerusalem:
    * You need to go back to Nes Harim to pick up your luggage. There is a Taxi station at the entrance to Hadassah hospital in Ein karem. In this case, we will refund you 150 NIS.

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