Outskirts Of Jerusalem
Beyond the Old City, Unearth the Gems in the Outskirts Of Jerusalem
Venture out of the usual Jerusalem spots and discover places like Ein Karem, a hillside village made up of holy sites, winding narrow streets, art galleries, cozy cafes, monasteries, and even the Church of Visitation, a church that honors the visit paid by the Virgin Mary. you will be in awe of the culture, spirituality, and endless beauty that surrounds you.
Visit Abu Gosh, an Arab-Israeli local council situated some 610–720 meters above sea level. This tiny village is rich in complexity and holy sites, such as the Benedictine St. Mary of the Resurrection Abbey, a historic Crusader church. It is also home to one of the best-preserved Crusader remains in the country. Visit the largest mosque in Israel, Akhmad Kadyrov, built from donations from the Chechen government. And, since you’re visiting Israel, the land of hummus, you must not miss the hummus capital of the country; this place even made the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest hummus!
If we’re talking food, then you must visit Kaima, an ecological farm in Moshav Beit Zayit. This amazing project was created to provide work, income, and a warm community for youth at risk in the Jerusalem region. Through agricultural work, these young people create a brighter future for themselves and their families. Join these teens in the fields, listen to their stories, and share a connection with them.
Here are some additional experiences that would make your trip more memorable!
Go on an adventurous ATV ride on the outskirts of Jerusalem and in the Jerusalem Forest. Enjoy the breeze and the amazing vistas, while having a blast on this safe family activity (driving is permitted only with a license and must be above 17 YO!)
Take part in a ‘Plant a Tree’ activity – planting trees in Israel is a beautiful way to show you care and leave a lasting impact. In fact, locals as well as tourists have been planting trees in Israel for over a century. It connects us to the land, it celebrates our joys and it literally plants a stake of hope and optimism in the future of Israel.
Journey through Soreq Cave – a mesmerizing stalactites cave, discovered in 1968. The cave is also named Avshalom Cave after an Israeli soldier killed in the War of Attrition. After its discovery, the location of the cave was kept a secret for several years for fear of irreparable damage to its natural treasures. Some of the stalactites found in the cave are four meters long, and some have been dated as 300,000 years old!
Hike Katlav Stream, hidden deep in the Judea Mountains. Its name in Hebrew – katlav – means ‘The Eastern Strawberry Tree’, as many legends have been told about its reddish-brown branches. Hiking this stream combines the splendid coolness of spring exploration together with the impressive green of the expansive Jerusalem Mountains.
Hike the Sataf trail, situated to the east of Har Eitan, on the western fringes of Jerusalem where a green slope tumbles down to Nahal Soreq. The two springs that emerge from the site water the agricultural terraces that serve as a reminder of an almost vanished Hebrew culture dating back thousands of years. Enjoy a wonderful walk amidst the green trees, and dip in the cool water of the springs.
Drive to Ben Shemen Forest for some outdoor fun! Break a sweat at the amazing Ropes Park, where you will experience a variety of games and activities for the whole family – all with ropes! There are also other several options to challenge you; Mazes, climbing games, rappelling, Omega, mini bungee and much more!
Participate in a special program with Lone Soldiers at Ben Shemen Forest – meet them, learn about their personal stories and get an actual feeling of what it is like to be an IDF soldier by taking part in a cool workshop. (extra $700) – We can adjust the content according to what you wish to focus on.
Hop on a jeep and begin your journey along the famous Burma Road. This roadway was made by General Mickey Marcus’s force during the siege of Jerusalem in 1948. During this activity you’ll hear the story of the epic battle that took place here while admiring the lush native land and nature.
Visit the artistic neighbourhood of Ein Karem on the outskirts of Jerusalem, formerly an Arab village that has strong significance in Christianity. Enjoy the local cafes and have afternoon ice cream while overlooking the amazing views.
Stop at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital to see the Chagall Windows – ”This is my modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all people. This is my gift to that people which lived here thousands of years ago among the other Semitic people.” Marc Chagall, February 6, 1962.
Visit and learn at “Kaima”, an ecological farm, in Moshav Beit Zayit. This amazing project was created to provide employment, income and a warm community for youth at risk from the Jerusalem region. Through agricultural work these young people create a brighter future for themselves and their families. Join these teens in the fields, listen to their stories and share with them your own life experiences.
Ready for a true excitement? Arrive at “Caliber 3” and participate in an active workshop that includes learning about IDF’s Special Forces and practicing your shooting! Learn about urban combat, self defense/Krav Maga, survival training and more. Interact with the guide and hear his stories about places and operations that you may have heard about in the news. Check out this video! (extra $200 per person) ** Must bring closed shoes and passports
Raise your glasses and make a stop over at Gush Etzion winery for a tour of their operations, taste their fine products, learn the process of winemaking and the story of the company.
Stop at Yad La Shiryon (Latrun- Armored Corps’ Memorial Site). Here, the Armored Corps remembers its fallen comrades. The Armored Corps honors each of the fallen. Visitors learn all about the histories of these celebrated heroes: their names, faces, smiles, ranks, their units, their acts, achievements, and the sum of their lives.
Drive to Herodion National Park and learn about the great King Herod, who was considered one of the most famous builders of the ancient world. Herod found a great interest in Jerusalem, and one of his famous projects was to expand the Second Temple. On this site, the Herodion was built as his summer fortress and his future tomb. While looking towards the Judean desert, much like King Herod did in his days, you will learn about the current situation of the region, the Jewish settlements and the complex geopolitics of Judea and Samaria.
Make a stop over at the Augusta Victoria Compound – a church-hospital complex built in 1907-1914 by the Empress Augusta Victoria Foundation as a center for the German Protestant community in Ottoman period. The complex, which holds a fascinating history, was named for Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, wife of German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who visited Jerusalem in 1898. Astonisingly the Natzi party even held meetings and assemblies under the leadership of Ludwig Buchhalter, a Templar who was appointed head of Jerusalem branch of the Nazi party in 1934.
Tour the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery – the most ancient and most important cemetery in Jerusalem. Burials on the Mount of Olives started some 3,000 years ago in the First Temple Period, and continues to this day. The cemetery contains about 70,000 tombs from various periods, including the tombs of famous figures in Jewish history.
Start your day visiting Emek Tzurim for an exciting archaeological experience uncovering the glorious past of the Temple Mount. Sift through rubble that originated in ancient buildings from the Temple Period and learn about findings from archaeologists and expert guides at the site.