Jerusalem day trips

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As one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world, the holy city of Jerusalem doesn’t lack great activities, that can take up several travel days for sure. However, if you already got to the magnificent city in the mountains, we would highly recommend dedicating some time to the surrounding area of Jerusalem as well, where you can find a variety of great views, charming towns, and an abundance of natural springs. Here are some of the best Jerusalem day trips you can do, for a more diverse and unique stay in the city.

Best Jerusalem day trips to nature sites


The Sataf Reserve in the Jerusalem Mountains is a great option for a Jerusalem day trip throughout the year. In the summer days, you can enjoy the coolness of the reserve’s several springs, and eat figs and raspberries right from the trees here, while in autumn, the leaves of the deciduous trees – the fig, the vine, and the Syrian pear – change their shades of green to brown and yellow and create a magnificent foliage sighting.

Anyhow, no matter when you visit here, you will get to enjoy several different springs, diverse and wonderful fruit trees, and beautiful views over the entire area.

In the Sataf, there are several hiking trails of easy to moderate difficulty, which surround the various orchards, the vegetable crops, the remains of the old village of Sataf, and the springs. All of them will get you to beautiful vantage points towards the Sorek River and the western outskirts of Jerusalem, as well as to a variety of quiet and peaceful corners to relax in. In the popular cafe located near the upper parking lot of Sataf, you can get a small map with a description of the regulated hikes on the site.

Nahal Dolev

Nahal Dolev is a beautiful hiking route located between the Jerusalem Mountains and the Judean Foothills and is considered by many to be the most beautiful trail in this area, making it one of the best Jerusalem day trips on the list.

The hike in Nahal Dolev is a circular route that is about 9 km/6 miles long that goes along a very interesting route that includes animals such as deer, hornbills, lizards, and birds of prey, as well as great seasonal flowering. Beyond that, the route offers impressive views towards the Judean Foothills and the city of Bet Shemesh, as well as the Jerusalem mountains, decorated with many groves and pine trees.

Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve

The Stalactite Cave near Bet Shemesh is an impressive and unusual natural phenomenon that was created over millions of years, and the most impressive and well-known stalactite cave in Israel. A trip to the depths of the cave will get you to a whole different world, that has been carved and shaped for millions of years and is still changing by the day.

The trip to the cave is somewhat reminiscent of a trip to the magical cave of the famous legends. The stalactite cave is part of an organized national park of the Nature and Parks Authority, and the interior of the cave can only be entered with a guide, as the Nature and Gardens Authority operates dedicated guided tours here at all hours of the day.

Ein Hemed National Park

Ein Hemed is a magical park in the mountains of Jerusalem. This is a great spacious park that combines within it an interesting nature reserve with layered springs that flow through a series of small cascades along the entire length of the reserve and create wonderful wading pools along the way, which are a great attraction, especially for children.

During your tour of the reserve, you will also get to see a huge and impressive citadel from the times of the crusader rule in Israel, with a large millstone inside. The fort was built between 1140 and 1160 AD and was used by the Crusaders who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem from all over the world.

In addition, Ein Hemed is a great place for a picnic, as it features many shaded areas, trees, and lawns.

Beit Zayit Reservoir

A beautiful water reservoir located in the Jerusalem mountains near the town of Beit Zayit, which is right on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The dam and reservoir were built in the 1950s to concentrate the rainwater flowing from Nahal Sorek in order to flow it in the direction of Tel Aviv.

However, the project failed miserably, because of incorrect height differences. and poor planning of the reservoir. The water flowed in the opposite direction and permeated towards Jordan kingdom towards the Euphrates River.

Anyway, even though the initial plan failed, it resulted in the creation of a beautiful reservoir, which is a great natural gem in itself. Many visitors would agree that the view you can see from here, which combines the reservoir with the Jerusalem mountains in spectacular fashion, is an extremely rare sight in Israel, and one that is usually reserved for European or Northern American lakes.

Jerusalem day trips to towns and historical sites

Abu Gosh

The Arabic town of Abu Gosh, located just 15 minutes from Jerusalem, is probably the most popular among all Jerusalem day trips, offering a great cultural experience, as well as great architecture and a famous culinary scene. Some of the best sites to visit in Abu Gosh include the Benedictine monastery, and the Ahmad Haji Kadyrov Mosque, which show the town’s diversity and rich history.

Abu Gosh also features very famous restaurants, which draw visitors from all over the country for the local falafel and hummus. Among them, probably the most popular restaurant of all is the Lebanese Food Restaurant, which is located right on the way to Jerusalem.


The Castel National Park, located at the entrance of Jerusalem, offers a spectacular combination of Israeli history with a green, mountainous landscape. Due to the strategic location of the place on the road to Jerusalem, a Roman fortress – castellum – was built on the top of the mountain here already more than 2,000 years ago.

During the Crusader period, another fort was built on the ruins of the Roman fort, called “Castellum Belvoir” – “the beautiful fort”. At a later stage, a small Arab village was established on the site, which controlled the road to Jerusalem for many years.

During Israel’s War of Independence, in 1948, the Castel became a crucial position to take over on the road to Jerusalem. After it was captured by the Israeli army, it was the scene of one of the most important battles in the war, as part of the Israeli army’s operation to capture the road to Jerusalem.

Today, you will find here stunning views of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Mountains, as well as beautiful seasonal flowers, alongside the historic ruins.

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