A fantastic trail for the whole family, stretching over the impressive Nachal Sorek passage.
The trail starts on the beautiful Har Ya’ala - a breathtaking lookout to the west, from the green and pleasant peak of the mountain. You can reach this point from Bet Shemesh, continuing up the road via Mahseya east to Har Ya'ala.
From the peak of the mountain (which has picnic benches and lovely nature spots) begins the marked trail (paths marked in black). To reach the trail, walk along a short section or a dirt track marked in blue.
The black path will take us along the southern bank of the impressive Nachal Sorek passage. The big bend in the river will be beneath us as we turn to the east. Our path will take us through the ruins of ancient Tughra, and past the remains of the Arab village of Dayr al-Shaykh in the river valley, next to the railway. This is the railway that was built in 1892 from Jaffa to Jerusalem (to make the journey easier for Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem).
From the ruins of the village of Dayr al-Shaykh, we will continue with the river passage, on a path marked in green. This path will lead to an old train station - Bar Giora Station (cars can be brought here to wait at the end of the trail). Length of the trail - around 3 hours, around 4 km in length, suitable for the whole family. From here we will recommend charming beauty sports which can be visited at the end of the trip.
Yad HaShmona- a charming little town in the Jerusalem hills, next to Ma'ale HaHamisha.
The town was established by a group of Finnish immigrants who loved Israel. Over the years they were joined by Messianic Jews, and they lived together in a delightful and welcoming community.
This charming village has a beautiful biblical park which is open to the public, and is suitable to visit at any time. The tour of the biblical park, located at a spectacular lookout point, surprises all of its visitors. (The tour is at an extra cost).
Khurvat (Ruin) Se'adim- Yad Kennedy - a beauty spot near the towns of Ora and Aminadav. Remnants of the large Byzantine ruins are located among dense woodland, a classic place for a picnic at the start or end of a trip. To get here, come through Ora, continue to Aminadav and from there to the Yad Kennedy site - a memorial site for the American President. This special memorial was constructed symbolically to look like a tree stump, with slats representing each of the states of the USA.
Ein Tzuba- another lovely beauty spot for a family day out. An underground spring tunnel with flowing water that you can walk through. To get here, go through Kibbutz Tzuba and follow the signs (additional cost).
Author: Shahar Shiloh, specialist in desert tourism