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Kharbat Karta Nature Reserve – Discover the Wonders of Horvat Karta Nature Reserve: A Family-Friendly Adventure in Israel’s North

Kharbat Karta Nature Reserve – Discover the Wonders of Horvat Karta Nature Reserve: A Family-Friendly Adventure in Israel’s North

Trip Duration: 1-2 hours Trip Type: Observation, flower trail, and historical sites Difficulty Level: Easy, suitable for all family members Accessibility: Not stroller-friendly Cost: Free of charge Location: Northern Israel - Atlit At the entrance to Atlit, you will find a short and easy trail that leads up the Kurkar ridge, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, carved stables, and, during the blooming season, a variety of beautiful blossoming flowers. After the rains, anemones and hollyhocks bloom, while in the fall, hollyhocks create a stunning sea view. There are two starting points for the trail: Limor parking lot: This starting point features numerous picnic tables and a small ninja track-style playground for children. The trail is marked with blue and white, leading from the parking lot to the Karta ruins. You can choose to complete the full circular route, approximately 1 kilometer long, or park another vehicle at the second entry point. The trail markings will then change from blue to black for a 600-meter stretch. End of road 7110 in Afar Square: Continue straight at the square (with the climbing museum to your right) and follow the road as it curves left. After crossing the Nahal Oren estuary bridge, the trailhead will be on your left. This starting point offers a large dirt square and prominent signage from the Nature and Parks Authority. The trail is marked with black and later turns blue. You can park here and finish at the Limor parking lot, or vice versa if you have two vehicles. Kharbat Karta was declared a nature reserve in 1996 and spans 137 dunams. The reserve contains typical habitats and an archaeological site, the Detroa Fort, which is a Crusader fortress built by the Templars. The fort's strategic location connected northern coastal cities, like Acre, with southern cities, such as Caesarea. The fortress, which measured 21 x 18 meters, was surrounded by walls and featured a lower section carved out of the kurkar rock, with mines reaching up to four meters. Inside the reserve, you will find: Panoramic views from the water pool: A large concrete structure houses a former water pool, and an impressive view of the entire area can be seen from atop the structure's stairs. The view includes the Carmel Ridge and the city of Haifa to the north, the Yaakov memorial and surrounding settlements to the south, and the coastline, Atlit fortress, salt ponds, and Jessar al-Zarqa area to the south. La Detroit Fortress: This archaeological site is located within the Karta Ruins Nature Reserve and can be accessed via a short climb using pegs. Rock-engraved letters: On the ridge's eastern side, you will find the letters A and U in Phoenician script. Some believe these letters represent the first letters of the city's name, "Atlit," although this cannot be confirmed. Carved stables: On the southern side of the Kurkar ridge, you can view the stable rooms resembling large tunnels or sheds. Blooming season: From January to March, visitors can enjoy a wide array of colorful blossoms along the short trail, including cyclamen, anemones, and poppies. In autumn, the sedge blooms are especially impressive. Salt pools and flamingo observation: While in the area, don't miss the Atlit salt pools, where flamingos come to rest. To reach the reserve, use Waze app or other navigation apps: For the Limor Parking Lot, enter "Horvat Karta - Horesh Limor, Atlit." For the second entry point at the end of Road 7110, enter "Horvat Karta Nature Reserve - Atlit, North District." From Road 2, exit at the Atlit interchange and turn left or continue straight at the first square, depending on your chosen starting point.

Enchanting Family Adventure in Northern Israel

Discover the beauty and history of Northern Israel on this family-friendly 1-2 hour circular route, perfect for a fun and educational day out. Enjoy the stunning landscapes, historic sites, and natural wonders as you immerse yourself in the rich culture of the region. Itinerary: Start your journey at the Hula Valley Nature Reserve Explore the lush wetlands, home to thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife Take a leisurely stroll along the accessible trails and boardwalks. Visit the ancient city of Tzfat (Safed) Wander through the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Artists' Quarter Discover centuries-old synagogues and the birthplace of Kabbalah. Admire the majestic Nimrod Fortress Explore the impressive ruins of this medieval fortress perched high on a mountain ridge Take in the panoramic views of the Golan Heights and the surrounding countryside Refresh at the Banias Waterfall and Nature Reserve Enjoy the serenity of the Banias River, which feeds into the waterfall Walk along the shaded trails and take in the natural beauty of the area. End your journey with a visit to the picturesque Rosh Hanikra Grottoes Descend into the spectacular chalk cliff caves carved by the sea. Enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline from the observation deck. This circular route can be easily completed in 1-2 hours, making it an ideal family adventure in Northern Israel. The trip offers a perfect blend of nature, history, and culture, ensuring a memorable experience for all ages. Pack a picnic, wear comfortable shoes, and don't forget your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery!

Mount of Olives Observation Point: A Must-Visit Destination in Jerusalem Mount of Olives Observation Point: A Must-Visit Destination in Jerusalem

Mount of Olives Observation Point: A Must-Visit Destination in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, the holy city, is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. It is home to several historical sites, religious monuments, and ancient structures that have stood the test of time. One of the most prominent attractions of Jerusalem is the Mount of Olives Observation Point, which offers breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. This article will provide you with a brief overview of this iconic destination and why it is a must-visit for travelers. Location and Access The Mount of Olives Observation Point is situated in the east of Jerusalem, adjacent to the Mount of Olives Cemetery. It is easily accessible via public transportation, taxis, or private cars. Visitors can also take a walking tour to the observation point, which is a great way to explore the city's historical sites and landmarks. Historical Significance The Mount of Olives has significant religious and historical importance, which makes it a significant destination for people of all faiths. According to the Bible, Jesus spent time on the Mount of Olives, and it is also believed to be the location where he ascended to heaven. It is also the site of several important events in the Old and New Testaments, such as King David's flight from Jerusalem and Jesus' prophecy of the Second Coming. Observation Point The Mount of Olives Observation Point offers panoramic views of Jerusalem's Old City, including the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Visitors can take in the stunning views of the city and its surroundings while enjoying the serene atmosphere of the observation point. It is also an excellent spot for photographers, who can capture the city's beauty from a unique perspective. Tips for Visitors Visitors should wear comfortable shoes, as there is a considerable amount of walking involved in reaching the observation point. It is also recommended to bring water and sunscreen, as the area can get hot and dry during the summer months. Additionally, visitors should respect the religious and cultural significance of the site and dress appropriately. Conclusion The Mount of Olives Observation Point is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Jerusalem. Its historical and religious significance, combined with its breathtaking views of the city, make it a unique and memorable experience. Whether you're a photographer, a history buff, or simply looking to take in the city's beauty, the Mount of Olives Observation Point is an unforgettable destination. Plan your visit today and discover the wonders of Jerusalem from a whole new perspective.

Kerem HaTeimanim – one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and a must visit!

Kerem HaTeimanim – one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and a must visit!

Kerem HaTeimanim, also known as the Yemenite Vineyard, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. Located in the southern part of the city, it is named after the Yemenite Jews who immigrated to Israel and settled there in the late 19th century. The neighborhood is known for its winding alleys, stone houses, and authentic Yemenite cuisine. For travelers looking to experience the local culture and history of Tel Aviv, Kerem HaTeimanim is a must-visit destination. Here are some of the top things to see and do in the neighborhood: Visit the Carmel Market - Located on the edge of Kerem Hatimen, the Carmel Market is one of the largest and most vibrant markets in Tel Aviv. It's a great place to sample local foods and buy souvenirs. Try Yemenite cuisine - Kerem HaTeimanim is famous for its Yemenite food, which includes dishes such as jachnun, malawach, and kubaneh. You can find some of the best Yemenite food in the area at the famous Shlomo and Doron restaurant. Explore the neighborhood's history - Kerem HaTeimanim has a rich history, and you can learn more about it at the Yemenite Heritage Museum. The museum features exhibits on the history of Yemenite Jews in Israel, as well as traditional Yemenite crafts and clothing. Enjoy the nightlife - Kerem HaTeimanim has a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. Some of the best include Kuli Alma, a popular bar with live music and art exhibitions, and Alphabet, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar. Discover one of the best fish sandwiches in Israel at the Carmel 40 St., fish stand in Tel Aviv's Carmel Market. This hidden gem offers a perfect bun, legendary sauce, and halibut fillet that will transport you to heaven, all for just NIS 40. Shop for local products - Kerem HaTeimanim is home to a number of small shops selling handmade products such as pottery, jewelry, and textiles. One of the most popular is Sarit Simayof, a boutique selling handmade jewelry and accessories. If you're planning a trip to Tel Aviv, don't miss the chance to explore the historic neighborhood of Kerem HaTeimanim. From its winding alleys and stone houses to its rich cultural heritage and delicious food, it offers a unique glimpse into the local life and culture of Tel Aviv. Here are some hotels that are located at the area of Kerem HaTeimanim in Tel Aviv: THE POLI HOUSE design boutique hotel - THE POLI HOUSE is a modern design boutique hotel located in Tel Aviv, embodying the city's eclectic culture and design, with a prime location that immerses you in the heart of the action. 65 Hotel, Rothschild Tel Aviv - offers stylish rooms and a rooftop terrace. Brown TLV Urban Hotel - offers elegant rooms and a rooftop terrace.

Top 10 Tel Aviv Hotels with Pools
Top 10 Tel Aviv Hotels with Swimming Pools for the Ultimate Relaxation

Top 10 Tel Aviv Hotels with Swimming Pools for the Ultimate Relaxation

Tel Aviv, one of the most popular cities in Israel, is a destination for people of all ages and backgrounds. Visitors are drawn to its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. If you're planning a trip to Tel Aviv and looking for a hotel with a swimming pool, you're in luck. Here's a list of some of the best Tel Aviv hotels with swimming pools. Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel - This luxurious 5-star hotel is located on the beachfront and features a rooftop swimming pool with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel also has a spa and wellness center, as well as several restaurants and bars. Royal Beach Tel Aviv - Another 5-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Royal Beach Tel Aviv offers a large outdoor pool surrounded by a sun terrace with loungers and parasols. The hotel also features a spa and fitness center, as well as several dining options. Dan Tel Aviv Hotel - A 5-star hotel located in the heart of Tel Aviv, the Dan Tel Aviv features an outdoor pool surrounded by a lush garden, as well as a spa and fitness center. The hotel also offers several dining options, including a restaurant overlooking the sea. The Norman Tel Aviv - A boutique hotel one of the newer hotels in the city, is located in the trendy neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, The Norman Tel Aviv features a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city. The hotel also has a spa and wellness center, as well as several dining options. Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel - A 5-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Sheraton Tel Aviv features an outdoor pool with a sun terrace and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. Isrotel Tower Tel Aviv - A 4-star hotel located in the heart of Tel Aviv, the Isrotel Tower Tel Aviv features an amazing round rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel - A 5-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Renaissance Tel Aviv features an outdoor pool with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. Hilton Tel Aviv - Another 5-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Hilton Tel Aviv features an outdoor pool with a sun terrace and stunning views of the sea. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach - A 4-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach features an outdoor pool with a sun terrace and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. The Setai Tel Aviv - The Setai Tel Aviv is situated along the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv coastline, and Jaffa Port. The hotel offers sophistication and tranquility at the crossroads of modern and ancient Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The Setai Tel Aviv features a luxurious outdoor pool, surrounded by a deck with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the sea and city while relaxing in the pool or soaking up the sun. The hotel also features a spa and fitness center, as well as several dining options. The Herbert Samuel Opera - is a luxury hotel located at the center of the Tel Aviv promenade, with a beautiful beach in front. Housed in a historic building that once housed the Israeli parliament and the Israeli Opera House, the hotel offers a unique combination of detachment from daily life and celebration of the urban scene. It stimulates all senses with its colors, smells, sights, and sounds. The hotel is just a minute's walk from the boardwalk, surrounded by cultural, leisure, entertainment, and culinary points of interest, making it one of the busiest and most fascinating cities in the world. Leonardo Beach Tel Aviv - A 4-star hotel located on the beachfront, the Leonardo Beach Tel Aviv features an outdoor pool with a sun terrace and stunning views of the sea. The hotel also has a fitness center and several dining options. In conclusion, Tel Aviv offers a range of hotels with swimming pools for travelers to choose from. Whether you're looking for a luxurious 5-star hotel or a more affordable 4-star option, you're sure to find a hotel that meets your needs. A swimming pool is a great addition to any hotel stay, offering a refreshing break from the heat and a relaxing place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. So, why not book your Tel Aviv hotel with a swimming pool today and experience the ultimate in relaxation and comfort.

18 Best Things to Do in Tel Aviv, Israel

18 Best Things to Do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Known for its beaches, nightlife, and cultural attractions, it's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Israel. If you're planning a trip to Tel Aviv, here are 18 of the best things to do in the city. Visit the Carmel Market - Tel Aviv's largest and most famous open-air market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to clothing and souvenirs. Relax on the Beach - Tel Aviv has some of the most beautiful beaches in Israel, including Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, and Hilton Beach. Explore Old Jaffa - A historic neighborhood with winding streets, art galleries, and ancient ruins. Wander through the Tel Aviv Port - A vibrant waterfront area with restaurants, bars, and shops. Visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art - A must-see for art lovers, with a vast collection of modern and contemporary art. Take a Street Art Tour - Tel Aviv is known for its vibrant street art scene, and there are many guided tours available. Experience the Nightlife - Tel Aviv is known for its lively nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from. Visit the Azrieli Observatory - The tallest building in Tel Aviv, offering stunning views of the city and beyond. Walk the Rothschild Boulevard - A beautiful tree-lined street with cafes, restaurants, and historical buildings. Explore Neve Tzedek - A charming neighborhood with boutique shops, cafes, and galleries. Visit the Tel Aviv Port Market - A bustling market with artisanal food vendors and local designers. Discover the White City - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, with over 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings. Enjoy a Sunset at the Jaffa Port - A picturesque spot for a romantic evening. Take a Food Tour - Tel Aviv has a vibrant food scene, with many excellent restaurants and street food vendors to explore. Learn about the City's History at the Independence Hall Museum - The site where the State of Israel was declared in 1948. Visit the Eretz Israel Museum - A fascinating museum that explores the history and culture of Israel. Attend a Concert or Performance - Tel Aviv has a vibrant performing arts scene, with many shows and concerts throughout the year. Experience the Tel Aviv Pride Parade - One of the largest pride events in the world, taking place annually in June. In conclusion, Tel Aviv is a city with something for everyone. Whether you're looking for cultural attractions, outdoor activities, or a lively nightlife, you're sure to find something to suit your interests. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder that Tel Aviv is a top destination for travelers to Israel.

Haifa Christmas celebrations

Haifa Christmas celebrations

The Christmas celebration in Haifa is a colorful and beautiful event, a colorful and Christmas tree is set on Ben Gurion Boulevard and next to it, like every year, a menorah and a crescent moon... the boulevard becomes a pedestrian street without vehicle traffic and crowds of visitors come to celebrate and have fun, Jews, Christians and Muslims come to enjoy the holiday atmosphere, fast food stands, decorated restaurants and a happy atmosphere. The new Botanica Hotel is located on top of the boulevard, offers luxury accommodation, The Colony Boutique hotel is located right on the boulevard and hotel guests enjoy the best location to experience the holiday atmosphere of Haifa.

A Unique Experience: Bird Migration in Israel

A Unique Experience: Bird Migration in Israel

Every year, hundreds of millions of birds migrate from their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia to the warmer climates of Africa and the Middle East. One of the best places to witness this incredible phenomenon is Israel, where the birds travel through the country on their way south. For any birding enthusiast, a trip to Israel is a must-see experience! The Best Time To View The Birds The best time to see bird migration in Israel is during the fall months, when most of the birds are making their way south for winter. It’s not uncommon to see large flocks of thousands of birds at once, soaring over mountains and valleys as they make their journey south. There are also plenty of opportunities to observe different types of birds as they pass through – from small songbirds, to large raptors like eagles and vultures. Where To Watch The Birds There are several great locations throughout Israel that offer amazing views of migrating birds. One popular spot is Ma'agan Michael, which is a national park located near Haifa on Israel’s northern coast. Here you can get an up close view of thousands upon thousands of seabirds flying overhead – a truly unforgettable sight! Another great spot is Kibbutz Yotvata, which offers stunning views over the Negev desert below. It’s one of the few places in southern Israel where you can easily spot both resident and migrant bird species as they pass through on their way south. Conclusion: Bird migration in Israel offers an unparalleled opportunity for birders and nature lovers alike! Whether you want to get up close and personal with seabirds or watch raptors soar high above the desert plains, there are plenty of amazing spots throughout Israel that offer breathtaking views of these majestic creatures during their annual migration southward each fall. With so many great locations offering stunning vantage points, it's no wonder that birding enthusiasts flock (pun intended) to experience this incredible event firsthand every year! So what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars and head out for an unforgettable adventure – you won't regret it!

The Baha’i gardens in Haifa

The Baha’i gardens in Haifa

The Baha'i gardens in Haifa are made up of nineteen tiered gardens (terraces) starting at the top of Mount Carmel and ending at its foot. The central axis around which the gardens were designed points towards Acre, a city of great historical and religious significance for the Bahá'ís. In the heart of the gardens stands the temple of the Báb with its golden dome, the resting place of the prophet-forerunner of the Bahá'í religion. The different parts of the gardens offer a variety of views and sensations, but all are united by a common language of gravel paths, designed shrubs and flower beds, which are nurtured and cared for by a dedicated team of gardeners. From the gardens there is a spectacular panoramic view of the city, the Galilee mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Bahá'í Gardens are religious sites open to the general public free of charge. As is customary on sites of this type, visitors are asked to dress in modest clothing that covers the shoulders and reaches to the knees and without tears, to help keep the site clean and beautiful, and to behave in a manner that considers the sensitivities of others. Dress Code: Please wear clothes that cover the shoulders and reach to the knees and without tears. Due to the cobblestone paths and sidewalks that can be slippery, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes with good grip. In the summer months, we recommend wearing a hat and applying sunscreen. Photography is allowed, except inside the temples. Food and drinks Visitors are encouraged to bring bottles of water with them. Drinking other beverages, eating food, chewing gum, and smoking are prohibited in the gardens. Main entrance Sderot Zion 80 048313131

The Tabun Cave is a prehistoric site – A Neanderthal cave!

The Tabun Cave is a prehistoric site – A Neanderthal cave!

The Tabun Cave is a prehistoric site located in Israel, near Zichron Yaacov and Fureidis not far from Haifa District of Israel. . The cave is known for the discovery of Neanderthal remains, which were found there in the 1930s by archaeologist Dorothy Garrod. These remains, along with other artifacts and tools found in the cave, have provided important insights into the lives and culture of Neanderthals and have helped to shed light on the early history of human evolution. The Tabun Cave is one of a number of prehistoric sites in the region, and it is believed to have been used by Neanderthals for a variety of purposes, including as a place to live and as a site for carrying out activities such as hunting and foraging for food. The cave contains several layers of sediment, which have allowed researchers to study the changes in Neanderthal culture and behavior over time. The Tabun Cave is a significant site for the study of human evolution and has contributed greatly to our understanding of the history of our species. The route of the ancient man caves, including audio-visual vision A circular geological route The Ancient Man's Trail - a tour route that climbs the stairs and goes up to the entrance of the Tabun cave named after the opening in its ceiling. The first excavations in this cave were conducted in 1927, led by researcher Dorothy Garrod. Today a delegation from the University of Haifa is excavating the cave, and the excavation is done in layers that are about 20 meters deep. The route continues to the camel cave, so called because its shape resembles a hump. It is possible that an activity of raw material processing was carried out in the Camel Cave. In this cave there are exhibits that illustrate the nature of life in the various prehistoric periods. In the next cave on the route, the river cave (al-Wad), there is a spacious entrance hall, and at the end a narrow corridor that is about 70 meters long. In front of the front of the cave stretches a wide rock step. Most of the findings in the cave belong to the culture known as Aurignacian (40,000 to 20,000 years before our time). The cave was abandoned for several thousand years, and when man returned to the place, the center of gravity of life moved to the entrance hall and the rock step in front of the cave (the Natopian culture, 12,000-10,000 years before our time). In this cave, an audio-visual presentation illustrating the way of life of ancient man is shown, and at the entrance there is a reconstruction of a burial site. The botanical trail - a circular route marked with blue trail markings. The path leads east along the length of Nahal Ma'rat and climbs through dense Mediterranean vegetation on the southern side of the stream to the top of the ridge, where it passes through a natural forest of Jerusalem pine. From there it continues west to an impressive view of the Carmel beach and the sea and descends back to the starting point. The geological trail - a circular route that climbs to the top of the northern cliff of the reserve. The path is controlled by wooden posts engraved with arrows and station numbers. From the highest point on the route there is a spectacular view towards the Carmel beach plain. The path to Merat HaGadi - a short path leads to the easternmost prehistoric cave in Nahal Merat. Skeletons of modern man (Homo sapiens), belonging to the Mousterian culture (around 90,000 years ago) were found in the cave. This finding indicates that it is possible that a population of modern man lived in Nahal Merot next to the population of Neanderthal man, which existed in the Tabon Cave.

Sarona – The Templar Colony

Sarona – The Templar Colony

Sarona is a complex in Tel Aviv, originally built as a colony by German Templars over 140 years ago. It has been renovated and now houses boutique stores, artist galleries, cafes, and some of the city's most popular restaurants and bars. The Tel Aviv Municipality worked hard to restore 33 buildings in Sarona so it could become a special place for people to shop, work and visit. They made sure to keep the old features of the buildings so it would look beautiful. The complex opened in 2014 and will have more buildings added later. Sarona is a cool place in Tel Aviv with lots of stores and restaurants and The Sarona Market. There are luxury brands and local fashion stores, art galleries, cafes, burger bars, Italian restaurants, wine bars, and lots of other places to eat and drink. You can even rent picnic baskets to eat in the grassy area in the middle. Take part in the exciting story of Sarona's Templar Colony by exploring the beautiful grounds. Visit Beit Ha'Am, the clock, the old olive mill (Beit Ha'Bad), and the former dance school that became Israel's Finance Minister. Aluf Albert Mendler St 11

Tel Arad National Park Tel Arad National Park

Tel Arad National Park

Get to know Tel Arad National Park Canaanite water plant from the early bronze ages Remains of early bronze era fortifications A citadel from the iron age with a unique temple  Overnight parking -the Canaanite Khan: Flowering concentration of brown iris and loess soil vegetation.  At the beginning of Canaan's urbanization period, Canaanite Arad was already a planned city. It is surrounded by a wall and is divided into residential and public buildings. Arad was an urban center for the residents of the area. The richness of the findings found in the excavations shows a variety of economic branches such as husbandry, grazing, art and commerce. Arad was a well-developed place. Here are some of the main sites:  The water reservoir:  The houses in the city were built in such a way that the rainwater that trickled down the slope was collected in a reservoir surrounded by buildings on three sides. A 16 m deep well was dug in the center of the reservoir, probably in the early Israeli period. The east of the reservoir remains open, where the dam was built to stop the runoff.  The fortifications:  In addition to its 1,200 m long and 2.4 m thick walls, Arad the Canaanite was surrounded by a strong wall. Originally, the wall was five meters high. It was covered in bugs, had towers protruding from it, and followed the watershed of the hill. It is known today that there was only one gate in the wall, but it is possible that there were more.  The residences:  There was a uniform style of building houses in Arad known as the Aradi house. It was built with stone benches along the walls, and the floor was lower than the street level, so one or more steps were necessary to enter it. It is a transverse stone structure whose floor was lower than the street level. A wooden pole was placed in the center of each hall to support a flat roof on a stone base. On the side of the central hall there were sometimes a side room or two, which were probably used as a storeroom and a kitchen. Only the foundations of the walls survived from the Arad houses, and a small clay model of a house discovered in the excavations helps to complete the picture. The model is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  The "palace": Its location between the western city gate and the water reservoir suggests it served as a governmental complex with many rooms, cells, and courtyards. Its center contains important finds, including a ritual stele.  The temples:  Two large temples, two small temples, and a single temple were found near the palace, surrounded by a stone fence. Similar temples were found in Ein Gedi (Chalcolithic period) and Megiddo (Early Bronze Age). Similar to Bet Aradi, the temples have wide rooms with courtyards. The temples are surrounded by stone tombstones, platforms for sacrificing animals, and ritual basins. There may be several gods worshiped by the multiplicity of temples.  Citadel Hill  As a link in the fortress system of Judah, the citadel on the site is a fortified structure (50x55 m). Arad was home to 6 citadels during the royal period, this one on top of the previous one. It was discovered that the citadel had a unique temple and a unique water plant. The Nature and Parks Authority restored and conserved the temple and prepared a path to the water plant for visitors.  The temple:  There were traces of a Jewish temple in the northwestern corner of the citadel, which operated during the same period as the temple in Jerusalem, from the 9th century to the end of the 8th century BC. In addition to being one of the few temples from the biblical period, Arad's temple was designed in accordance with the Tabernacle plan, and it had an inner courtyard, a hall, and a sanctuary - the Holy of Holies. A square altar in the courtyard is composed of dirt mixed with small stones, surrounded by field stones (unhewn stones). According to the biblical commandment, this altar does not contain stones that were hewn with metal tools. There are three steps to the Devir, which is located west of the courtyard. There are two altars of incense at the entrance to Devir, and a tombstone is inside. An ostrakon (pottery with inscriptions) was found near the temple that listed the names of priestly families mentioned in the Scriptures (Mermot, Ezra 8:33, and Pashhur, Jeremiah 6:1). It appears that the temple was abandoned in the 8th century BC. As the citadel continued to serve its purpose, it was completely covered in dirt. A possible explanation is the religious reform of King Hezekiah and Yeshua, who centralized worship in Jerusalem by abolishing worship in the cities of the field. At the same time, Tel Bar's altar was also dismantled seven times.  The water plant:  Near the temple are three carved and plastered spaces accessible by a channel cut into the rock. Part of the staircase leading to them has been preserved. The spaces are impressive. They are accessible through a channel cut into the western wall. Near Beit Elyashiv's southern wall, a cache of ostracos, most of which are written in ancient Hebrew script, has been found. The house contained 17 ostracones addressed to a man named Eliashiv, probably the commander of Tel Arad's citadel. Three seals bearing his name were also found there.  Overnight parking - The Canaanite Khan : There are six accommodation pavilions, a private tent area, and a caravan area on the parking lot for the Hellenes, as well as a closed building with mattresses and heating. Among the amenities in the parking lot are drinking water, toilets, hot showers, a cooking area, outdoor lighting, and electricity outlets.

Tags: arad

The Gilboa Nature Reserve The Gilboa Nature Reserve

The Gilboa Nature Reserve

Located above Emek Harod and Beit Shean valleys, Gilboa Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of a mountain. Visitors come to the Gilboa to admire the Gilboa Iris and its abundant blossoms in the spring, to walk along its beautiful hiking trails, and to admire its picturesque views. Gilboa's Olive Hotel is located on top of the Gilboa and offers views of the three valleys: Valley of the Springs, Harod Valley, and Jezreel Valley. Tel Kolila means total beauty in Arabic, the Arabic name of Mount Shaul. In fact, the mountain that stands out from the steep escarpment of the Gilboa provides a spectacular view of the surroundings. The top of the mountain has a short footpath that provides additional views of the surrounding area. About 160 meters above the valley is Givat Jonathan, named after Jonathan ben Shaul. The name Horvat Karmat comes from the Arabic name Tel al-Karam. There is a wave of stones on top of the hill in memory of the seven sons of the valley who died during the War of Independence. From prehistoric times until the Byzantine period, human settlements can be found in the area. As mentioned in the Gideon chapter, Ein Harod was north of Givat HaMorah in the valley, and the Midian camp was to the north of it (Judges 7:1, 5). Ein Jelud, at the foot of Givat Yehonan, is the Arabic name for Ma'ayan Harod, and it may preserve the sound of the original name Gilad. The remains of the small Arab village of Khirbat Umm Sarkhan, as well as Roman and Byzantine buildings, quarries, and cisterns, can be found in Horvat Ner. At the end of Horvat Ner's extension, the view is spectacular - Emek Harod, the eastern Galilee mountains, Beit Shean, the Jordan Valley, and the Wall of Gilead. Gilboa's highest peak is Mount Barkan. In the vicinity of the mountain, Gilboa Irises are in bloom. The trail descends from Mount Barkan to Emek Haneem and Tel Yosef. There are still communication channels from the War of Independence in the mountain area. In the Vanishing Valley, there is a tiny spring called Ein Hamel. Near the spring, a trough was built during the British mandate. During the British Mandate, Sergeant Moshe Rosenfeld was the commanding officer of the Shata Police Station (now a prison). Rosenfeld followed fruit thieves who belonged to the gang of Ezz a-Din Kasem and they murdered him near the spring. From the intersection of Nof Gilboa Road (Route 667) and Beit Alfa Road (Route 6666), Nahal Yitzpoor descends steeply for a short distance. A beautiful flower blooms in the stream in the spring. We regret to inform you that the extension that was used for parking near the road has been closed.

Tags: Nature Reserve

Mey Kedem (Ancient Water). Located near Caesaria, built about 2,000 years ago

Mey Kedem (Ancient Water). Located near Caesaria, built about 2,000 years ago

The Alona Park, a protected area of Mediterranean forest located in Moshav Amikam, contains the unique archaeological site of Mey Kedem (Ancient Water). Located between Haifa and Tel-Aviv, near Caesaria. About 2,000 years ago, the Romans built an underground tunnel in Mey Kedem. These underground tunnels in the water are walked through by visitors. A height of 40-70 cm can be found between the water and the ground. A film explains everything that was here in Alona Park as we journeyed underground to an ancient water hole, and our story begins 2000 years ago when the Romans drilled an underground water hole for the city of Caesarea, to supply water for agricultural purposes, beverage production, bathing, and industry. For this purpose, the company's best workers were brought here, and the route is shaded, so workers can complete the task without being affected by the hot sun during the summer. It is mandatory to bring a flashlight because the tunnel is completely dark, so we went down stairs underground to the tunnel.  Cold, chilly, calm and decisive - those were the waters that met us immediately. As you walk through the Alona Park tunnel, ask yourself, "Why am I here?"? There are many springs in Alona Park, some of which are still active today, including the Aviel spring, whose water the Romans intended to transport to Caesarea. For the sake of the matter, they built a giant water plant on par with the scale of the period in question and the scale of history in general. Plant components included canals, clay pipes, underground tunnels, and more. In order to overcome the height difference that existed between the spring and the water well - where they planned to lead the water in the most efficient manner with the aim of bringing the maximum amount of water to the city, the planners, who took an active role in the plant's construction, took into account the terrain route of Alona Park as well as the topography. This route is ideal for small children and highly recommended as a family attraction because the water is very low at the beginning of the route, reaching a height of 30-40 centimeters.  Permission is required to enter the site. You should bring torches, clothing, and shoes that are suitable for walking in water. It is not permitted to enter with a baby back carrier. There is a prohibition on eating and lighting a fire on the site. The site area is not allowed to have pets.

Tags: archaeology , tour

Sea of Galilee Boat Ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD Sea of Galilee Boat Ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD

Sea of Galilee Boat Ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD

On the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, an ancient fishing boat known as the Ancient Galilee Boat, also known as the Jesus Boat, was found in 1986. The remains of the boat, 27 feet (8.27 meters) long, 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) wide and 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) high, first appeared during a drought, when the waters of the Sea receded (actually a great fresh-water lake). The boat has no other connection to Jesus or his disciples besides the dating. Exploration and discovery Fishing brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan found the ancient Galilee Boat's remains in Kibbutz Ginnosar. In their quest to discover artifacts from the past of Israel, the brothers were avid amateur archaeologists. Their family had fished in the Sea of Galilee for generations, and they had always hoped to find a boat there one day. They discovered the remains of the boat being buried on the shore when the lake's water level was reduced by drought. It represents the type of boat that Jews' ancestors used for fishing and transportation across Lake Galilee in the 1st century. Before now, only Roman authors, the Bible, and mosaics had provided archaeologists with insight into the construction of these types of vessels. Christians also value the boat because it was the type of boat that Jesus and his disciples used, many of whom were fishermen. Though the Sea of Galilee Boat itself does not seem to be directly linked to Jesus or his disciples, boats of this type played a major role in Jesus' life and ministry, and are mentioned 50 times in the Gospels. Lednica lake in Poland has a replica of the Jesus Boat, built in Prudnik by boatbuilders from Pomerania and Franciscan Dr. Antoni Dudek.

The Dor Tantura resort and Dor Beach

The Dor Tantura resort and Dor Beach

The Dor resort is located at the foot of Carmel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in front of an island chain of natural islands surrounded with a stunning view of white sand and a chain of blue lagoons. One of the historical places in Israel is Dor, formerly an important port and fishing town, which has a lot of remains from previous periods. The Dor resort village includes a beach within walking distance of the holiday apartments, a promenade, green lawns, an amphitheater, a children's club, a beach restaurant, a fishing harbor, and seating areas. In front of the Mediterranean Sea, near the chain of natural and magical islands of the Dor coast, the Dor resort lies at the foot of Carmel. Among the apartments and holiday rooms available at the Dor resort are lawns, ornamental corners, sitting and barbecue areas, restaurants, a declared swimming area and a breathtaking sea view. Throughout July and August, a family-friendly entertainment program will include: artist shows, dance sessions, and karaoke nights. More in the immediate vicinity: A lovely, spring-like hiking trail starting at Bonim Beach along Dor Bonim Reserve, a magical nature reserve full of special bays and islands, a marked route along which you can see fascinating natural phenomena, a bay of oysters, the "Blue Cave" geysers, a sunken ship, and on these spring days also amazing blossoms. The path leads to the remains of Tel Dor - remains of a city from the Phoenician, Hellenistic and Phoenician periods, Tel Dor is mentioned in the Bible as one of King Solomon's capitals The glass museum in Kibbutz Nachsholim, established in 1891 by Baron Rothschild as a factory for glass bottles for use by the area's wineries, today serves as an underwater archeology museum and offers a variety of spectacular findings from different periods throughout the area's history.

The old port of Acre

The old port of Acre

The port of Acre is a marina and fishing mooring located north of the Gulf of Acre, in the southeastern corner of Old Acre. The port was declared a marina in 1982, and it is operated by the Old Acre Development Company through subcontractors. The port has five finger piers, and the area adjacent to the land wharf serves mostly fishing boats. The port is a major attraction and no visit to Acre is complete without it. It is probable that the first ant of the city was located at the mouth of Nahal Naaman south of Tel Acre, where the urban settlement remained until the Hellenistic period, but changes in the route of the stream and subsidence of alluvial soil make it difficult to find findings that support this. Yosef ben Matityahu noted that vessels entered the creek bed to load sand used for the glass industry. Acre was mentioned as a port city in a certificate from the city of Ugarit in the 14th century BC. The port in its current location is first mentioned in a Phoenician inscription from the Persian period. The inscription, which dates to the 6th century BC or to the 5th century BC, was found on the southern breakwater. Finds from excavations conducted at the site indicate that the foundations of the breakwater were built using Phoenician methods. Zeno, a Talmudic official, noted in a papyrus from 259 BC that wheat was exported from the port of Acre to Egypt. 2]. Remains of a kurkar stone floor from the Hellenistic period, located near the eastern sea wall, were discovered in early 2009. The length of the section exposed in the excavations was 15 meters and its width was four meters. The floor is located about a meter below the sea level and may provide information about the height of the Mediterranean Sea at its construction [3]. A large number of remnants of amphorae from this period, which originated in the cities of the Aegean Sea, were also discovered in the port areas. During 2012, additional excavations were carried out at the foot of the southern sea wall and the continuation of the sea wharf was exposed, as well as large tying stones that were used to tie the ships moored in the port. The weight of the binding stones ranges from 250-300 kg. Many pottery vessels were found at the bottom of the port, including dozens of complete vessels and many pottery fragments. The pottery originated from the Aegean islands such as Rhodes, Kos and more. The port regained importance in the middle of the 18th century, when Daher al-Omar fortified Acre and opened many construction projects in the city, but their prosperity since the Crusader rule reached a peak during the time of the city's next ruler, Ahmad al-Jazar. In 1799 Napoleon laid siege to Acre, and al-Jazar defended the entrance to the port by drowning a ship across it. In 1966, the remains of a shipwreck that was originally 34 meters long and five meters wide were discovered at the site. This may have been the shipwreck during the Napoleonic siege. However, the remains of eight other shipwrecks were discovered in and near the port of Acre - one from the Roman period, one from the 11th to the 13th century, three from the Ottoman period, and the rest from the beginning of the 20th century.

The Haifa Cable Car

The Haifa Cable Car

Haifa has two cable car systems: the tourist-oriented Bat Galim cable car system that runs up Mount Carmel from the Bat Galim promenade in the western part of the city, and the Rakavlit – a public-transportation aerial tramway in the southeastern part of the city, which ascends from the Haifa Bay public transit hub to the hilly areas housing the University of Haifa and the Technion. The Haifa Cable Car offers an experiential five-minute ride with amazing Carmel Mountain Views, which begins on the Bat Galim promenade and continues to the end of Mount Carmel and back. The Haifa cable car is transparent for the best expirince. You can purchase a one-way ticket or a return ticket. Access to the cable car is possible both from the lower station (Bat Galim promenade) and from the upper station. At the top station you can complete the experience with entertainment in one of the restaurants or enjoy another attraction such as Stella Maris Church, a visit to the Cave of Elijah and an observation point to Rosh Hanikra and the Gulf of Acre. The new cable car, Dubbed the “Rakavlit” connecting the University with the Technion and the Lev Hamifratz central train/bus station, covers a total distance of 4.4 kilometers with an elevation gain of 460 meters. The “Rakavliture is to become a major city tourist attraction, most of the passengers are expected to be students traveling to and from the Technion.

Nahal Snir (Hasbani River)

Nahal Snir (Hasbani River)

Nahal Snir (Hasbani) is the longest in the sources of the Jordan. The stream flows all year round, and along its banks of plane trees and walls built of dripping streams. Unlike other sources in the Jordan, Nahal Snir has considerable differences between the winter and the summer currents. Day parking - The hikers' parking lot is part of Snir Park. This parking lot serves the great demand for leisure and recreational activities, and it is possible to have picnics (this activity is forbidden in other parts of the reserve, so as not to harm the values ​​of nature). The parking lot is located at the entrance to the reserve. Burning fire in the entire reserve including in the parking lot - forbidden in the park of the senses - follow nature - an experiential route for the whole family in the Nahal Snir Nature Reserve that combines sensory experience, connection to nature and a glimpse into the world of wildlife and physical contact with water, earth and wood. Two ponds were excavated. One is a "paddling pool" for the enjoyment of hikers, and the other serves as a shelter garden for rare aquatic plants, such as yellow nofar and tiny marzipan, which are almost extinct in the wild in the country. The shaded path passes in the shadow of thick plane trees, and from time to time crosses shallow streams that join the rushing stream. During the winter months, the trail is closed from time to time due to strong currents. These waterfalls are submerged in a thick layer of yellowish rock known as travertine, and in beautiful Hebrew "dripping streams". This rock is formed in stone deposition processes (like the scale in the kettle) following a slow and prolonged flow over the years. In fact, the entire east bank of the creek in the reserve area is built of this rock - evidence of the intensity of the flow in this area in the past. The reserve is located in the Galilee, north of Kibbutz HaGoshrim, and is about five kilometers long, from Highway 99 in the south to the village of Ajar in the north. For security reasons, you can only visit the southern part of the reserve.

C.T.O – Israel Tours and Travel

C.T.O – Israel Tours and Travel

Nice to meet you. We are CTO, Consolidated Tour Operators, celebrating over 50 years since being established in 1969. Lots of water has passed through the River Jordan since that winter morning in which 4 British and a Frenchman boarded what later became known as the first Highlights Tour of Israel ever. Our aim was - and still is - to offer everybody an opportunity to take part in a comprehensive group tour within an affordable budget. Our love of Israel has led us - through the years - to create tours showing the best of Israel from north to south, as well as the Middle East, especially Jordan & Egypt. We built the tours in order to let you enjoy your journey knowing that all is being taking care of for you. From your arrival until your departure, we look after all your land arrangements. Our representative will meet and assist you right after passport control; the tour guide will meet you the next morning at your hotel and escort you to the A/C touring vehicle to start your wonderful experience throughout the country. All the sites visits are pre-arranged, and the only action you need to take is to reach for your camera. In Israel we offer our tours in various languages such as English, Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. For Jordan the regular tours are in English and Spanish and in Egypt the regular tours are in English. Other than the tours, we are able to provide you with any tourism services you might need; hotel accommodations, private tours etc. As a wholesaler company CTO can guarantee competitive rates with a friendly personal service. The founder of the company Mr. Moshe Eshed (pictured above with a group at Mount Zion in Jerusalem in 1969) was one of the foundations of the tourism industry in Israel as well as former World President of the International Association of Tour Managers. Today the company is managed by Mr. Noam Eshed - a director of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association - who shares the family love of Israel and passion for travel, together with a skilled staff. We are happy to have in our staff a great combination of Israel's top tour guides, knowledgeable tour operators & experienced drivers available at your service. Our staff is here to do its utmost to make sure you will have a lifetime experience in the land of creation. PAST TO THE FUTURE - THE STORY OF THE ISRAELI STATE Designed to bring together the vision of the Israeli State founders, the tour is great for families who seek the perfect holiday vacation and still create a link to their roots. An excellent opportunity for second-time visitors to experience different highlights. HIGHLIGHTS OF ISRAEL TOUR The perfect choice for seeing the major sites and highlights of Israel. Visiting Jerusalem's Old and New City, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Ein Karem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Beit Shean, Sea of Galilee, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Safed, Golan Heights, Haifa, Acre, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Masada & Dead Sea. HIGHLIGHTS OF ISRAEL + PETRA Experience the major sites of Israel, visiting Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Golan Heights, Haifa, Acre, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Masada & Dead Sea and more. Extend your tour to Jordan with a visit to the "rose red city, half as old as time" - Petra, to marvel at the ancient Nabatean city. BIBLELAND HIGHLIGHTS TOUR Visiting Israel is not just a sightseeing tour; it is also an enlightening experience. Walking where Jesus walked and lived, visitors return with a deep appreciation of the bible. Visit historical treasures and stroll through unique sites and panoramas. For a blend of traditions and religion, this tour offers a deep, spiritual experience. TOURS TO JORDAN & PETRA 1,2,3 & 4 Day tours from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Eilat CTO give you the option to visit Jordan on either a 3 or 4 day tour, which can be booked as an extension to your Israel tour, or just a tour to Jordan. Visiting: Jerash - City of the Decapolis, known in Biblical times as the Pompeii of the Middle East. Amman - capital of the Hashemite Kingdom and the largest city in the country. Mount Nebo - with its breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to see the Holy Land from where Moses stood. Madaba - to see the famous 6th century ancient Holy Land Map. Shobak - the crusader castle. Petra - with a horseback ride to the “Siq” (Canyon), the Treasury (El Khazneh), the field of tombs, obelisks, the altar, amphitheatre and much more at this stunning new 7 wonders of the world site. We also offer 1 or 2 day tours to Petra from Eilat or including flights from Tel Aviv. TOURS IN EGYPT Classic Cairo Tours & Nile Cruises Also available as an extension to tours in Israel or as a stand-alone tour, is a city break to Cairo or a combined Cairo & Nile Cruise tour. In Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza, Khan el Khalili bazaar and The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities are amongst the landmarks not to be missed offering an unforgettable experience, filled with history, culture and amazing sights and sounds. Few holidays offer the mystery or fascination of a Nile Cruise. Many of Egypt’s iconic sites are located near the majestic Nile - and you can explore most of them on a Nile Cruise. Spend the day discovering the enthralling tombs, temples and artifacts left behind by the Pharoahs and in the evening relax in style on board a luxurious cruise boat. Combine a Cairo visit with the Temples of Karnak and Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan. ABOUT THE COMPANY Do you have a question? We're very approachable and would love to speak to you. Feel free to call, send us an email, Tweet us or simply complete the enquiry form. +972-3-5225253 [email protected]

The Dead Sea: A Natural Wonder of the World and a Must-Visit Destination

The Dead Sea: A Natural Wonder of the World and a Must-Visit Destination

The Dead Sea is unlike any other place in the world. It is one of the main attractions for tourists visiting the Israel, and for many good reasons. Thanks to the climate and the mineral qualities of the area, it holds a variety of therapeutic qualities and offers many beauty treatments and body massages you only have to choose from while visiting. At minus 416 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. It is a very sunny area, with 330 days of sun a year and a miraculously dry air, unpolluted so it can purify respiratory systems. The sea itself is the only un-drownable lake on earth, and the sensation of floating in reading position in the salty water is one of the unique pleasures travelers from all around the world come to the Dead Sea for. Because of its therapeutic qualities, the Dead Sea is the ultimate Spa destination. An assortment of mineral waters of various qualities is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments, and the mineral-rich springs rise from deep down into little ponds along the shores. The well-known natural black mud is another famous Dead Sea feature, which improves blood circulation and relieves tensions of mind and muscle. The outdoor activity of getting covered by mud is one that a visitor to the Dead Sea should not miss. Besides being a relaxing resort, the Dead Sea is also a fascinating and lively location with many attractions for more active travelers. These include the Qumran National Park, with its ancient caves on the northern shores where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical documents known to men, were found. The Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens offer a fun trip for flora lovers, with more than 1000 species of plants from around the world. The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is another great place for visitors to view some bird sanctuaries and wildlife of the desert. The Arugut reserve, with its series of shallow pools, perfect for bathing, is another popular destination for a short trip, and the Zohar Fortress and Canyon, a canyon in white soft limestone, is also worth a stop. There are many other routes and small trips to take while visiting the Dead Sea. You can easily find useful information in the tourists Information center in Ein Bokek center, where most of the area's hotels are located and few restaurants and shops can be found as well. Hotels in the Dead Sea >>

Rosh HaNikra – Galilee, Israel

Rosh HaNikra – Galilee, Israel

Rosh HaNikra is a geologic formation in Israel, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee near the border with Lebanon. It is a white chalk cliff face which opens up into spectacular grotto, resulted from an ongoing geological process over thousands of years. The grottoes are a natural wonder, fascinating in its mystery and breathtakingly beautiful at all hours of the day and throughout the year. The length of the walking track at the site of the natural grottoes is around 200 meters. The grottoes are lit up and therefore allow for nighttime visits. During World War II, the British dug a tunnel for the railway running between Haifa and Beirut to facilitate the movement of supplies from Egypt to the north. When the British withdrew in 1948, Israeli forces took over Rosh Hanikra and the Palmach blew up the railway bridges in the grottoes to prevent the Lebanese army from invading from that direction when the War of Independence began.

Zippori National Park Zippori National Park

Zippori National Park

The city of Zippori, founded in the Hellenistic/Maccabees era by Alexander Janneus, is located on hill in the Lower Galilee half way between the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Mediterranean Sea. Josephus Flavius, a first century C.E. historian, described it as "the ornament of all Galilee." The city’s name may have originated from the Hebrew word “tsipor” meaning bird and highlighting the view from the top of the hill. The city may get its name from the Hebrew word "tsipor" (bird) because the view from the town gives a sense of flying. Zippori, was conquered by the Romans in 37 B.C.E but during the revolt against Rome in 66 C.E., the Jews of Zippori elected not to take arms; conversely they opened the city gates to the legions of Roman Emperor Vespasian. In return the city was saved and renamed Eirenopolis or “city of peace” as evidenced by coins minted in Zippori during that period. The city had developed into an essential site, in the Land of Israel, for Jewish religious and spiritual life during the second century. The Bar-Kohba revolt of 135 introduced an influx of jewish refugees into the Galilee who by the Third Century were the town’s majority. Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, who also redacted the Mishnah, headed and relocated the Sanhedrin (Supreme Jewish religious and Judicial body) to Zippori during the Third Century. Long after the Sanhedrin was moved to Tiberias, Zippori retained its status as an important center of Bible study and many prominent sages taught in its academies. Zippori was an important trade market for traders due to it being strategically located on and around major trade routes. Zippori National Park Zippori National Park, encompassing the ruins and archaeology findings of the ancient Roman- and Talmudic-era city of Zippori, is located in the rolling hills of Lower Galilee, west of Nazareth.

Safed – Ancient Synagogues

During the sixteenth century, with the destruction of the Jewish community in Spain, which was the largest and most important Jewish community, and Spain's conquest by Christians, Diaspora Jews' interest in Kabbalah and mysticism grew, and hopes of Messianic redemption arose. As a world center for Judaism, with thousands of scholars, writers and poets living there, Safed became a spiritual center for Diaspora Jews. Customs and prayers still in use today originated in Safed. Joseph Karo wrote Shulchan Aruch – the written manual of Jewish law – and poet Shlomo Alkabetz wrote the song Lecha Dodi in Safed; most importantly, Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi “The Ari” created his interpretation of the Kabbalah in Safed. Ancient synagogues have been preserved in Safed, from different periods, allowing a rare peek into the depths of the city's fascinating history. Despite the difficult eras and hardships faced by the Jewish community during various periods, the city of Safed maintained a holy atmosphere. The sense of mystery that encompasses Safed is evident in the city's alleys, synagogues and in ancient cemetery. In the 1830s, the city boasted upwards of 50 synagogues, mikvehs (ritual baths) and places of Torah study. The Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue This sixteenth century synagogue was built by Jews who had been expelled from Spain and was used by Rabbi Isaac Lurai - The Ari and his students. The synagogue is located in the outskirts of Safed's Sephardic neighborhood. After the Hasids immigrated to the city, the synagogue served the Ashkenazi community. The synagogue was destroyed in an earthquake in 1837, and it took more than twenty years to rebuild it. The synagogue's arc was carved by a craftsman, in a style used in eastern European synagogues. During the 1948 War of Independence, a munitions shell was fired near the synagogue; its shrapnel cut off the metal grate and struck the bimah, but did not hit a single individual, even though the synagogue was filled with worshippers seeking refuge. The synagogue's courtyard houses a rock pillar, used by elderly and ill individuals who could not make the pilgrimage to Mount Meron on the holiday of Lag ba'Omer and participate in the bonfire ceremonies alongside the Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's burial place. The Ari Sephardic Synagogue The Ari Sephardic Synagogue, built in the 16th century, is the oldest synagogue in Safed. It is considered the synagogue of Rabbi Isaac Luria, where he chose to pray because of the view of Mount Meron and the proximity to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's burial site, visible from the synagogue window. The synagogue was destroyed during the great earthquake of 1837 and was rebuilt by Jewish Italian philanthropist Yitzhak Gueta. The synagogue served as an important Haganah position in the days preceding the 1948 War of Independence due to its location, opposite the city's Arab quarter. Despite the building's beauty, it is closed to visitors most days of the year. The Rebbe Avreitsh Synagogue The synagogue is named after Rabbi Abraham Avreitsh, who immigrated from Ukraine in 1833 and settled in Safed. Rabbi Abraham Avreitsh greatly assisted the Jewish yishuv at the time, which suffered many hardships following the robberies and violence taking place. The Rebbe and his wife assisted and offered financial support to Jewish survivors for several months. Though the synagogue was filled with worshippers during the 1837, which destroyed the synagogue's western section, no injuries were sustained and miraculously the holy arc remained standing. Karo Synagogue The synagogue is named after Rabbi Joseph Karo, who compiled the Shulchan Aruch and was one of the greatest rabbis and Jewish law adjudicators. Karo's family left Spain due to the Spanish Inquisition introduced by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella, and moved to Portugal, from which they were also expelled. Caro's family then moved to Istanbul and Edirne, in Turkey, where Karo was appointed head of the yeshiva. In 1536 the rabbi arrived in Safed and established a place of Torah study, where he delved into the topic of halakha, Jewish religious law. Abuhav Synagogue The Abuhav Synagogue dates back to the sixteenth century. According to popular belief, it is named after Rabbi Yitzhak Abuhav from the fifteenth century, considered “the last gaon of the Castile” who dealt with Jewish thought and Kabbalah, and taught Rabbi Yaakov Biruv. The Torah scroll at the synagogue is attributed to Rabbi Abuhav and is the most ancient Torah scroll in Safed. The Torah is taken out and read from only three times a year: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Shavuot. The second Torah scroll is that of Rabbi Suleiman Ohana, who immigrated to Safed from Morocco and befriended The Ari's students. For years, holidays and ceremonies were held at the synagogue because of its ancient, important Torah scrolls. On the synagogue's domed roof are decorations depicting different musical instruments used in the Temple in Jerusalem, symbols of the tribes of Israel and the four crowns from the Mishna: The crown of the Torah, the priesthood crown, kingship crown, and the crowd of the good name. There is another crown, unique to Safed: The crown of the impending redemption, to mark the waiting for the Messiah. Paintings drawn by Tziona Tagger hang on the synagogue walls. Beirav Synagogue The Beirav Synagogue dates back to the nineteenth century, and was initially named after Rabbi Yaakov Beirav, one of the greatest and most respected rabbis in Safed in the sixteenth century. For many years the synagogue served as a place of worships for those who had immigrated to Safed from Hungary. Several years ago the American community in Safed began using the synagogue, and these days many visitors from around the world come to the synagogue to take part in prayers. On Saturdays and holidays, many worshippers attend the synagogue and congregate in the courtyard. The Ancient Cemetery Some of Judaism's greatest scholars are buried in Safed's ancient synagogue, attracting thousands of visitors throughout the year. Among the Jewish scholars buried in the synagogue: The Ari, Rabbi Joseph Karo, Rabbi Yaakov Beirav, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero and the “Yanuka” baby from Baram, who according to tradition began speaking miraculously and revealing secrets and enigmas. According to popular belief, the ancient burial sites of Rabbi Pinchas Ben-Yair, the son-in-law of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, one of the Ten Martyrs and the grave of Hannah and her seven sons, who died for Kiddush Hashem, or sanctification in the name of God, are in Safed's ancient cemetery. The cemetery is also home to the burial sites of Olei Hagardom, members of the pre-State of Israel underground movement, who were tried in British Mandate courts and hanged in 1947.