The Judean Lowlands
Exactly halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is the Judean lowlands, known in Hebrew as the "Shfela". This region is a treasure trove of history, nature, wineries, caves, monasteries and more. The Israelis like to call it "The Tuscany of Israel". I agree.
Its comfortable weather and fertile soil always attracted human activity; Here is where Samson met Delilah, where David slew Goliath, and where Bar Kochva’s soldiers hid in caves from the Roman legions in the 2nd century A.D
Our tour will start in Beit Guvrin national park, an ancient city and an impressive archeological site. This city is known for its beautiful bell-shaped caves, the impressive Roman amphitheater, the underground dovecotes and much more. We can also participate in an active archeological excavation- a great chance to get your hands dirty and take part in the re-discovery of the past!
After lunch, we'll visit Tel Azekah, this hilltop is overlooking the Elah valley, where David defeated Goliath as describes in the Bible. From there, we can either visit Tel Lachish, a Biblical city which its conquest by the Assyrians was documented in marvelous wall reliefs, now on display in the British Museum, or in Khirbet Qeiyafa, a brand new archeological site which challenged the academic perspective on the Bible.
Emmaus Nicopolis- a lovely Roman archeological park where Jesus is said to have appeared after his death and resurrection.
Laturn Armored Corps Museum- Israel's official memorial site for fallen soldiers from the armored corps, as well as one of the biggest tank museums in the world.
The Srigim brewery, home of some of Israel’s finest craft beers
Latrun monastery- a French- Catholic 19th-century monastery surrounded by amazing olive tree groves and vineyards.
Beit Jimal- a 19th-century Italian monastery. The Christian tradition identifies the site with the burial place of St. Stephen.