What’s There to do Around Beit Shemesh?

January 29th 2018

Beit Shemesh is a mini-center about half an hour between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, a growing community that keeps expanding outwards. While this town is known for being a comfortable community for Anglos to get acclimated after aliyah, not many people are aware of the tremendous tourist appeal that surrounds this quiet city. Check out some of the coolest day trips you can take while based in Beit Shemesh.

Avshalom Cave aka Sorek Cave aka Stalactite Cave

Travel down into the belly of this cave to discover a world of adventure and wonder. Just outside Beit Shemesh, this cave is covered with stunning formations growing in various heights from the ceiling. The magical stalactites are formed by water droplets slowly dripping down from the roof of the cave, creating the beautiful, crystal like deposits along the cave’s ceiling. Be sure to wear shoes with a good grip because the floor of the cave can be slippery

*Tourists should note that there are several stairs you need to climb down to reach the caves, so the trip might not be suitable for travelers in wheelchairs or babies that need strollers.

Forest of the Martyrs

Known in Hebrew as Yaar Hakedoshim, the forest was planted and remains a memorial for the Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The forest was planned to eventually contain six million trees, each one commemorating another soul that was lost. Within the forest is a tall monument called the Scroll of Fire. The tall, tablet-like pillar is carved with various images, each one representing significant events throughout Jewish history. Sculpted by Nathan Rapoport, a Holocaust survivor himself, the Scroll brings tourists on a journey from the Holocaust through history until the war of independence.

Itri Ruins

Also called Hurvat Itri, these ruins represent some fabulous archeological findings, the fruits of a dig done just outside Beit Shemesh. Archeologists were able to unearth the remains of a Second Temple period Jewish village, and findings include an ancient synagogue, cisterns, bathhouses, wine press, theatre, and even a catacomb of underground hiding places.

Bet you didn’t think the lazy town known for a sweltering sun and savvy American shoppers could supply you with so much culture, excitement, and entertainment! Check out what else Israel has to offer on your next trip.