Top 5 Caves to Visit in Israel
Caves in Israel are well-known for their ancient treasures. Every year, many renowned researchers and archaeologists roam through the vast 1,200 caves systems in the hopes of finding answers to many mysteries about Israel’s past.
While many of these caves are natural, you will find hundreds of man-made caves with ties to Biblical and historic events. We thought it would be fun to come up with a list of our top 5 caves to visit on your next trip to Israel!
Photo by יגאל דקל
Soreq (Avshalom) Cave
The Soreq Cave, also known as Avshalom’s Caves or the Stalactite Cave, is located between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. This magnificent cave is a part of a nature reserve and the National Parks Authority. Some of the stalactites and stalagmites are known to have reached 14 feet long and date back to 350,000 years. Families and nature lovers will love going through secure guard rails and multi-color natural lighting. Make sure to wear good shoes with traction, the humidity in this cave can range from 92% to 98%!
Grotto of Gethsemane
This cave also known as the Grotto of Gethsemane (which means the place of the olive oil press), which is located at the site believed to be where Judas betrayed Jesus. After the Biblical events that ensued at the Garden of Olives, Jesus met with the Apostles who were resting at this cave. This small man-made grotto is a short walk from the Church of All Nations.
Photo by Amira_a
Located at the site of the ancient cities of Maresha and Beit Guvrin, the Bell Cave is one of the 800 bell shaped caves located in the area that are used to supply building materials to the cities above, as well as serve as quarries and burial caves. This is believed to be the ancient city of Maresha, mentioned in the Bible (Joshua 15:44 and Chronicles 2, 11; 5-8), as a city fortified by Rehoboam. The Beit Guvrin National Park is worth visiting simply because of the natural wonders you will experience. Not only this, but also, to impress your friends on Facebook with this picture-perfect site!
The 11 Caves of Qumran
The Qumran Caves are a series of caves located between Jerusalem and the major Dead Sea beaches which are natural and man-made that have been used for over millennia. In 1946, a Bedouin boy discovered the scrolls that would eventually include a total of 972 texts: including the oldest known existing copy of the Old Testament. The site has a visitor center where you will be able to listen to an audio presentation, visit ancient kitchens, assembly halls, pottery workshops and enjoy the beautiful views.
Photo by Yair Aronshtam
HaYonim (The Pigeons) Cave
The HaYonim Cave is located in the Upper Galilee region; archeologist have found blades, cooking hearths, finished floors and graves that belonged to the Middle Paleolithic Mousterian period, 250,000 to 100,000 years ago. Amongst these findings, traces of the Neolithic period and the Natufian culture around 12,000 years ago has been found.