There are about 3 weeks left of August, and since going abroad is out of the question for most of us, and we've exhausted almost all other travel options, here are some lesser-known places in the Jerusalem area.
These are not full-day options, just nice places with shade and water which you can add to your itinerary and which offer a cool respite from the heat:
Actually, this place is on the "well known" side of the spectrum. From the parking lot there are wooden signs to the various gardens and pool. Water in the pool can be deep even in the summer, so it's recommended only if you can swim. There's also a small tunnel to crawl into, with shallow water. Waze: Sataf upper car park
Another well known place with 2 pools - one small and shallow, the other large and about 1.5m deep. Lots of trees and places for a picnic. Easily accessed behind the Jerusalem Zoo. Waze: Ein Lavan
Here we leave the beaten path and you need to walk a bit, but it's totally worth it.
Ein Hindak can be reached from 2 sides: either from the car park beneath the Sataf (beautiful 2k forest walk, one way), or from the entrance to moshav Even Sapir (steep 500 meter walk down narrow path).
The spring is partially hidden beneath huge fig trees, but move them aside, climb down to the entrance to the tunnels - there are two - check them both out, must use a flashlight!
Water can get up to adult's chest at some points, but most of the walk through the tunnels is shallow.
There are lots of areas for a picnic nearby.
Waze: option 1: Sataf lower car park. Option 2: Moshav Even Sapir.
If you're at Even Sapir, continue driving down through the moshav till you get to the spring. People even camp here at night, there are trees and a picnic table, and the spring itself is in a large cave. Large pool at the entrance of the cave, can reach adult's waist.
Waze: Ein Sapir
Ein Sarig: A nice small spring hiding under large trees. Water is about chest-high. Located along the "Ma'ayanot Path" just south of Hadasah Ein Kerem. Park at the large lot at the bend of the road between Hadasah Hospital and moshav Even Sapir. From there walk up the path about 300m and to your left, and hidden between the trees you'll find the pool. Waze: Ein Sarig
From Ein Sarig it's a short and easy semi-shaded 1.5k hike to Ein Uzi
Ein Uzi: Accessed from the same parking lot as Ein Sarig. A great pool to jump into over and over on a hot day. Water is about chest high and there are stairs on the north-east corner of the pool below the water line. There are a few trees in the area and lots of places to picnic on the ground. Waze: Ein Uzi
Ein Mevaser: Right in the middle of Mevaseret Tzion, this small spring and pool is a cool treat. Located near the intersection/circle of Shimon Swisa and Oren streets, walk down beneath the large fig trees to enjoy a dip. Pool is quite shallow, and nearby there's also a Mikveh which uses the same water. Waze: Ein Mevaser, Mevaseret Tzion
Ein Nekofa: A small pool hidden beneath a large tree, right beneath Mevesaert Tzion. The easiest way is to park at the end of Bilu Street on the western edge of Mevasert Tzion, then walk down a path (1.3k) to the spring. The pool is small but deep (about chest high), and there's a makeshift ladder hanging from the tree to help you out.
Waze: Ein Nekofa
Einot Boker: A lovely little spring with an amazing place for a romantic picnic. From the KKL picnic area of Ein Kesalon along Route 395, drive along the gravel path heading EAST for about 500 meters. Park on the right side and look for the path on the LEFT which leads down to the spring. Path isn't marked, but it's clearly used.
The spring fills a little pool, but the main attraction is a little below the pool - a large metal swing beneath the trees overlooking the hills, and a place for a nice picnic with a view.
Waze: Einot Boker
Ein Hanya/Hinya: a new place, right near Ein lavan and the Jerusalem Zoo. This is the only one on the list which costs money to enter, but the place is nicely kept by the Parks Authority. There's a large pool and shady areas for picnics. Waze: Ein Hanya https://www.parks.org.il/reserve-park/enchinya/
Enjoy, and don't forget to take your trash with you.
Our guest blogger is David Felberg, a Trail runner, who loves exploring Israel.
Photo Credit: David Felberg