The Judaean Mountains, or Judaean Hills, is a mountain range in Israel, where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The Judean Mountains include the Mount Hebron ridge, the Jerusalem ridge and the Judean slopes. They formed the heartland of the Kingdom of Judah, where the earliest Jewish settlements emerged.
The trip follows the Judean Hills route to Jerusalem while discovering natural scenery and ancient sites and offers first-hand encounters with the diverse and friendly local communities.
- Neve Shalom – binational community of Jewish and Muslim Arab Israeli citizens
- Emmaus – Roman-era archaeological site
- Burma Road – A bypass to the besieged Jerusalem in 1948
- Yad Hashmona – a community of Messianic Jews and Christians living together
- Bellmont – a crusader fortress
- Ein Karem – A quiet romantic village, now a neighbourhood of Jerusalem, the birthplace of John the Baptist.
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Day 1: Neve Shalom – Wahat al-Salam
Arrive at Neve Shalom – Jewish-Arab community village. Public transport from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is available. A taxi from Ben Gurion airport is about 40 minutes drive. Private transfer is available on request. Stroll around the village, situated in a beautiful valley.
- Overnight in Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam Guesthouse, dinner
Day 2: Circular walk in the Ayalon Valley | 17 km
The circular walk starts and ends at Neve Shalom. The route goes through the Tuscany-like landscapes of the Ayalon Valley. Visit the archaeological site of Emmaus – where according to the New Testament, Jesus appeared after his resurrection. Walk through the Canada natural park and back to the Latrun memorial site and museum. An optional visit to the Latrun monastery of the silent monks just before arriving back to Neve Shalom. You can walk the whole route or only part of it.
- Walking for the day: 17 km, 6-7 hours (full route), ↑250m ↓250m
- Overnight in Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam Guesthouse, breakfast, dinner
Day 3: The Burma Road, Old Trees nature reserve | 13 km
The trail leaves Neve Shalom in the Ayalon valley toward the slopes of the Judean hills, easterly direction. The track follows the path of the “Burma Road” – a bypass to besieged Jerusalem during the 1948 war of independence. Toward the end of the hike, there is an amazing viewpoint offering spectacular views over the Israeli lowlands.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 5 hours ↑400m ↓50m
- Overnight in Shoresh Green Hills, breakfast
Day 4: Abu Gosh, Yad Hashmona | 13 km
Today’s trip starts with a nice walk in the forest just outside Shoresh and later through historic and heritage sites. The route crosses settlements and communities which are typical to Israel e.g. Moshav, a cooperative village, or the Arab village of Abu-Gosh and the unique community in Yad Hashmona where Messianic Jews and Christians are peacefully living together.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 5-6 hours ↑150m ↓150m
- Overnight in Yad Hashmona Country Hotel, breakfast, dinner
Day 5: Tzuba-Bellmont, Sattaf, Ein Karem | 11 km
The trip begins with a morning car transfer from Yad Hashmona to Kibbutz Tzuba. The trailhead is at the remains of the Crusader fortress of Bellmont. Start with a short walk crossing the Kibbutz. Continue through the Sattaf nature reserve. Jerusalem is visible from the high points of the route. The highlight and the final destination of this day is the atmospheric village of Ein Karem – a neighbourhood of Jerusalem. A stroll along the alleys of the village and visiting its churches, historic sites and cafés is a lovely way to finish the day.
- Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours ↑200m ↓200m
- Overnight in Notre Dame de Sion guesthouse, breakfast
Day 6: Departure or Onward Travel
Departure after breakfast.
What to Expect
5 nights in 3-star quality hotels or guesthouses. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Click to view default hotels
- Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam Guesthouse, Shoresh Green Hills, Yad Hashmona Country Hotel, Notre Dame de Sion guesthouse, tlv88 boutique seaside hotel
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.
Difficulty & terrain
Suitable for regular walkers who are generally fit. Total walking is 54 km, on average 14 km (4-6 hours) per walking day (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available all year round. Best months are February until June and September until November. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
The climate is subtropical. In July and August, it can become very hot for walking, be sure to take enough water!
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this tour is Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv International).
By train or bus
- You can use either public transport or book a private transfer with us. The detailed bus schedule will be provided in the pre-departure info pack or you can use the Omio planner above.
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (electronic copy + one printed copy per party)
- 5 nights in 3-star hotels with breakfast included
- 3 dinners
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches and dinners other than those included, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras & supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers.
- Extra nights in tlv88, a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, located very close to the beach and in the heart of the vibrant Tel Aviv downtown
- Optional private transfer Tel Aviv (Airport or centre) to hotel on Day 1
- Optional private transfer from last hotel to Tel Aviv (Airport or centre)