Jerusalem Hills Trek – Latroun to Malha
Sunday 15 Oct – Friday 20 Oct 2023
Please join Jewish Child’s Day for a fantastic adventure across the Jerusalem Hills and raise vital funds to transform the lives of Jewish children in need along the way.
This is a wonderful experience to undertake on behalf of Jewish Child’s Day. You will have the opportunity to meet a likeminded group of people and share in the beauty of this enchanting and historical trek and have the chance to visit a couple of the projects we support.
Arrival: Sunday 15 October 2023
EL AL Luton to Tel Aviv Dept: 09:45 Arr: 16:45. There will be a one-hour transfer to the hotel at Neve Ilan.
Trek Day 1 – Latrun to Ha-Masrek
Having enjoyed a good night’s sleep and an early breakfast, we will have a short transfer of 15 minutes by coach to our starting point at Latrun. We will be walking from The Amoured Corps Memorial (Yad Lashiryon) along the historic Burma Road and Israel National trail. The route is through low hills, pine forests and vantage points boasting spectacular views of the Jerusalem Hills and Modiin. We will be stopping at Ein Mesila for lunch. After lunch, we will experience the cool Eshtaol forest air, walk up “Convoys Ridge” to Hill 21. We will end our day at the Ha-Masrek (the comb) Nature Reserve.
Sites of interest
The Burma Road – The Burma Road was a hastily constructed bypass formed during Israel’s War of Independence. It was created to provide the Jews of Jerusalem which were under siege, with vital water and other supplies. It was named after the mountainous road formed by the Allied forces in Burman during the Second World War. Today the Burma Road traverses through forests of the Judean Foothills (the Shephelah), offering a great off-road tour experience in the heart of Israel.
The Latrun Monastery – In 1890, a group of French monks were sent to establish a contemplative monastery at Latrun. The monks bought 200 hectares on the hilltop and built the monastery dedicated to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows which is still active today. The monastery is also known as the Silent Monastery as the monks have taken a vow of silence. During the Six Day War in 1967, Latrun found itself in the thick of the fighting. But, because of the rapidity of the campaign, the monastery was not damaged. The abbey store is a thriving hub of activity producing and selling a range of wines, soap, religious souvenirs, olives, jams and honey. Happy shopping!
Ha-Masrek Nature Reserve – The reserve is named after the Jerusalem pine trees that grow at the top of the ridge and are reminiscent of the shape of a hair comb. The name was given by members of the Palmach, who settled in Givat Brenner and toured the area.
Total distance – 13km, 550m uphill, 170m downhill
Trek Day 2 – Ha-Masrek to Ein Limon
Following our delicious Israeli breakfast, we will have a 10-minute coach transfer to Hamasrek where we will begin our trek. We will follow the jeep trail along the Kesalon Valley and descend to HakDoshim Forest. The trail is moderately challenging, on a dirt road with a steady gradient. The route will take us near to the Arab village of Ein Rafa. We will finish our day at the spring of Ein Limon where you will have the opportunity to take a dip in the very cool water should you be brave enough!
Sites of interest
Kesalon Valley – Ruins of a Biblical city on a high rising hill on the western Judea foothills region. This may be the place of the Biblical city of Kesalon (Chesalon), which fits the description of the Judea cities in the book of Joshua.
HakDoshim Forest (Forest of the Martyrs) – Planted as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust by the Jewish national Fund (JNF) in the 1950s, the forest has 6 million trees in memory of all those who perished. The forest contains several memorials including a monument to Anne Frank and The B’nai Brith Cave which serves as a place of solidarity with the memory of the Holocaust victims at official ceremonies (the cave is closed to visitors).
Total distance – 13.5km, 400m uphill, 280m downhill
Trek Day 3 – Sataf to Hirbet Sa’adim
Starting at Sataf, the site of ancient, terraced agriculture we will descend into the Sorek valley, known bibilically as the area of the meeting between Samson and Delilah. Through the valley we will reach the Herodian Dam and Ein Hindak. The area is very beautiful, surrounded by pools, cool caves, pretty forests and lovely wildflowers. We will skirt around Even Sapir and climb out of the valley along the Path of Springs past several freshwater springs and stop for lunch at Ein Uzzi. Our final part of the day will be spent visiting the Kennedy Memorial on our way to our second hotel, Jerusalem Montefiore (circa 20 minute coach transfer).
Sites of interest
Ein Hindak – Ein Hindak is no ordinary water cave. Most spring tunnels in Israel are perfect for wading in. They’re usually ankle deep, knee deep, or at the very most – waist deep. Not Ein Hindak. To get to the very end of the Ein Hindak water tunnel, you’ve got to be prepared for full immersion. Do not worry, this is not on the agenda! 🙂
Kennedy Memorial – In one of Jerusalem’s greenest of areas lies one of its most poignant artistic achievements, the lasting goodwill shared by Israel and the United States of America. The 60-foot high memorial is shaped like the stump of a felled tree, symbolising a life cut short. Inside is a bronze relief of Kennedy, with an eternal flame burning in the centre.
Total distance – 12 km, 360m uphill, 420m downhill
Trek Day 4 – Hirbet Sa’adim to Jerusalem
Following a stay in our new hotel with the opportunity of a slightly different breakfast (perhaps!), we will have a 20-minute coach transfer to Hirbet Sa’adim. One of the most popular trails in this part of the Judean mountains with spectacular views throughout, we will walk through Ein Lavan and the luscious groves of fig and oak trees, passing several springs towards the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. From there, we will walk along Park HaMesila, a rail trail urban park in West Jerusalem.
Sites of interest
Jerusalem Biblical Zoo – Located in the Malha neighbourhood of Jerusalem, it is famous for its Afro-Asiatic collection of wildly, many of which are ascribed in the Hebrew Bible, as well as for its success in breeding endangered species.
Park HaMesila (Train Track Park) – Featuring 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) of walking trails, the park followed the route of the original Jaffa-Jerusalem railway from the Jerusalem Railway Station near the German Colony to Teddy Stadium in Malha. The park is built-over and incorporates in its design the original railway tracks installed in 1892 and used through 1998. The park has been noted as a symbol of coexistence in the divided city, as it passed through Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods and is used by residents of both.
Leaving: Friday 20th October
Early morning breakfast at the hotel followed by transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
EL AL Tel Aviv – London Heathrow Dept: 10:10 Arr: 13:35
X3 nights at Neve Ilan:
x2 nights at Jerusalem Montefiore:
Breakfast Served each morning @ 8am
This trek is demanding in parts, the terrain and heat will be a significant factor. You must be comfortable walking up to 4-6 hours per day. Ideally, you should be a keen trekker/hiker and enjoy training and walking regularly. You need to have a good level of endurance with the ability to sustain the level of effort required over a period of days. You should be doing regular exercise.
We will be organising a personal fitness programme with a PT trainer to support endeavours.
Level of Difficulty – Between T2 & T3.
These grades are only an indication and there are always variables based on terrain and climate. The trail does have some steep uphill parts, can be slippery and rocky in areas and does include some deep downhill descents.
T1 Easy, T2 – Moderate, T3 – Difficult, T4 – Challenging, T5 – Strenuous
Please note, places are limited for this event. To secure your place, we will require a £250 registration fee which is non-refundable. We are asking our trekkers for a minimum fundraising goal of £2,900 – if you prefer, you are very welcome to cover the minimum fundraising cost yourself or a mix of both, whatever is comfortable for you.
- Private transfers to and from the airport
- Hotel accommodation H/B basis with breakfast and dinner
- Lunch during the trek
- Energy snacks, fruit and water
- Personal guide
“Not normally one for a lot of strenuous exercise, I am participating in what I think might be a rather arduous trek of 60km from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Tiberias).
Follow my trip, see the photos and enjoy the experience alongside me and my fellow trekkers.” – Charles Spungin, Jewish Child’s Day Chairman.
Clock here to read his blog:
Home | Charles Spungin (charles5827.wixsite.com)