08:30 – Pick up from the hotel.
Drive to the Judean Foothills (Shfela) region where we stop at the Harel Lookout, overlooking the famous “Burma Road” constructed during the War of Independence and played an important roll in overcoming the blockade of Jerusalem. In the winter and spring we can enjoy the lush green and multitude of wild flowers of the surrounding scenery.
We continue through the Shfela, passing the archeological site of biblical Beit Shemesh, not far from the modern day city of its name. We proceed to visit Tel Azeka overlooking the Elah Valley, named after the Elah or Turpentine trees that are indigenous to the valley, and site of the historical battle between David and Goliath, with the Philistines encamped at Azekah and the Israelites encamped at Socho. Today Socho is renowned for the Blue Lupines that carpet its slopes every March. In season we will be able to enjoy this wondrous sight.
We continue to Beit Guvrin, a national park encompassing the ruins of Maresha, which was one of the important towns of Judah during the time of the First Temple, and which was succeeded by Beit Guvrin as the main town of the region in the Roman era. We will have a view of archeological Maresha and visit the magnificent manmade caves of Beit Guvrin – the columbarium, the Phoenician cave, the Bell Cave and others.
Our last stop on this journey is Tel Lachish, site of an ancient Near East city, now an archaeological site and an Israeli national park. According to the Bible, Lachish was an important city in the Kingdom of Israel, which was first destroyed by the Assyrians, and later by the Babylonians. The Lachish region today is renowned for the longevity of its grapes, which are grown using innovative natural methods, with no genetic engineering. The scenery is filled with vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see.
Return to hotel ending till 18:00