Updated: Jan 13
Here's an interesting fact about Israelis - They like to take a pakal kafe with them on hikes in nature, or when they visit their nearby ma'ayan (spring). (or sometimes use them at home!)
Why? Do you ask? Well, simply because there is nothing more Israeli than enjoying the outdoors with a nice steaming glass of fresh coffee (*Don't worry, there is always emergency tea for the non-coffee drinkers).
A quick trip outside the city, in the Refaim River Nature Reserve, awaits a not-so-hidden gem, Ein Lavan. Water from the spring in the reserve flows into two pools used for swimming. One is a bit deeper, good for cooling off on a hot day, and one is shallow and more suitable for young children. If you need a day outside of the fast pace of Jerusalem, Ein Lavan is the perfect oasis. Take a dip, enjoy the fresh air, wander around the reserve, and make it back in time for dinner. You can also set up a barbecue or picnic in the reserve, and relax the day away.
What to expect?
From the Biblical Zoo parking lot, it’s a short but scenic hike, with beautiful views of the Judean Hills. When you arrive, have a dunk in one of the two pools, or sit around the edge and enjoy the sunshine. You will want to wear good walking shoes for the trek, and don’t forget sunscreen, water, a bathing suit, and a towel! There are no public facilities so plan accordingly.
What you need to know!
Payment & hours: Free and unlimited hours
Distance from the parking lot: 100 meters
Best season to visit: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Public facilities? No
By Public transportation:
From the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, take the light rail in the direction of 'Har Hertzl'. Get off the last stop, 'Har-Hertzl'.
Take the 26א bus to the Israel Aquarium. It will be around 21 minutes (18 stops). From the aquarium, you need to walk 15 minutes (1.2 km) until you will reach the water. (Use Google Maps!)