Gush Ezion, just 25 minutes’ drive from Jerusalem, but yet a hidden tourist gem full of history, heritage, beautiful landscapes and many activities to choose from. The area also offers a variety of local restaurants for every taste.
Here are some of the highlights of this area –
Herodion – One of the most fascinating sites in the Holy Land, built by Herod the Great, King of Judah during the Roman period. Herod began to build Herodion, apparently as a government and administrative center in Judea, leaving Jerusalem mainly as the religious center. He named his daring, magnificent project after himself. The city was divided into a fortress on the upper city and a palace and gardens in the lower city.
Professor Ehud Netzer (Hebrew University Jerusalem) headed the archaeological excavations for 38 years since 1972, initially focusing on the lower city. In 2007, after years of searching, Netzer discovered the remains of the royal tomb of Herod, in a monumental building on the north-eastern foothills of Herodion. Thus, the long-standing mystery of Herod’s burial place was finally solved.
Prof. Netzer died tragically in Oct 2010 following a fall during work on the theater, not far from Herod’s tomb.
Gush Etzion Heritage Center – The story of the establishment of Gush Etzion, from its early beginnings to the fall of the Gush during the War of Independence and its rebirth. The site includes a sound and light show and a memorial to the heroic defenders of Gush Etzion.
Gush Etzion Winery – situated in the heart of the Etzion Bloc, surrounded by vineyards. Tour and wine tasting is offered at the visitor’s center for groups and individuals.
During the grape harvest, the winery and the winegrowers invite the wine-loving public, including children, to join in harvesting the grapes at dawn. A tour of the winery and breakfast are included.
Lone Tree Brewery – This boutique brewery was established by two families from Scotland and the United States. A tour of the brewery includes beer-tasting (non-alcoholic, if you prefer) and a demonstration of how the natural beer is made.
Caliber 3 – the ultimate extreme tourist experience, offering shooting adventure (learn from experts about weapons handling, counter terrorism tactics, and the values that guide the Israel Defense Forces), paintball, survival training, krav maga and more. All the instructors have seen combat, and still active reservists in the Israel Defense Forces. Interact with them and hear their stories about places and operations that you have read about in the news.
Deer Land Park – Set in the heart of a forest, overlooking breathtaking scenery, Deer Land Park offers a wide variety of attractions: a nature reserve, petting zoo, and one of the largest sports challenge facilities in Israel. Activities include a climbing wall, 360 degree swings, bungee trampoline, paintball, archery, marksmanship, horse-riding, 4X4 jeep rides, and the longest zipline in Israel – 400 meters long and 120 meters high above a canyon.
Gush Etzion ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) – offers guided tours of the region. Experienced guides ensure that you will have an informative, safe experience. Your journey will take you to enchanting vistas, nature reserves, and some of the most breathtaking lookout points in Gush Etzion. Our ATVs are suited to all ages, from 4 to 120. You do the driving!