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|Distance: <50km||Time: 1 hour||Difficulty: Easy|
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We’re always looking for new, beautiful places to spend time outdoors.
Whether it’s a freshwater spring or a mountaintop summit, there are lots of pretty spots to see nature in the Jerusalem area. Many of the best places require a hike to get you there. And this makes sense. The further away that you are from vehicular traffic, the more likely you are to find peace, quiet, and raw nature to enjoy.
But every once in a while, we like to check out places that are super accessible – spots that one can drive up to and enjoy in less than an hour.
This past Friday took us to one of those nice spots (a pinat chemed, as it’s called in Hebrew) – Ein Mevaser. This freshwater spring in Mevasseret Tzion is one of the nicest, cleanest springs in the Jerusalem area. In late summer, Ein Mevasser is surrounded by abundant greenery and seasonal fruit trees. And although it is right off of the road, it remains relatively quiet and undisturbed – even on a Friday morning.
Here’s how we visited this quiet spring in Mevasseret Tzion:
To Hike or Not to Hike?
We pulled up on the side of the road not too far from the well-known yeshiva in Mevasseret. The steps down to the spring were just a short walk up the street. As we walked down the steps, we were pleasantly surprised by how pretty this shallow spring was. The water was clear, contained within a picturesque pool. Thick shade and stone seating surrounding the pool on all sides. It looked like a wonderful place to spend time on a hot day.
It felt like we should grab a spot there while it was still completely quiet. But, being ourselves, we did not sit down with our picnic breakfast and settle in. Instead, we scoped out a little trail which led further down the hill. I wanted to follow it for just a little bit to see what sort of treasures lay up ahead.
Figs: The Essence of Summer in Israel
The path brought us down to another little pool, and then past a series of fig trees, their ripening fruit emitting a tantalizing fragrance. Of course, I stopped to taste each one – the deep purple fruit and the light green ones, each with their own special flavor.
We thought about turning back after the figs, but alas, there was a pretty view up ahead! I wanted to get a closer look. So we followed the unmarked trail just a little bit further.
And then once we had taken in the view, I noticed that the path wound even further down the hill. We kept on walking to see if we could reach some caves that we saw on the map.
A minute or two later, we were climbing inside a gated cave. According to the map, this structure was the remains of a Second Temple Period synagogue. It was actually really cool, and with that, we had quenched our thirst for discovery that morning.
Now, we were free to return to the spring and eat breakfast.
After climbing the path back towards Ein Mevasser, we found a place to sit on the side, our feet in the water. A lone fish swam around inside the pool. It was delightfully pleasant in that quiet, breezy spot. And there we sat for a good forty-five minutes, talking, drinking iced coffee, enjoying the cool water and the shade of the fig trees which surrounded us. Our son, just back from the army after three weeks, gave us a full report of everything that had happened since he left.
We watched as locals occasionally came and went to the nearby mikvaot, one for purifying themselves and one for their dishes. But no one stopped for a dip in Ein Mevasser that Friday morning. We had it all to ourselves.
Finally, when we were packing up to go, one man showed up in a swimsuit with a towel. He dipped in one toe, then the other, then laid down completely in the cold, clear water. As we climbed up the stairs away from the spring, we saw him sitting on the side of the pool, sandwich in hand. A perfect Friday morning.
A Pretty Place
Our little stop at Ein Mevasser that morning wasn’t some grand adventure or physical challenge. Instead, it was a perfect way to spend an easy hour relaxing in a beautiful natural place.
This “pinat chemed” near Jerusalem is a wonderful spot to cool down on a hot summer day.
Here’s what you need to know to visit Ein Mevasser:
- This spring is full all year long. This is a great place to visit at any season.
- The water level in the pool is fairly shallow. Great for little kids. And great for sitting inside and relaxing.
- If you visit Ein Mevasser, please make sure to pack out more than you brought in! There wasn't much trash around, but there were a few remnants of fun times around the spring. Help clean up Israel's beautiful places 🙂
- Ein Mevasser is very easy to get to. Just park on the side of the road and head down the steps. If you'd like to find the caves, follow the path down the hill. You will see them on your right.
Don’t forget to read my guide to the navigational features in this post before you hit the trail!
Trail map from Amud Anan.
Questions? Have you been to Ein Mevasser? Let’s hear about it in the comments!