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National Parks in Israel: Soreq Cave & Avshalom Reserve

The Soreq Cave is the central feature of the Avshalom Reserve and a popular stop for adventurous tourists. Located approximately 12 miles west of Jerusalem along the road out of Ein Kerem, the caves lie in the western slopes of the Judean Hills. Averaging about two hundred feet in both length and width and totaling about an acre in area, Soreq (Sorek) is Israel's largest cave.

In 1968, a blast to lossen rock in the Har-Tuv Quarry revealed an underground world of beauty, the Soreq Cave. The explosion opened a new crack into the world beneath. The stalactites were formed about 5 million years ago. The cave is approximately 8-25 million years out and the rocks are approximately 80-100 millions years old. Seven years after it's discovery, the cave was opened on March 16, 1975.

Also called: Stalactite Cave

On the western slopes of the Judean Hills, south of Nahal- Soreq and approximately 2 km (1 1/4 miles) east of Bet- Shemesh.

From Jerusalem: On the 'En-Kerem – Bar-Giora road. Follow the signposted road from the Bar-Giora Junction for about 5 km (3 miles) to the parking lot.

From Tel Aviv: Take the old Jerusalem road to Shimshon Junction, turn south to Bet-Shemesh, and then east to the beginning of the signposted road; Follow this road 5 km (3 miles) to the parking lot.

Approximately 45 minutes.

Audiovisual program and guidance, regional guiding center for tours in the Judean plain, the Judean Hills, The Judean Desert and the Dead Sea (to be arranged in advance and there is a fee for participating), souvenir shop, parking lot, snack bar, rest rooms.

Telephone: 02-9911117

Entrance Fee: Required.

Visiting Hours:
Year-round: 8:30 -16:00
Friday and holiday eves: 8:30 - 13:00
Visitors may enter the reserve until 1 hour before closing time.

Sources: Palphot Ltd. and Nature Reserves Authority, Soreq Cave; Photo Courtesy of David Pride