Though the relaxed, welcoming city of Beit She’an may appear unassuming at first, the northern city packs a major punch in terms of natural beauty. Located in the heart of The Valley of Springs (Emek Hamayanot), there are over 40 natural water springs in the area, each a fun, unique, and beautiful vista to explore.
Our Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Beit She’an regularly spend their free time exploring the many streams and springs by bike and by foot. Here are a few of their must-see scenic spots. Some of our favorites include:
1. Ein Hanatsiv
Ein Hanatsiv is a religious kibbutz about 5 km south of Beit She’an. The kibbutz boasts a cozy and secluded spring with a rope swing, perfect for an all-day hang out with friends.
2. Nahal Hakibbutzim and the Park of the Springs
About 5 km west of Beit She’an, The Park of The Springs is easily accessible by a walking/bike trail. This area offers free access to a number of streams and springs, and visitors can rent golf carts to explore the fish ponds, orchards, and other stunning scenery at the base of the Gilboa mountain range. The Nahal HaKibbutzim hike, a two-hour trek in waist-high water, is a local favorite guaranteed to keep you cool in the summer.
3-4. The Asi and The Sachne
The Asi and The Sachne are different sections of the same water source, Nahal Amal, both of which cost a small fee to access (unless you go with a local who has a free pass!). The Asi is located within Kibbutz Nir David, and in addition to a natural swimming area has an indoor lap pool, basketball court, and dry sauna.
Located in Gan HaShlosha National Park, the Sachne was listed in TIME’s top 20 list of most beautiful natural places in the world. The water is warm (~28°C/82°F) year round, making it refreshing in the hot summer and comfortable in the cooler winter months.
5. Beit She’an Park and Nahal Harod
Beit She’an Park and Nahal Harod are located at the northwestern edge of the city. The park has a beautiful, easy, paved trail which follows the Harod stream under the shade of trees, passed ancient flour mills, and across several bridges eastward towards the Gilad Mountain range in Jordan. If you continue about 30 minutes into the trail, you will reach the antiquated Roman Bridge on the path to Damascus, and can enter the archaeological site of an ancient Roman city free of charge!
Scythopolis (pronounced “Skee-top-o-lis”) is the ancient Roman/Byzantine city whose well- preserved architectural ruins are a must-see for tourists visiting the Beit She’an area. The ruins are within a national park showcasing a theater, bathhouse, Main Street, decorative mosaic floors, and other typical city structures of the Roman period. Scythopolis offers unique features and sites including Tel Beit She’an, a hill composed of 20 settlements dating back over 7,000 years with a picturesque 360° view of the area, and evidence of sophisticated plumbing and water works reflective of the abundance of natural water in the vicinity. The park offers free tours in English – many of which are guided by our very own Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, who find it to be a fun opportunity for their community volunteer work!
Ready to get your explorer on? Get headed on the adventure of a lifetime. Learn more about what it’s like to live and teach in Beit She’an.
Thanks to Kevin Pollock, a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Beit She’an, for contributing to this list. Masa Israel Teaching Fellows is supported by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.