Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour, Jerusalem (Self Guided)

Latrun is a hilltop on the road to Jerusalem. It has must see attractions such as "mini Israel", monasteries and the historical Emmaus. This self-guided tour will lead you to these historical, archaeological and cultural monuments:
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Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour Map

Guide Name: Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Author: vickyc
Emmaus Nicopolis

1) Emmaus Nicopolis

Emmaus Nicopolis is also known as Hammat and was at one time a large city. Located in the plains of Judea near the hilltop of Latrun, it is just about 19 miles west of Jerusalem. It is the site where according to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus showed himself to the disciples after his resurrection by breaking bread with them.

This area has long played an important part of history in the area. The first written history of Emmaus is in the 2nd century BCE found in 1st Maccabees. Throughout history this area has been fought over, and been held by several different religious groups. During the six-day war, the Israelis captured the area. It has subsequently been razed and the site is now called Canada Park. This was made possible by large donations by Canada’s Jewish organizations.

There are however, still several ruins to be seen in the area. The footprint of Crusaders Basilica from the 12th century still is visible. This stands over a Byzantine church that was built in the 5th century. Close by is a Roman bath structure that is still in remarkably good shape.

The valley of the springs supplied water for that long ago city and it still is a great place to visit. It is one of the most visited sites in Canada Park. Several old wine presses dot the landscape, a cruciform baptistery is in good shape as well as other ruins from centuries long past. There are also some great views of the countryside, and it is easy to see why this area was so contested in times gone by.
Radar to Monitor Immigrant Birds

2) Radar to Monitor Immigrant Birds

The Radar to Monitor Immigrant Birds is located on the grounds of the Armored Corps Memorial at Latrun, Israel. Israel is situated in the migratory bird flight path between three different continents. This tiny country shares its air space with 500 million birds twice each year as they flight between their winter and summer feeding grounds. This bird traffic can create havoc with aircraft so the solution was to monitor the migration.

The Armored Corps Memorial donated 8 acres of land to the project. The radar at the site is from the Russians and it is manned by Russian scientists. They then work closely with several organizations in Israel to disseminate the information. Their hard work has decreased air accidents by air strikes from birds by around 80%. This saves countless lives and of course, saves the Israeli government millions of dollars from not having to replace aircraft.

The center tracks a wide variety of birds by attaching satellite transmitters to them in addition to tracking the birds on radar. In addition to tracking the birds for air safety purposes, the center is very active in preserving the environment for the birds. They are also instrumental in setting up centers around the world to track and monitor bird populations and health. An expanding eco-tourism birding center is in progress across Israel and surrounding countries.
Trappist Monastery

3) Trappist Monastery

The Trappist Monastery is located in Latrun and is a great stop when traveling around the Holy Land. While traveling on the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem road, the vineyards and olive groves are visible as well as the Church there. It offers a great view of the Ayalon Valley and is also close to Emmaus. The monks are a branch of the Cistercian and they have taken a vow of silence except for the ones who work in the gift store. Wine, grape juice, brandy and olive oil are sold at their market, as well as some of the best spices you will ever find anywhere.

Vineyards and olive groves make the grounds beautiful and peaceful. It is a wonderful place to take an afternoon break. Don’t miss taking a walk around the grounds and visiting the church. The beautiful soaring Byzantine ceilings and arches along with wonderful stained glass windows make this a great place to have a quiet reflective moment or two in the midst of a hectic travel schedule. It is hard to believe this was the site of a brutal and bloody battle during the war of Israeli independence in 1948.

The hours are 9-11 and 3:30-4:30 so plan your trip accordingly.
Latrun museum

4) Latrun museum

The Latrun Armored Corp Museum is located in the Ayalon Valley around 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem. It sits high on a hill overlooking the road that leads into the city. This area was once a strong hold for the Crusaders and they had a castle here. The name of the castle was Le toron des chevaliers (the Castle of the Knights). One possibility for the name Latrun is a corruption of this name. Another possibility is the name was taken from one of the thieves who were crucified with Jesus.

This Museum is a memorial to the almost 5,000 fallen Israeli soldiers from the armored corps. Outside the museum the names of the fallen are on the walls of the courtyard surrounding the entrance. Inside there are pictures of the fallen soldiers with only name and age given along with the day of their death. There is also an exhibit that is meant mainly for the families of the fallen although it is open to the public. Another area is called the Tower of Tears. Made out of damaged tanks, there is a trickle of water that flows over the walls that is reminiscent of tears. It is a very moving exhibition.

Outside is one of the largest collections of tanks. This is a hands on display, and the tanks can be thoroughly inspected and reviewed. You can find old Israeli tanks on display, as well as some that were actually captured during war time.

There is a fee to visit the museum. A gift shop and a theater that shows a short introductory film are also part of the exhibit. Bird watching facilities are also on the grounds.

Opening hours: Sat-Thu: 8.30am-4.30pm, Fri: 8.30am-12.30pm
Tegart Fort

5) Tegart Fort

A Tegart fort is a kind of militarized police "fortress". It was built by the British in many places in this region during the Mandate period. It was used either as a prison or as a police station. Tegart fort at Latrun now belongs to the Latrun military museum.
Mini Israel

6) Mini Israel (must see)

Mini Israel is a miniature park located near Latrun, Israel in the Ayalon Valley. Opened in November 2002, the site contains miniature replicas of hundreds of buildings and landmarks in Israel. The tourist attraction consists of about 350 large models of notable buildings. The scale of 1:25 produces skyscrapers that tower over an adult and historic churches taller than a child.

The park consists of about 350 buildings and landmarks, 30,000 figures, 500 animals, plants and 15,000 real trees, 4,700 cars, 100 motorbikes, 14 trains, 3 helicopters, 32 aircraft, 175 ships and 230 trucks. All trees are real bonsai cultivated and planted by Agronoy nursery The park is loosely shaped like a star of David, with each of the six triangles representing an area or city: Jerusalem; Tel Aviv; Haifa; Galil; Negev; Center. The park also includes a souvenir shop, a few restaurants and rest areas, and a hall for lectures and meetings in which a film about the creation of the park is displayed. An audio guide and motorised buggies are available.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu, Sat: 10am-5pm; Fri: 10am-2pm (Sep-Jun); Sun-Thu, Sat: 5pm-10pm; Fri: 10am-2pm (Jul-Aug)
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Jerusalem without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Jerusalem, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Mount of Olives Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Mount of Olives Walking Tour of Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives is on the east side of the Old City of Jerusalem. Here you will see the magnificent churches that are also biblical sites, a very old cemetery with tombs of the Prophets. For many people this is a holy place as God is always present here. The following self-guided tour will lead you through the Mount of Olives landmarks:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Jerusalem Synagogues Walking Tour

Jerusalem Synagogues Walking Tour

Jerusalem is a city that represents the three main religions of the world, that is Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The city contains some of the oldest and most beautiful historical monuments related to these religions. This self-guided tour will lead you mainly through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and its synagogues:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour

Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour

Jerusalem is the historic land of the Bible. It is sacred to the three great monotheist religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here you will find archaeological and historical museums full of artifacts dating back to high antiquity. This self-guided tour will take you through some of the most visited museums of Jerusalem:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Jerusalem Suburb Walking Tour

Jerusalem Suburb Walking Tour

The center of Jerusalem spills over with religious and historical landmarks, museums and holy places. But there are also places worth visiting in neighborhoods away from the center. A Biblical Zoo, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and others cannot be missed and must figure in the itinerary of each tourist. The following self-guided tour will lead you through some of these distant places which...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 km
Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Traditionally, Jerusalem was said to be the center of the universe. It is a very old city with many ancient buildings, with architecture dating back to Roman times and later reflecting both European and Islamic influences. The following self-guided tour will take you to the most interesting architectural highlights of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Jerusalem for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Jerusalem has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Jerusalem's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Jerusalem City Pass by Ticketbar, Jerusalem City Pass by Musement, or Jerusalem City Pass by Viator.

A city pass combines all Jerusalem's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Jerusalem hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem, The David Citadel Hotel, Prima Kings Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Jerusalem, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Jerusalem typically costs somewhere between US$10+ and US$90 per person:

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Jerusalem – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Provoke your contemplating eternal matters on a mixed (coach and walking) tour of Jerusalem, the city where the ancient and religious are intertwined more than anywhere else in the world. With the help of an expert guide try and perceive the profound meaning and context behind the holy Christian and Jewish sites of Old and New Jerusalem.

- Visit the places that once saw Jesus Christ in flesh, feel the tales of the Bible become real on a walking tour of Jerusalem led by a knowledgeable local guide. Walk the stones of Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of the Messiah to his crucifixion and learn more about that pivotal day in human history.

- Explore the city of three religions through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers on a 4-hour guided walk of Old Jerusalem to the holy places and landmarks revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and learn about the religious beliefs associated with them.

- Tantalize your taste buds with the scents and sights of exotic delicacies fit to arouse anyone's appetite on a 3-hour guided tour of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market! Explore the city's favorite marketplace in its variety.

- Descend into the unknown, at least until recently, deep beneath the ground to explore the ancient roots of Jerusalem on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the centuries-old tunnel dating back to the times of the Second Temple. Get a chance to touch and hear about some truly incredible artifacts found here, and more.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Jerusalem, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Bethlehem and Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, or the West Bank. For as little as as circa US$100 to US$125 per person you will get a chance to experience first-hand the ancient and Biblical treasures, discover fascinating religious history, see the fabled Biblical and Nativity sites, scenes of the New Testament stories including places where Jesus performed miracles, plus explore legendary ruins, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Jerusalem, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus or a private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.