Horvat Etri – Visitors Guide – Short Loop Trail to an Ancient Village

Horvat Etri

At Adulam Park, using a short loop trail, you can visit Horvat Etri. It is a partially restored Jewish village dating to the Second Temple period.

Note: Horvat Etri is part of the Adulam Grove Nature Reserve. In this grove, you can also find Horvat Midras and Horvat Burgin. Moreover, nearby you can visit Beit Guvrin National Park.


Etri Ruins are near Beit Shemesh, close to Bet Guvrin National Park. There are many excellent trails in this area. And though it is about halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, meaning it is higher at the hills, it still gets boiling during summer. Thus either come early or better visit during Spring or Autumn.

To get there, enter “Horvat Etri” into the navigation app.

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

View TripHelp

Interactive map of the area:


  • Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:

Entrance Fee


Opening Hours

You can visit at any time. Just make sure to finish before dark, as there is no illumination along the route (the trail takes about 0.5 – 1 hour).


It is an easy trail to navigate through. We did not use any maps. I entered “Horvat Etri” into Waze, and from the parking, we just followed the signs.

Here is an interactive map from israelhiking.osm.org.il where this trail is marked:

And here are the details of these tracks:

NameColor of the Trail on the Map aboveDescriptionDistance (km)Total climb and descent (meters)Notes
Short Loop TrailBlueTo Horvat Etri and back0.862
Longer Loop TrailRedA longer version of the previous path1.782This is only a suggestion. And if you wish to make a longer trail, you can incorporate additional parts. Alternatively, you can visit other places at Adulam Grove Nature.

Most of the path has no shade. Thus do not forget water and sunscreen.

Loop trail at Horvat Etri
Loop trail at Horvat Etri

Basic Info

Horvat Ethri is a sprawling archaeological site that features a partially restored Jewish village that dates back to the Second Temple period. The site sits upon an elevation of 406 meters (1,332 ft) above sea level, wherein are preserved an ancient synagogue, wine presses, cisterns, ritual baths, and stone ossuaries, as well as an underground system of public hiding places. The site is located in modern-day Israel and is situated in the Judean Hills, southeast of Bet Shemesh, within the Adullam-France Park.

This site stands out among other archaeological sites because of its formidable defensive walls, with massive stones, which led Israeli archaeologist Boaz Zissu to believe that it may have been one of the fifty strongholds in Judea destroyed by Hadrian during the Bar Kokhba revolt.

Source: Wikipedia

At Horvat Etri

You take the green trail uphill from the parking lot towards Horvat Etri.

The green trail
The green trail

We visited on a sunny day in November. Thus it was not hot. But if you want to see more flowers, then visit during the spring.

The parking lot is located below, behind the trees to the right. And this is what we saw when we reached the top:

If you look closely at the tracks map above, you will notice that you must make a small detour to visit the caves. And since we initially skipped them, we decided to return.

Since I was with a child carrier backpack, I let my older daughter explore first. And she said that there was not much to see.

Horvat Etri

Further ahead, you will see a lone tree and a viewpoint. From that viewpoint, you can see a living quarter in the eastern part of the village.

And here is a map of the complex with explanations:

Map of the quarter at Horvat Etri
Map of the quarter

And there are not only buildings above the ground. There are also several underground tunnels built during the Bar Kokhba revolt. The underground passage connects points #12 and #13.

Point #10, to the southeast of the village, is a rock-hewn winepress. And during the Second Temple period, there were many winepresses in this area.

Rock-hewn winepress
Rock-hewn winepress

And before we leave Horvat Etri, I want to mention the bronze half a sheqel coin found in one of the complexes. The coin has an inscription: “Year One of the Freedom of Israel,” meaning it was minted during the third year of the Jewish War. Hence we know that the complexes were used in the Jewish War. You can find images of the coin on page #17 of this paper.

View from the top
View from the top

We did the longer hike (marked red on the map above) and returned to the parking.

Vineyard by Horvat Etri

As you can see, almost two thousand years later, farmers still grow grapes in this area. And if you want to pick grapes and taste them, I suggest visiting Tali Grapes in Moshav Lachish.


We enjoyed our visits to Horvat Etri. And if, after this hike, you want more, I would suggest the nearby Horvat Midras, Horvat Burgin, and Beit Guvrin National Park.

Also, you can find a picnic area at the entrance to Adulam Grove Nature Reserve. And whenever we visit the Adulam forest, we eat lunch there. There are few tables there, but we always find a free one.

Have you visited Horvat Etri? Tell us in the comment below about your experience.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!


Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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