Beit Shean Valley

The Beit She'an Valley is an area in the Jordan Valley of northern Israel. It consists of the town of Beit She'an (also spelled Beit/Bet/Beth Shean/She'an/Shan), as well as a number of kibbutzim and other small agricultural communities.

6 things to do

All Places Israel



Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park

An excavated 5th century synagogue with a remarkable mosaic floor, Beit Alfa was the scene of the first native Israeli archaeological excavation, conducted even before Independence. An Aramaic inscription states that the mosaic was laid at the time of the emperor Justin (ruled 518-527); the Greek inscription is in memory of the artists who made the mosaic, Marianus and his son Hanina. The highlight of the site is the mosaic floor in the central room of the synagogue, easily one of the most important mosaics discovered in Israel. Each of its three panels depicts a scene - the Holy Ark, the Zodiac (with the names of the 12 signs in Hebrew and a central image of the sun-god Helios - a most unusual addition to a synagogue!), and the story of the attempted sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. The four women in the corners of the mosaic represent the four seasons. A film about life in the ancient village and the making of the mosaic floor is available to view in Hebrew, English and German.

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Beit She'an National Park

Located in the northern part of the modern city, preserves the extensive remains of the ancient city, both the Caananite and Egyptian city on the dramatic ''tel'' or high city-mound, and the extensive, well-preserved Romano-Byzantine city below. Extensively excavated and reconstructed since 1989, this antiquity site is one well worth visiting. Admission: adults NIS 23, children NIS 12; groups: adults NIS 19, children NIS 11. Telephone (06) 658-7189, guidance center: (06) 658-1913. Opening hours: April-September: 8:00-17:00, October-March: 8:00-16:00.

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Ein HaNatsiv

Has a great natural spring ("HaMaayan"/"Ein Yehudah") with clean water, a diving-board and a Tarzan swing. Hold you feet very still and you can feel the tiny fish biting your toes. You might meet other people and maybe get some free food from someone making a bbq. Mostly young people with their friends or soldiers visit the natural spring. No entry on Saturday.

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Gan HaShlosha

A natural water park, with a spring that maintains a constant 28-degree Celsius temperature, so the water is good for swimming all year around. There are a number of pools here, and large park areas, as well as an archaeology museum, and a reconstructed early Zionist "Stockade and Tower" settlement from the 1930s.

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Nahal HaKibbutzim

A short river fed by spring water that is great for swimming in on a hot day. Water depth is a consistent 1-2 meters, so you can go in on foot and the water will push you along, like a natural "lazy river". As of last notice, entry is free and unrestricted. A great stop on a trip through the region.

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Gan Garoo

A small zoo where you can see, pet, and feed a variety of Australian wildlife. The name combines the Hebrew "Gan" (garden/park) with the word "Kangaroo".

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About Beit Shean Valley

Beit She'an has been inhabited since Biblical times, and the city is mentioned several times in the Bible. Later, it became a major city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Today, there are several archaeological sites from different time periods.

The Beit She'an Valley is below sea level, so it gets very hot and humid in summer. On the positive site, it has numerous springs and water sources that you can cool off in on a hot day. For that reason, many Israelis travel here to relax in the springs or during hot summer days. The valley was even nicknamed the "gateway to heaven" in Jewish sources.

Though considered by many to be an extension of the neighboring Jezreel Valley region, the Beit She'an Valley really does possess its own unique geography and character. The Gilboa mountain range borders the Beit She'an Valley in the southwest.

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Source: wikivoyage