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| Hiking In And Around Jerusalem: Outdoor Swimming and bathing Spots

Zev Stub    
Sunday, 05 August 10:54 AM

From the website inandaroundjerusalem.com (with permission), a website for outdoor activities - hikes (tiyulim), walks, family cycling and outdoor swimming - in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Mountains, Judean Desert, north and south of Jerusalem, and Shefela (up to 75 minutes drive from Jerusalem, with directions for public transport), with interesting articles on the history, geography, geology and botany of Israel.

Finding an outdoor swimming location for your family is a bit like choosing a vacation resort. You need to plan according to your requirements. Do you need a wading pool for your toddler, a children's pool for your kids, a water slide to keep the kids occupied, lap swimming for you the parents and grandparents, or separate-sex swimming?  

The list below should be helpful in keeping everybody happy and keeping you within your budget. 

Many of the Jerusalem hotels also have outdoor swimming pools that are open to the public, but unless you are a guest at the hotel these are usually pricey. Plus they rarely come with anything more than a towel and a deckchair. 

 

Tucked away in the Jerusalem Forest, the Zippori Center offers an olympic-sized pool, incredible views, and separate swimming sessions for women everyday except Saturday. It is not very convenient for public transport though. 

 

This outdoor pool in Maale Adumim has a kiddy's wading pool and nice lawns. There is separate swimming everyday for men and women, but only in the indoor pool.

 

 

There is something magical about going high into the Judean Mountains, and especially to a place like Shoresh, which is perched on a mountain. This pool has a partially shaded toddler's pool with a slide and fountain, and separate kids' and adults' swimming areas in the pool.

 

This swimming pool at the entrance to the moshav Mesilat Zion, close to Bet Shemesh, is by far the best pool around with respect to activities for kids. It has an inflatable water slide, other slides, an omega from an adjoining hill into the pool, and free table top games, such as air hockey, foosball and ping pong. There is also a partially shaded toddler's pool.

 

This large spring pool on route 385, not far from the Biblical Zoo, is absolutely free. It is only accessible by car or bicycle, is over the former Green Line, and there are no lawns (so bring something to sit or lie on or just stay in the water). 

At this time the pool is empty of water pending improvements at the site. Please do let us know if you find the pool functional.

 

There are green lawns and spring water bathing for kids at Ein Hemed in the Judean Mountains not far from Jerusalem. There is a charge to enter the park - but less than for a swimming pool. UPDATE: Readers say that Ein Hemed's water is not open to bathin, due to pollution. 

 

Ein Lavan is part of the Jerusalem Park system and is one of the most delightful pools in the Jerusalem area. It is close to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and can be easily reached by public transport. It is an ideal place for a family picnic and swim, as a youth hangout, and for a trip with the grandkids. The kids will love the pools. UPDATE: It is recommended that you check the status of whether the pool is open for swimming before you arrive.

 

The Palm Pool at Ein Prat in the Judean Desert is not far from Jerusalem, is deep at 2.5 meters, is just big enough to do some real swimming, and has a constant temperature of 20 degree C whatever the season. There is a lifeguard present throughout the year. There is an admission charge for Ein Prat. Ein Prat offers beautiful hiking. Small kids will also delight in wading in the nahal in the Eucalyptos Grove. 

 

The artesian pool at Ein Mabu'a in the Judean Desert not far from Jerusalem is one of the best kept secrets around. (But no longer I guess!). It's not deep or big enough for adult swimming, but it's great for cooling off in the summer, and the kids will love it. The hiking is incredible too. It's all free. But you need a car to get there.

 

The Almog Resort Village at Kibbutz Almog close to the Dead Sea has a very nice large swimming pool. It is primarily for those with a yearly subscription and visitors to the Resort Village, but single visits are permitted during the week, although not on Saturday or Jewish holidays. On Fridays call first to check.

 

Enot Tsukim is an oasis by the Dead Sea close to Qumran. There are pools for all sizes, including the Palm pool which is deep enough for adult swimming. There are many picnic tables, all with stunning views. There is an admission charge. 

 

A recently built natural-style rock pool has been built at the base of a mountain adjacent to the community of Mevo'ot Yericho, situated on the northern border of the ancient city of Jericho. The pool is a project of the community, but is open to the public at no charge. 

This pool is temporarily closed because of flood damage. 

 

Many people are unaware of the existence of a Nature Reserve and spring pool only about a 35 to 40-minute walk from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station or light rail stop. The pool is by the ruins of the Arab village of Lifta and is deep enough for kids to swim in. 

 

If you have gotten as far as Shiloh in the Shomron or you are at Ariel, think about driving a bit further to the kids pool and garden at Rechalim. It’s about an 18-minute drive further along route 60 from Shiloh. The pool is just inside the gate of the community, and visitors are welcome. The swimming is fine for kids.There is wading for toddlers.There is no admission charge.

       
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