Caving, also known as speleo, has become a very popular activity in Israel in recent years. Taking advantage of the unique geology and scientific processes which occur in the Dead Sea Region and surrounding desert, (the region includes the longest salt cave in the world at 5km in length, a cavern which has formed as a result of water eroding layers of salty rock), and in the north of Israel, and hills around Jerusalem. There are lots of opportunities for caving in Israel including weekly group caving activities for beginners and advanced participants.
Caving in Israel
Dead Sea Caving
Caving in the Dead Sea region is perhaps the most interesting speleo experience in Israel. The waters of the Dead Sea, known for their incredibly high salt content, gain this property because the rocks they erode are salty. As the salt is taken into the water, the rocks are weakened, and as they collapse, caves are formed. The longest salt cave in the world, Malham, is in the region and stretches 5km long, completely underground. Exploring the many other caves in the region, with their windy passages, wells, and dark caverns is a unique and highly exclusive experience. People who delve into these caves can be satisfied in the knowledge that you are seeing places that have maybe never seen the light of day, let alone much sign of human life. By digging gently into the soft rock, you could find fossils, of seaweed, and even fish who swam here when oceans covered the land.
Every Monday group caving adventures run to the Colonel Salt Cave near the Dead Sea (in the Sodom Mountain). The tours cost $155 per person which includes exploring the cave, swimming in the Dead Sea, and, all-important transportation. Click to read more.
Moving north caving in the Galilee is concentrated around the karstic limestone caves in “the Huta” (the whale’s mouth) where you could crawl tens of meters under the ground through narrow passages which are often marginally larger than a person. It is no wonder, therefore, that local Arab villages tell tales that hated tax collectors are thrown into these caves.
Whilst there are no regular group tours in the Galilee region, private tours with a minimum of two participants cost $250 per person.
Judean Hills Caving
In the Judean Hills (Jerusalem Hills) another rock form, this time, chalk, provides yet another caving experience. These caves, however, are largely the work of man and were created by Jewish rebels about 1800 years ago who, fleeing from the Romans calved an underground complex into the rock. This is a far easier caving experience, yet equally fascinating as you see beneath the ground, and stop in awe to consider the amazing feat of man in creating these caves.
Likewise, here you can take private tours
Caving in Israel Information
- Caving must be done with expert assistance with knowledgeable and professional guides who know the caves, have all the necessary equipment, and are able to provide lunch and transportation to the caves from your hotel.
- Tours last 6 to 10 hours, depending on the canyon’s difficulty level.
- Because of their underground location, there is a fairly constant temperature in the caves all year round +24 +25C (75-77 Fahrenheit).
- A private one-day caving expeditions in Israel, costs $250 per person. For a group of more than four, this price will begin to fall
- Weekly tours which individuals can join are also available and costs are of course lower for these – costing $155 including transportation upwards depending on the specific tour.
This tour is also available as a private tour for families or small groups. Please click here to request a price quote.
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