7 Best Sights in Latrun, Around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

Latrun Armored Corps Museum

Fodor's choice

The name Latrun is thought to derive from "La Toron de Chevaliers" (The Tower of the Knights), the French name of the Crusader castle that occupied the crest of the hill in the 12th century. Eight centuries later, in 1940, the British erected the concrete fortress that, in the 1948 War of Independence, Israeli forces attempted five times to capture from Jordanian soldiers. Today, the structure houses a museum, called Yad Lashiryon in Hebrew, that honors Israeli armored corps soldiers who have died in battle from 1948 until the present. Items on display include a collection of more than 160 tanks, and children can explore sturdy vehicles outfitted with steps for them to climb. 

Hollander Distillery

This family-run distillery uses local produce to make liquor and schnapps in flavors like etrog (citrone), apple, and pomegranate. Call ahead to arrange a tour and tasting on the scenic outdoor pergola or inside the visitor center.

Mini Israel

This 13-acre theme park contains nearly 400 models of the most important historical, national, religious, and natural sites in the country, all scaled down to 1:25. Although some visitors have complained that the models are showing signs of wear, the site is worth at least an hour's visit, especially if you're traveling with children.

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Neot Kedumim

The name means "Oases of Antiquity," and, at Israel's only biblical landscape reserve, you can follow paved paths that wind around ancient olive terraces, bushes of sage and hyssop, and millennia-old winepresses. Show yourself around with the help of a map that's available in English. Guided tours (available only to groups of 20 or more) offer insight on the threshing floors, the Dale of the Song of Songs, and the Valley of Milk and Honey and focus on Jewish, Christian, or interfaith themes. Ask about Biblical meals as well. Allow two hours minimum for the visit.

Pepo Beer

Moti Bohadana named his brewery for his father and the nine beers for all the women in his life. Elisheva, named after his grandmother, is a bitter, hoppy IPA. Tamara is a red, flowery ale, and Tirza is an Irish stout. There's also hard apple and cherry cider. Call ahead about visits and occasional music events or to reserve a table at the unlimited Friday brunch for NIS 80 per person. To get here from Latrun, take Route 3 toward Ashkelon and turn left on Route 44. Follow the signs for the Navot Winery.

49 Hate'ena St., Tzlafon, 9975000, Israel
054-530–4576
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Open Fri. only except for groups

Sataf

Sataf was one of many Arab villages that were abandoned in the 1948 War of Independence. You can hike here on well-marked trails amid ancient terraces shaded with pine, fig, and almond trees. Hikes last two or four hours and pass springs where you can get your feet wet. You can walk to Sataf from Ein Kerem in about an hour.

Trappist Abbey of Latrun

Trappist monks have been producing wine here since the 1890s. The interior of the 19th-century abbey is an odd mix, with round neo-Byzantine arches and apses and a soaring, Gothic-inspired ceiling. Survivors of the Cistercian Order suppressed in the French Revolution, the Trappists keep a vow of silence. But the staff of the shop, which sells wine, olive oil, and other items made on-site, chats with you in English, French, Hebrew, or Arabic, and offers wine tastings. The setting in the foothills is lovely.