|Location:||In the Avshalom Shoham Nature Reserve, 7 km from Nes Harim, 8 km from Beit Shemesh. Between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem near the Highway 1. 20 km southwest of Jerusalem. (31°45'19.85"N, 35° 1'20.71"E)|
APR to SEP Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 8-17, Fri 8:30-16.
OCT to MAR Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 8-16, Fri 8:30-15.
Last tour 1 hour before closing time.
Adults NIS 29, Children NIS 15, Israeli Seniors NIS 15.
Groups (30+): Adults NIS 23, Children NIS 14.
|Dimension:||L=90 m, W=60 m, A=5,000 m², T=22 °C, H=90%.|
|Guided tours:||D=45 min.|
|Photography:||Not allowed, but special photography tours available on certain days|
Soreq Cave, 78 Yirmiyahu St., Jerusalem 94467, Tel: +972-2-991-5756, Tel: +972-2-999-4730, Tel: +972-2-991-1117, Fax: +972-2-999-0215.
Information Center: +972-2-5006261. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|MAY-1968||discovered by chance.|
|1977||opened to the public.|
|2011||cave closed for renovation.|
Sorek Cave is the only showcave in Israel. It was discovered during quarry works. Around the cave numerous limestone quarries produce limestone for cement and for the typical natural stone faces of the Jerusalem houses. Several years ago the popular major of Jerusalem made a law, that all new buildings in Jerusalem must have a natural stone facade. Since then, the limestone industry in Israel booms. However, the quarry around Sorek Cave is now a nature preserve and mining is stopped.
Sorek Cave is famous for its beautiful formations. Stalactites and stalagmites, but also many other forms of speleothems, especially calcite crystals, helictites and cave coral, make it well worth a visit.
The dripstone walls are very impressing. A dripstone wall is not a type of speleothem, but a specialty of Sorek Cave, how stalagmites formed here. Cracks in the ceiling were leads to the calcite rich water. Along those cracks, the water emerged at many points and formed stalagmites and stalactites. They grew together forming pillars, all lined up in one row, following the crack. Today those rows of pillars form massive flowstone walls, ten or fifteen meters high, 30 or 40 meters long and only half a metre thick. They cut the large hall into smaller chambers.
The uniqueness of the cave made a very carefull development necessary. So it took nine years, until it was finally opened to the public. The light system of the cave and the wooden walkways are designed to save the beauty of the cave. The entrance and the exit have double doors to prevent warm air from outside to get into the cave. Because of the formations' delicacy, photography is only permitted one morning a week (Fridays).
The light system is computer controlled, the brightness is very low, just a sort of emergency lighting. But when the tour reaches a point, the guide starts a program and the light highlights the most impressing formations. This system, designed to reduce the needed light and the amount of heat it produces, is extraordinary.
However, the temperature of the cave, which was 19 °C when the cave was discovered, is now at 24 °C. Without all those precautions it would be much higher, but still the temperature is much too high and the natural processes in the cave are disturbed.
In 2012 the cave was renovated with new trails which allow handicapped accesss, new railings, and a LED light system which is intended to reduce the amount of lamp flora and the temperature inside the cave. The renovations cost about two million shekels and were made by the Nature and Parks Authority, the National Insurance Institute, and the Israel Government Tourist Corporation.