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Gan HaShlosha must be one the most beautiful places in Israel - large pools fed from an underground spring with the water cascading over waterfalls, palm trees surrounding the pools and expansive green lawns.


The pools are wonderful for swimming. The water is at a constant and very comfortable 28 degrees Centigrade year-round. At no extra charge you can also visit a restored Tower and Stockade Heritage Site based on the model used by Kibbutz Nir David. The original was erected in one night in 1936. There is also a Bell Garden and archeological museum.


This place is called Gan HaShlosha after three pioneers who were killed by a landmine in 1938 while patrolling the valley. Its Arabic name is the Sachne.


Directions: Enter “Gan Hashlosha” on Waze and click on “Gan HaShlosha National Park.”

Entrance: The park is operated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Hours are from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm April to September Sunday to Thursday. Saturday, Friday, and holiday eves 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. It closes 1 hour earlier during the winter and Friday hours are 8.00 am to 1.00 pm. Admission is reduced for those with an annual pass to  Israel Nature and Parks Authority sites but is not free. There are many shaded picnic tables, although if it is crowded you may have to go further from the pools to find one. A convenience store sells hot and cold drinks and snacks. Barbecues and charcoal are also sold at the store. Their phone number is 04 658-6219. This is their web site.

Public transport: Enter “Gan HaShlosha” into Moovit. There are frequent buses between Afula and Beit She’an.

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The pools are deep and therefore only suitable for swimmers or children with a flotation device. However, there is a shallow part of the main pool separated off for children. There are lifeguard observation points for all the pools. No special footwear is required since you will not be touching the ground when you are in the water, except when standing by the sides of the pools. There are WCs and showers.


There are also other activities here besides swimming and picnicking. At the far end of the parking lot is the “Footprints in the Valley” museum and activity center which is open Sunday to Thursday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm. It consists of a Bell Garden containing restored bells used in pioneer times for different occasions. Also, an exact replica of the stockade and tower settlement erected at Tel Amal, the modern-day Kibbutz Nir David, on the banks of the Amal Stream which is within the park.


It was built overnight by pioneers who had been living in Kibbutz Beit Alpha. This was the first tower and stockade settlement erected in Israel and was built in December 1936 in response to Arab riots. During the three years of intermittent rioting, 57 settlements of this type were constructed in Israel, their aim being to rapidly increase Jewish settlement. It measured only 35 x 35 meter and was surrounded by a double wooden defense wall in which gravel was placed between the walls to prevent penetration of bullets. One can wander through the rooms, which include living quarters with furniture appropriate for the time and a communal dining room.


 There is also an archeological museum that includes antiquities found in the Beit She'an Valley. It is on the southern side of the river and can be accessed from the Stockade and Tower site by a footbridge. It is only open Sunday to Thursday 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. There is also a reconstructed 200-year-old flour mill by the Mill Snack Bar.

It is possible to spend a full day here. This could include the adjoining Gan Garu Zoo. 


An exhibit in the Bell Garden


The tower and stockade exhibit

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