Artas is a small, rural village where culture and tradition are of the utmost importance. Just 4km southwest of Bethlehem, it is popular with visitors craving a taste of traditional Palestine. It is the home of the famous Solomon’s Pools, three reservoirs which were once part of an ancient water system, supplying Jerusalem with water from the surrounding springs and rainfall.

The leafy road into Artas, running alongside the reservoirs, is one of the greenest and most scenic in the Bethlehem area. The Christian convent of Hortus Conclusus is located just across the valley from the village of Artas. The Artas Folklore Center (AFC) was established in 1993 to document, preserve and exhibit the village’s rich heritage.

Population: 3,663 (2007)

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What To Do

Solomon’s Pools are a wonderful sight to behold while the neighbouring town of Al-Khader is home to the Murad fortress, as well as St George’s Monastery which can also be visited. In the village of Artas, there is a small folklore museum intended to preserve and share the village’s rich cultural heritage. Like nearby Battir, there is a strong focus on ecotourism in Artas and the surrounding valleys, rich in flora and fauna.

Where To Eat

For a variety of restaurants and cafes head into Bethlehem, just 4km away, or neighbouring Beit Sahour.

Where To Stay

There is a range of hotels in the surrounding area for visitors to choose from, most located in either Bethlehem itself or Beit Sahour. Alternatively, Jerusalem is easily reached in less than an hour.