Yodfat Roman Trek

Yodfat is an off-the-beaten-track adventure you won’t want to miss if you are an avid fan of Roman history and a reader of Josephus, whose immortal descriptions bring alive the Temple, Jerusalem, Massada, Caesarea, and of course, this Galilee mountain town, which he called Jotapata. Map.

It was here that Josephus, who was a general in the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (66-70 CE) before he was its chronicler, was captured by Romans. From the top of the mound, Josephus’ rich description of the site and the battle comes alive. Yodfat’s caves and cisterns (careful, not all are marked!) played a part in the dramatic story that Josephus tells of his own capture here and the suicide pact that led to it.

On the north side of the mound, remains of the Roman wall can be seen. Beautiful vistas are revealed from the mound and on the trail to it, including oak and carob groves, olive orchards and Jewish National Fund pine forests. A rough gravel road off road 784 south of modern Yodfat is sign-posted in English and Hebrew. The road is 2-3 kilometers long and reaches a grove from which visitors can climb to Tel Yodfat.

For exact directions, contact the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) or in Israel, call the INPA at 972-3-638-8688.

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  1. When I take my tabled with me, there is a simulation of that battle, which I show to the group, if they are interested. It’s fun to go to the actual spot to see what any side did to the other.


  2. Can you imagine what happened here 2,000 years ago? Can you imagine the fighting, dieing, the victories and defeats? And it all took place right there.
    The battle went on and on and both sides took heavy losses during the battles. The way how Josephus described the battles taking place, very detailed by the way, showed the advanced tactics both sides were using and the adoption of the responses of those tactics. The message was that the battles happening her so many years ago cost both sides dearly in resources and lives.


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