Iranians live in caves, some Turks live in caves, and one of the region’s most sought-after Couchsurfing hosts brings guests to his tranquil lair in Petra, Jordan, but most of those dwellings are rather simple and dank. Not so with this Airbnb listing for a two bedroom apartment located between caves Hazan and Beit Govrin in the Judean hills of Shefek Israel.
At 592 square feet, the Columbarium is the perfect size: not too small that claustrophobia instantly sets in and yet not so large that it becomes a heating and cooling nightmare.
Using mostly natural materials such as wood and stone that complement the natural earthen walls, the owners upgraded the interior and listed the home on Airbnb – an international short-term house rental website.
For about €290 a night (gasp!), visitors get a double suite, fireplace, kitchen, a beautiful shower in a bathroom with pebble floors, as well as heating and cooling, internet access and even a cozy private garden up above.
Ancient basins previously used to collect rainwater have been converted into jacuzzis, which is a shame given Israel’s water shortages, but perhaps this is a boon for happy holiday-makers.
Whether or not one is prepared to pay the price probably depends on each person’s individual income. Knowing that I could skip over to Turkey and stay in a cave for a month at that price, there’s little risk of me ever setting foot in this eco-luxe space, though it would be a lie to say I stopped dreaming.