The north of Israel has much to offer tourists, with rolling green vistas, spectacular scenery, and glorious architecture. Here we take in five spots that make it a perfect tourist destination for visitors of all ages. Welcome to the unspoiled Western Galilee.
1. Moshav Shavei Zion
Turning off the main highway, one rides over a bridge and enters the relaxed setting of the coastal community where residents prefer to not develop the beach and allow nature to have its way.
Upon encountering the beach, one of Israel’s prettiest, we felt as if we had returned to nature. Although the beach is often associated with summer, those who love the sea know that there is nothing more awe-inspiring than the sight of the sea battling with the winter wind, the smashing waves and a cloudy sky meeting the stormy waters on the horizon.
Visitors will find that the beach has something for every age group - from a natural pool for children to a secret beach for surfers.
We gazed jealously at the homes abutting the beach, some of large proportions and others just simple houses. Who does not dream of waking up to the sound and sight of the sea just outside the window or to open the door and go for a stroll on the beach?
The moshav is also the site of Dolphin Village resort. It has more than 20 different rooms that are fit for families, couples and groups.
One who is seeking luxury accommodations will not find it here, but one who desires tranquility combined with quick access to one of the most beautiful beaches in Israel will discover just what they are looking for.
The rooms are decorated with motifs evoking the sea and all are equipped with a small kitchen. There is a barbeque area just next door, in true Israeli fashion.
Rates are between NIS 400-1,000 per night for a couple, including breakfast.
2. Rosh Hanikra
In the evening, we went to Rosh Hanikra, 20 minutes away. The trip in the cable car down to the old train tracks, constructed by the British in an effort to connect Europe to the Middle East, will surely remind many Israelis of their childhood outings.
Equipped with lanterns, we set out for a night hike in the grottos. The floor was wet and slippery and it is advisable to hold on to the railing. From within the dark cave, you can clearly hear the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks. Further down we encountered the beautiful sight of the grotto lit up with colorful lights. It is a wonderful opportunity for that viral Instagram post.
The day rate for a self-guided tour is NIS 45 for an adult and NIS 36 for a child. Lantern tours on holidays and evenings must be booked through the website and cost NIS 52 for an adult and NIS 47 for a child.
3. Dining on the edge
At the end of the lantern tour, we went to dine at Roish Hanika's kosher restaurant "Hatzuk" (the cliff), which sits above the site. During the day, one can eat while drinking in the sea views.
As in Tel Aviv, it seems that here too Thursday night is the big night out, and the restaurant is bustling with visitors. The staff running the restaurant sought to bring some of the culinary offerings of central Israel to the north. The restaurant specializes mainly in meat dishes, but the vegetarians can easily find something for themselves here as well.
4. Life on the farm
The following day we went to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra to sample life on the farm. In the square next to the cowshed we met Potash, an old farmer who was waiting for us with work boots at his feet, a plaid flannel checkered shirt and suspenders on his shoulders. Later Potash will enrich us with his rich knowledge of the advanced agriculture of the kibbutz.
The tour of the various branches of the kibbutz is conducted using electric vehicles. Above us, the green mountain rises up to the security
The avocados here have earned a good reputation and they are ordered well in advance. We tasted bananas and tropical fruits and especially enjoyed the pitaya fruit which grows on a thorny cactus as well as the passion fruit.
The rate for an agricultural tour combined with a tour of the grottos is NIS 78 for anyone over the age of three. Registration can be made online at: www.rosh-hanikra.com and depends on the weather and number of participants.
5. A watery thrill
The brave-hearted can take the opportunity to see the views of the area by boat - a fast rubber dinghy known as a Tornado boat, to be precise. The boat takes its passengers from Rosh Hanika down the coast to Achziv. Because of the location, the tours are coordinated with the Israeli navy and are often conducted under the watchful eye of a warship!
The more sedate visitors can also see the scenery, albeit on a jeep tour of the hills and mountains of the area.