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Travel: Upper Galilee, Amirim + Feb.26-27/2021. Dec 30-31/2022 Israel

First Visit: Feb 26-27/2021

Jordan Valley Hwy 90, lead us, at the end of the previous day's visit to Beit Shean,

all the way from the ancient town (see post) up north, passing, at the south tip of Lake Kineret -Sea of Galilee, by the town of Teberias , and further along the stunning lake's western shore.

Then the road continued further up north to Migdal, above the lake, where turning left toward the upper Galilee mountains, eventually landed us, late Thursday eve (Feb.26) reunited with the family at Amirim Moshav..

Amirim Village

This charming lush green mountainous small Village of about 900 inhabitants, off route 866, is situated 650m above sea level, on a hill overlooking Lake Kineret.

Its fame is for embracing vegetarian, vegan and organic farming practices, as well

as spiritual orientation.

The founders of Amirim assembled in 1958, a group of people from various backgrounds, who all shared a vegetarian, vegan, and organic lifestyle and ideology.

They were among the pioneers of the vegetarian movement in Israel

A mix of both secular and religious residents who we encountered, when walking

the villages beautiful paths, resembled some, weirdos, judging by their hippy rugged clothing style, which matched, at best Purim traditions, yet these weren't 'costumes" ...

The village's most fresh air and mountainous altitude, its dense vegetation, fantastic view and sculpture garden which displays 20 statues belonging to the Israel Museum collections. are definitely worth the visit and stay. at this charming spot.

Tourism is the village main source of income, and the village offers a selection of guest houses, coffee places and restaurants, all serving vegetarian and vegan food, when being properly opertaing in normal times.

That is why we arrived in the village as accidental tourists, ,but definitely NOT at the food account,. Taking up on our younger daughter recommendation, we checked into this pretty basic, but decent guesthouse, where our family of 2 daughters, their husbands and 2 grand-kids, spent delightful 2 nights.

The grands especially enjoyed splashing water on their grandpa David, when all three

spent a big junk of the early darkening afternoon, wadding joyfully inside the cabin's huge Jacuzzi tab.. 954 4600727

The description at the Ohn-Bar's website which states:

"Terraced gardens, fruit trees and lush greenery, shrouded in privacy, at wooden cabins and suites for couples and families," definitely does justice to the place.

Not all cabins are " facing spectacular views of the Galilean hills, lake Kineret, and the Golan Heights" and to some, access, if shlapping luggage, is not friendly..

At booking,, make sure to request those cabins right by the parking lot for easy. access:

These 2 cabins , I fully recommend:

Also this Coffee place in the village, serves good breakfast and bakery goods:

Mitzpe Menachem St 77 04-6980894

Date: Feb. 27/2021

Shvil Hapisga Summit Trail- hike at Har Meron

The 2 small grands- five years old Leo, and one and a half years old Alex, dictated the

difficulty limits and length, of the walking trail, we could hike on, as the day's activity.

The near by looming Mt. Meron has several hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty.

The most popular trail is the one from the car park at the mountain's top to the summit.

Shvil Hapisga - The Summit Trail, seemed a great choice for the 1.5 hours hike, which our grand Leo managed to walk, effortlessly, on his own. He caught up, admiringly with the adults, while his sister was carried on her father's back, but insisted, of and on to walk on her own tiny darling feet.

The view from the trail

The trail proceeds in a circular route past three lookout points,of Mt. Hermon,; Mount Tabor; the Jordan Valley, Lake Kineret and the villages of the Galilee,. before returning to the starting point at the car park.

The views from the mountain on this fantastic warm winter sunny day especially the white snowy head of Mt. Hermon, were stunning.

Har Meron Nature Reserve

The mountain is the third highest peak in Israel, after Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. at 1208 m (3,963 ft) above sea level, rising out of the Biblical landscape of the northern Galilee.. Due to its location and altitude, Mt. Meron is covered with green, dense forests and is a reserve to abundant plants an wild life, protected within its almost 10,000 dunam natural landscape.

The burial site of the Jewish sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai (Rashbi). (died in 160AD) .who is credited for the Kabbalist the Zohar, book, is situated on the mountain..

The site attracts, each year on the Rabbi's anniversary and on Lag B’Omer late April or early May) thousands of Jews, who camp out, along the mountain's slopes near the tomb, paying tribute to the sage, by celebrating with prayer, music, dancing and bonfires,

Other Eating Places we sampled

Ein Camonim - Agriculture Tourism

Off route 85 and surrounded by lush Galilean vegetation,, this atmospheric private family-run ‘goat cheese farm and restaurant’, served us a gourmet cheese feast, which includes 3 out of the 10 kinds of French/Israeli-style goat cheese, the place offers, with freshly baked bread, great olive oil and wine.

Rameh village, where over half of its inhabitants are Christians, mostly Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic, third are Druze and the remainder are Muslims, is situated not far from Amirim.

During these unusual times, when most restaurants were closed, the village still offered good takeaway selection, of fabulous middle-eastern food, which we

enjoyed sampling at restaurant AZABE 053-9441458, and which Amit- our fabulous

son in-law kindly delivered to Amirim,

Date: Feb 28th/2021

On Sunday early morning, after checking out from the guesthouse, and before heading to the day's highlight activity for the grand-kids - a visit to the Monkey Forest

(by Yotfat), the family took a hike, along a path by the flowing water of the quint Nahal Farod . South of Amirim off route 866. See Video

Nahal Farod

Situated on the foothill of Miron mountain and by the Shefer village, the quaint stream is well worth a family outing hike. by Parod stream and falls, which flow for a short period only in winter and spring after the winter rains. ,

The walk on the rocky shady trail along the gushing Farod stream is most enjoyable experiences. and leads between, olive groves pine, fig and oak trees.

It presents the eye with hilly landscape, lush vegetation, carpets of wild flowers, water falls, small water wadding pools, and 2 blue caped burial sites of Tannaim. (rabbinic sages referenced to Mishnaic period from 2nd AD)

The sites of Tanna Nehemia Ha-asmoni, who was either the Rabbi or a student of Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Ishmael a great Tanna from the Yavne generation, ( more details in Hebrew),draw hordes of large religious families, who frequent the trail and picnic by it.

The near by Kibbutz Farod of about 600 inhabitants, was founded in 1949 by Jewish immigrants from Hungary, on land previously belonging to the depopulated Palestinian village of Farradiyya. It was named Parod after an ancient Jewish community mentioned once in the Babylonian Talmud. The tannaic scholar, Bar Kappara, also resided here.

Along the trail of Nahal Farod Inabl and Alex

Monkey Forest by Yodfat ,

Site. Hebrew English

This wildlife Oak forested park, located in the Lower Galilee, in the vicinity of the Atzmon mountain ridge, spreads over 40 dunam and serves both as a patting zoo and a rescue shelter to impacted wild animals.

Our 2 little ones, tremendously enjoyed meeting and feeding the small Capuchin monkeys, patting the goats, lams and donkeys, as well as staring at the alpacas, and deers, while proceeding for an hour, via a circular path, throughout the shaded forest.

The Shopping Center in the forest at Yodfat

A wonderful surprise waited us, when we encountered, next to the Monkey Forest, a selection of quality shops, The center includes: General goods stores, coffee and the freshest bakery , but most impressed we were with delicious sandwiches, sold at TOTSI which, we so very much enjoyed munching on, while viewing a fantastic scenery of the lower Galilee, from the upper level terrace of the shopping compound.

Second Visit to Amirim Dec 30-31/2022

At the end of the 2022 civil year, the kids talked me into taking them, for a family weekend, once again, at Amirim, while David was away in Morocco.

This time the stay took place in another guest house, just next to the previous one. However we liked this one even better then the first one. It is called

The weekend was filled with hikes in the Amirim beautiful neighborhood and a section of the challenging upper Nachal Amud -one of the nicest upper Galilee's stream to hike.

The 2 hours hike started at the upper Miron Mt. station going down to the lower the path

Hike in Amirim

Restaurants sampled were:

Magdalena - an Arabic upscale restaurant at Migdal

Located between pine trees in the heights of a forest in Bira, the seemingly wild west pioneering farm, overlooks the spectacular view of the Galilee, Golan and Hermon mountains.

It offers horse back riding, nature activities and a Steak house

We arrived at the eve of Dec 31st for

the Bat Yaar restaurant - a local seasonal meat restaurant,

Visiting the place during the day offers a much better enjoyment of the place then during the dark hours.

The food was good and the portions generously huge.

Alex is chewing on a T steak bone

And here our family's touring expedition at the green Galilee's periphery came to end, and we all returned back to the big city.


1 Comment

Ofra Pleban
Ofra Pleban
Mar 09, 2021

beautiful. Will keep this as reference what to do and see on our next trip to Israel.

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