By: Ronit Svirsky, Photour
A family trip that combines activity for the adults and the little ones is a sought for recipe. A vacation that will leave long lasting impression and have experiences that the little ones will continue telling about with enthusiasm even after they will return to their daily routine. It is not a simple task to be able to combine attractions suitable for the parents and at the same time creates fascinating activity for the children, so they too may take part of the experience. We chose the Westen Galilee as the destination of a family vacation. We put together for you a route that will prove interesting and enjoyable to each family member: Spa for the ladies, beer brewing for the men, winery and gallery for both sexes, a tour at the grottoes, cable cars, electric vehicles, horseback riding, peaceful sea shores, restaurants suitable for children, and a family lodging with a view.
The colors of the fall, the soft sun and the cool wind make a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with the kids on the beach. Betzet Beach is a white sandy strip opposite some small islands that float in the sea. It connects Achziv beach and Rosh Hanikra. The Islands facing the shoreline are called Shahaf, Nahlieli and T'helet, they have abundant of birds and are defined as Natural Reserve that can be looked upon from afar. To their south there is a strip of sand and rocks that the fishermen of the north favor. From early morning they face the waves and cast their baits. The sand strip continues all the way to the Achziv beach National Park, where you can find an Antiquities Museum.
Trip to the Grottoes
Cable cars and dark tunnels will upgrade the trip to the younger members of the group, and Rosh Hanikra site can provide you with this impressive variety. In winter time there are tours in which you wear storm suits and watch the enormous waves as they crash unto the white "elephant legs". A new addition to the site is electrical vehicles that enable you to leave the grottoes and drive along the ancient railroad near the shoreline. Stop, go into the water, look for crabs and small fish among the rocks, and gaze upon the water, which turns into a grey stormy surface in the winter. The site also provides different types of bicycles for riding in pairs or in a group - up to 6 riders. An electric vehicle costs 50 NIS per person for one hour. Entry fee to the site is 43 NIS for an adult, 37 NIS for a child in the ages 3-18. There are packages that include several attractions in one ticket.
When the kids are already full from the daily dose of attractions and the sun is about to set it is time for the big guys to catch a break. At dusk, as the sun is low in the sky and the shores of the Mediterranean sparkle in the horizon it is time for a cool glass of beer. In Kibbutz Yehiam, Assaf Lavie opened the brewery Malka Beer. After exhausting the Tel Aviv night life and serving as business partner of some well known pubs, he decided to take a break from life and found tranquility in the Western Galilee. All he needed now was some top quality beer so he started experimenting with home made beer brewing. His success was above and beyond all expectations and nowadays Tel Aviv restaurants are selling his beer. The beer brewery has a balcony facing the landscape and grass for the kids to play on. You can taste from three beers Lavie brews and you can choose the one that is most to your liking; the very light Saison (Malka blond), the English Pale Ale (Malka red) or the bitter Dry Irish Stout (Malka dark). With the beer you can munch on a variety of roasted nuts, pickles and olives or Kabanos. On Friday afternoons the place prepares Goulash casseroles. The beer is Kosher and the place is Kosher. A tour of the factory includes beer tasting and costs 25 NIS, you must be over 18 to participate. Arrival must be arranged in advance, in the middle of the week, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 till the last drinker.
Achziv winery and gallery
Those of you who prefer wine over beer can spend a short while in the company of Mark Guberman who opened a small winery by the name of Achziv at the Artists' square of Kibbutz Gesher Ziv. The structure that was once a henhouse became a closed, roofed space where he can age red wines. At the entrance he presents his colorful paintings that in some you may notice the hint of a political statement. In the outer yard, under the shadows of the trees there is a table where you can sit and taste between 4-5 types of dry red wines and sweet dessert wine. For a fee, and if you arrange it in advance, he can also prepare a wine and cheese meal. Please arrange your arrival in advance, Tel. 050-7713687.
Spa in Goren
At the end of an activity-filled- day, when the kids are ready to go into sleeping mode, it is time to pamper the feminine side of the group. Spa in Goren, in Goren settlement is a site located in the home of a very special woman by the name of Bat Sheva Damari. Damari lost her eyesight when she was 30, and despite it nothing can stand in her way when she sets a certain goal. She has already written two books, learned alternative massage techniques and established a Spa where she can treat her guests. Her blindness is not visible and she manages her house with no restrictions at all. The Spa includes treatment rooms, a huge Jacuzzi with a view of the garden, massage chair, dry sauna, wet sauna and massage shower. On the second floor she designed a Zimmer suitable for couples who wants to stay there. The treatment prices move between 450-250 NIS per hour and more. Only available when arranging in advance 054-4722337
Only a few Zimmers had been designed for family lodging. Cabri Village, in Kibbutz Cabri is one of those few. The Zimmers were designed as large modular wooden houses that can be put together or be separated based on the number of guests. When the separation walls open the place can accommodate up to 10 guests. Two rooms allow complete intimacy and in the specious lobby you can open the couches to create a double bad or a single bad. Each unit has a spice garden for the guests to use freely, hovering hammock, lawn chairs, personal BBQ and a huge Jacuzzi for 6, on the balcony facing the view. From the balcony you can see the shoreline from Rosh Hanikra to Haifa. The accommodation includes breakfast made by Chef Nir Gleichman. He sets it on a big wooden table on the balcony: vegetable omelets, homemade Shakshuka, wraps of Sabich or Antipasto, labaneh, olives, nature salads, smoked fish, cheeses in different tastes, freshly squeezed orange juice and delicate, airy chocolate pie for dessert with cheese filled crepes. Prices: 890 NIS a night in the middle of the week, 1100 NIS for the weekend. Tel. 04-9952711
Activities in Cabri
Near the Zimmers' area, in Kibbutz Cabri, there are plenty of activities. Etching museum that has guided tours and explanations about the artists of the place. Yehiel Shemi's gallery which is open for visitors if you arrange it in advance, horses ranch, and in the summer you can go into the Kibbutz's swimming pool with no extra charge. Tel Levi has Mosaics workshops for women. An hour of activity in the workshop costs 30 NIS, and includes the materials.
Restaurants suitable for children
The Western Galilee offers a variety of restaurants that allows you to feel comfortable even with the kids; Sahara Moroccan restaurant in the settlement of Shomera, Stekia Ba'Kfar or Beef Ba'Har in Ya'ara settlement, the homey Shemesh restaurant in Ein Yaacov, Rimona restaurant in Hosen that makes bread in the tabun oven on pebbles and has dairy meals. The new Abu Nassar restaurant has opened in a fantastic location facing the sea waves and the indented Achziv coastline and offers cookery from the rich Arab cuisine. On days with nice weather, you can sit outside under the pergola and look at the sea and the landscape. Among the other dishes you can find there, you can also come across Saniya, Lamb ribs, Goose Liver Skewers, Muhammar served on thin dough with a lot of Sumac, Chicken stuffed with rice, and as starting courses homemade salads, Hummus, Tehini, fried cauliflower, spicy carrots, eggplants on the grill and spicy chickpeas. Open all week from 10:00-24:00, making reservations is advised. 04-9829992