Infuse your next visit to Israel with magic and splendour
School is out. Summer is in. It’s holiday time! You’ve booked a two-week vacation and as you board the plane, you close your eyes and release a long content sigh of relief.
You can already feel the warmth of the sun’s rays beating down on you. See your kids playfully enjoying the outdoors, or enjoy the time to relax with your spouse. Bliss.
Touring Yerushalayim and visiting your favourite sites certainly can account for your complete holiday itinerary. But this summer, try traveling northward and experience the magic of the Golan Heights, a region that is booming with serene natural landscapes, historical treasures and rich culinary delights. A vacation in the Golan Heights is full of cultural, outdoors, and culinary possibilities. While only a couple hours’ drive north of Tel Aviv, this trip has so much potential for the entire family, catering to various wishes and likings.
What follows is a suggested trip to the beautiful town of Katzrin, located in the heart of the Golan Heights. Katzrin is a tourist haven, offering any adventure-seeking visitor a myriad of enjoyable experiences that feature the different marvels of the Holy Land. This is a destination suitable both for families and couples seeking a peaceful respite from the daily hustle and bustle.
A must-see for all history and archaeology buffs is the Ancient Katzrin Park, situated adjacent to Golan Magic. Here you can “relive” the Talmudic era with an active, hands- on approach. Visit a reconstructed house, an olive press, and the remains of an ancient synagogue. Guided tours can also be arranged, led by experienced actors, who are dressed up to create an authentic Talmudic feel. A full programme of activities is on offer throughout the year. www.parkqatzrin.org.il.
Historically, the Golan Heights was an eminent region for wine production. In recent decades, this reputation has been restored. Located just down the road from the Park, the Golan Heights Winery’s impressive visitors’ centre can act as the starting point for a thrilling family adventure or a warm trip for a couple. For excitement, sign up for a tom- car tour in these unique mini jeeps and cruise through the stunning wide-open landscape of the Golan Heights toward one of the Golan Heights Winery’s magical vineyards. Breathtakingly beautiful, each vineyard has its own distinctiveness and features rows upon rows of flourishing grape vines. Experience how wines are made amidst stunning natural scenery. Visiting the vineyards in the late summer yields a unique chance to catch the harvest in action. In these active months, relish in the artisanal first-steps of winemaking and witness the processing of grapes.
A winner of various winemaking awards, the Golan Heights Winery sits nestled in Israel’s premier winemaking country and celebrated its 30 thanniversary last year. Since its founding in 1983, this winery has revolutionised Israeli wine culture, raising the bar for quality, taste and variety in the kosher wine market. At the Winery, a guide will escort you through the entire wine production process. See the remarkable oak barrel cellar and its modern, robot-like bottling line. After a tour, enjoy an authentic wine tasting experience. To delve deep into the craft of winemaking, arrange a meeting with a guide at the visitors’ centre. Learn about the different grape varieties, understand the unique qualities of the region and begin to appreciate the enormous effort that is ploughed into cultivating Israel’s highest calibre wines.
Alternative options include the standard tour plus a VIP wine tasting, and the premium visit which includes the standard tour, VIP wine tasting and a gourmet meal. No trip to a winery is complete without a stop in the gift shop, where guests can purchase special bottles of the world-renowned Yarden, Gamla and Hermon , and some Yarden rare , limited and special wines that only available at the winery. In the summer months, the Golan Heights Winery hosts festivals and evening events to mark various occasions. To book tours or to find out about upcoming events, visit www.golanwines.co.il.
After spending time in the Winery, choose from an array of destinations, including De Karina, a gourmet chocolate shop and café, or hike along Nahal Zavitan for a refreshing encounter with the outdoors. Travellers exploring the wonders of the Golan Heights are abounded with the opportunity to have an exceptional and unforgettable holiday.