A Thousand Songs to the North: The Right Time to Arrive in the Galilee

The beautiful Hula Valley area in the north of the country offers spectacular views, flowing streams, open spaces, springs and lots of greenery. In winter, with the onset of the rainy season, many hikers flock to the area to enjoy nature at its peak, the renewed flow in the streams and the beautiful blooms.

The masses who come to the area do not give up on the highlight of the valley – the Hula Reed. Unfortunately for many hikers and nature lovers, the reedbed is closed due to the severe damage it suffered with the spread of bird flu. We are here to remind you that the valley offers us besides cranes, lots of other surprises, nature reserves, hiking trails, attractions and hotels.

“Galilion” is a hotel located near the Hula Reed, facing the Golan Heights and the Galilee, and is considered one of the most popular hotels in the area. The hotel covers a 90-acre area with a central structure surrounding a pool. The building houses the rooms, a lobby with a large dining room, a conference center, a spa and a wine room where unique tastings and workshops take place.

The hotel offers 120 suites and luxurious rooms and a spa dispenser. Each room has a balcony overlooking the breathtaking views of the Hula Valley, Mount Hermon, the Galilee Mountains and the Golan Heights. The design of the rooms, which combines modern and rustic style, is designed to provide an ultimate experience of relaxation and pampering, while paying attention and attention to the smallest details that make the difference.

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At Galilion, a rich spa center awaits you with treatment rooms, a workshop room and luxurious spa facilities, including wet and dry saunas and a Turkish bath. The center offers a wide range of facilities and treatments for body and mind – massages, beauty treatments and energetic treatments. All of these will ensure a healthy, relaxing, delightful and especially pampering Galilean experience.

The hotel also houses a unique wine house, offering a wide range of local wines. The wine house holds a variety of activities in the field of wine, professional workshops, lectures and wine tasting accompanied by snacks. The location of “Galilion”, on Route 90, makes it attractive both to travelers in the area and to those looking for a relaxed and unattractive vacation, maximum a jump to Agmon Market – the northern food market next to the hotel and next to Hula Reed – to have a snack at one of the food stalls.

During the winter, you will also find unique content vacations at Galilion, such as a vacation for best friends, which combines makeup and styling workshops and wine tasting at sunset; The “Window to the Mediterranean” festival, which includes lectures on wine culture and mythology by Shimon Perens; A Yiddish festival, which includes a tribute to the great actors of Israel and Yiddish culture, in collaboration with the Yiddishpiel Theater, or a film festival that includes a world premiere of the film “Nobody’s Children” directed by Erez Tadmor, and a meeting with film director and lead actors Tiki Dayan, Yaakov Cohen and Roi Assaf.

A national premiere of the film “Here We Are” by director Nir Bergman is also expected, a meeting and conversation with director Nir Bergman and actor Shai Avivi, and in addition Shlomi Alkabetz will also appear in the lecture “My Cinema with My Beloved Sister” and the screening of the film “Black Notebooks”. The price of a festival holiday for a couple for two nights on a half-board basis: NIS 2,990.

Galilion Hotel (Photo: Yitzhak Galilion)

The Raslan flower and the knapsack are now
If the name Flower Raslan sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because of her long screen time in “Master Chef.” Perach, who was born in Lebanon and currently lives in Kiryat Shmona, entered our hearts with the knapsack now – her entrance dish to “Master Chef”. Since then, she has gone through quite a few adventures, including working in a lab and developing quinoa patties.

Since she did not connect to taste and vision, she decided to set up her own venture and make things she believes in and especially loves. At the heart of her venture, which was supposed to be a short pop-up, is the flagship dish – the knapsack, which is based on street food that is popular in Lebanon. The same knapsack inside its popular cake she currently serves at Agmon Market.

Knappa lovers from all over the country have flocked to the complex in the past year to see what the fuss is about. If you do not understand what the noise is about and think it’s just another knafa, you’re in the wrong. A flower knapsack is made of a fine layer of semolina and topped with a river of sugar syrup and a layer of melted cheese. So far everything is normal. It’s just that these two layers fit into a loaf – a thin bagel coated in sesame seeds.

In short, a high-calorie knapsack sandwich that every foodie would love to have. Flower has created an interesting game of flavors here, where the bagel flavor slightly reduces the sweetness of the knapsack, making it a perfect and spoiled dish. If you are touring the area, do not miss the experience. A flower stand is located near Beit El Mona – a small shop for decorated housewares, spices and food products from southern Lebanese cuisine.

Raslan Flower (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Raslan Flower (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

wonderland patisserie
Once you have jumped into Lebanon, you can continue the journey and reach the Wonderland. One of the surprises of Agmon Market is in the eyes of the wonderland patisserie. The confectionery, inspired by the world of fairy tales, offers a wonderful variety of desserts inspired by the book “Alice in Wonderland”. Behind the masterpieces is chef-confectioner Oshrat Suleimani.

Suleimani’s desserts are delicious and photographed superbly for the story, so this is a must stop for photography enthusiasts. Her dessert collection, which includes macaroons and other delicacies, changes every six months.

Now you can find there for example a dessert called “Flamingo”, and it consists of pavlova filled with strawberry cream and strawberry-marmalade and whipped vanilla cream; Or “hallucination” – mascarpone-coffee mousse, caramel coffee, coffee cream and cocoa-coconut-coffee crumble; “Rabbit” – milk chocolate mousse, pretzel cream, pretzel crumble and salted caramel, and there are more sweet surprises. You should take the opportunity to stop for a coffee or tea break, take one or two desserts and savor. If you fell in love, the desserts also come in a “family” version that can be taken home.

Agmon Market – Road 90 (near the Hula Reed).
Phone: 04-8377770.
Sunday-Saturday between the hours: 9: 00-22: 00.
Dessert prices: NIS 10-36.

Feel the area
The Golan Heights is packed with attractions and sites, but there is no doubt that one of its advantages is the open nature. Hikers from all over the country come to the Golan Heights to enjoy the outdoors, the green fields and the flowing streams. To feel the wonders of nature we usually give up the private vehicles and go on a walking tour in one of the regulated reserves.

It’s good and beautiful, but sometimes we may miss less touristy places, where nature is at its peak. What is the solution? Ranger or bicycle tours departing from one of the northern settlements. In the rest of the settlement, for example, between the fields and the fruit trees, is the “Journey in Izzy” complex. At the entrance to the complex you will receive a magical seating area, where you can relax before the journey. From here you can also go to guided driving and hiking areas that run along the banks of the Banias River, heritage sites and archeology.

One of their recommended walks leaves the compound, entering an agricultural area where you can see cows and calves lying around having fun, just like in a postcard or scene from a movie. Along the way you will be accompanied by fragrant fruit trees and in the background you can hear the rippling of the flowing Banias River. After you breathe clear air and officially disconnect from reality, you can ascend to a wonderful vantage point to some of the important points in the area.

At the observation point of Givat Ham (Tel Abu Hanzir) you can see, among other things, southern Lebanon, the Hula Valley, the northern Golan Heights and the snow-capped Mount Hermon. The hill, which is “decorated” with basalt stones, was captured at the beginning of the War of Independence by the Syrians. During the observation, you will also hear a fascinating explanation from the guide about the strategic importance of the region and why the Syrians occupied it. In the ten-day battles that took place in July 1948, the IDF managed to occupy it again.

Eight years later, a UN station was set up to observe and monitor the ceasefire agreements, as the entire area was a hotbed of disaster and incidents with the Syrians. To the vehicle and go down to the creek to stop for selfies by the creek and a light paddle (only if you are brave, because the water is frozen).

You can warm up with hot herbal tea. For complete relaxation, you can enjoy cycling tours in the area. In the complex, beginner and professional riders are offered an outdoor bicycle tour on a route that passes between the agricultural fields, on the banks of the Banias. The tracks are comfortable to ride and adapted to the nature of the pedals.

Price: Starting at NIS 440 for a car with three people.
Price of a bicycle trip (up to three hours): NIS 69. For more details: 052-6904440. 

The Banias (Photo: Meital Sharabi)The Banias (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.

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