Ahead of Passover and the Sabbath: the places not to be missed for a trip to Samaria

One of the most beautiful and special places to visit is Samaria: The mountainous area is full of springs, breathtaking views, award-winning wineries and heritage and history sites. We spent two whole days on a trip around Samaria and gathered for you the main attractions.

During the Passover holiday, the variety of wineries, springs and heritage sites and nature will be open to travelers.

We started the first day of the trip with a spectacular view located in the area of ​​Peduel, known as the “balcony of the country”, an observation point facing west, towards the coastal plain and the lowlands, from Ashdod in the south to Hadera in the north. On days of particularly good visibility, the chimneys of Ashkelon and the University of Haifa can be seen. The observation point is shaded and has seating and landscaping areas so you can make the most of the place. At the foot of the lookout is Deir Kela Fortress, which offers an easy walking route at an archeological site (park near the gate, the site opens every day from 10:00).

” The balcony of the country ” in Peduel (Photo: Samaria Tourism)
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From the settlement of Peduel we drove east towards the settlement of Rachelim, where there is an award-winning winery, Tora Winery, and we were greeted by Vered Ben Saadoun, the founder of the winery and its owners. Tora Winery is a family winery, whose vineyards were planted by the Ben Saadon family in 1997 in Har Bracha, and were later discovered to be some of the highest quality vineyards in the country. Meters, standing exposed as a pillar to the westerly wind.The winery opened for activity in 2003.

The winery’s policy is based on the value of perseverance and patience, which is reflected in the fact that the wine is put on the market only after three years of obsolescence and not after two years, as is customary in most wineries. Today, the winery produces about 100,000 bottles of various varieties, including: Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Fort-style wine. In addition, the winery produces alcoholic cider and olive oil. The winery’s wines participate in competitions and win many accolades and awards. The kosher wine is from OU, Rabbi Unger, Badatz Beit Yosef and the local rabbi.

Tora Winery (Photo: Samaria Tourism)Tora Winery (Photo: Samaria Tourism)

After visiting the winery, we continued to Mount Gerizim, which is the Mount of Blessing, to visit the archeological site on the site. The site is located at an altitude of about 880 meters above sea level, and on the mountain is Mount Gerizim National Park, where one of the most fascinating sites in the Land of Israel is hidden. According to Yosef ben Matityahu, a Samaritan temple was built on the site as an exact replica of the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed by the Hasmonean John Hyrcanus in 111 BC, and has not been rebuilt since. Emperor Zeno built a fortified complex on the site, with an octagonal, large and magnificent church in the center. Visitors will be able to be impressed by archeological remains from above, a breathtaking view and a fascinating story as only this country can tell us.

What’s around? Mitzpe Yosef, with a view of the city of Nablus. The Samaritan neighborhood with the Samaritan sacrifice site, a fine tahini factory and the Samaritan Museum. A blessing on the mountain – a visitor center, good food and fine wine, the Atlantic Goddess Reserve and Amasa Spring. The site is declared a national park, under the responsibility of the Nature Reserves and Parks Authority, and entry to it is subject to a fee.

From there we continued our trip to Gilad Farm. We were greeted by Miriam and Elad, a pair of multidisciplinary artists. We entered an impressive wooden structure, the structure of course built in a hexagonal shape. The pair of artists hold a wide variety of workshops – basket weaving, mosaic, macrame, building wooden benches, etc. The workshops are suitable for groups and individuals (to schedule workshops, contact Elad and Miriam – 0507571007).

Gilad Farm (Photo: Samaria Tourism)Gilad Farm (Photo: Samaria Tourism)

Towards evening we drove west, to the village of Havat Yair, where we visited the Gidi pools. The pools are located at the entrance to Havat Yair. The site has four artificial pools that allow for paddling and sitting around them. The pools are located down the ridge amidst natural woodland. The natural grove consists mainly of the common oak and the tree that dominates the dome. During the winter you can enjoy the bright green landscape and the annual blooms. The pools receive artificial water through a pump and the water passes between the pools. The water flows throughout the year and undergoes chlorination. There are KKL-JNF tables located near and near the pools for the convenience of visitors. Some of the pools are exposed to the sun and it is required to take into account the strong radiation in the place. Write in Wise: Gidi pools or Havat Yair pools.

After paddling our feet in the water, we boarded a 4X4 vehicle and drove to visit the Nahal Kana Reserve, in Khirbet Shehadeh. Nahal Kana Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve in Western Samaria. Nahal Kana is one of the largest tributaries of the Yarkon and is one of the largest streams in the Samaria streams, beginning near Itamar near the village of Yinon and flowing into the Yarkon south of the city of Hod Hasharon, in its central part you can find plenty of springs.

In the reserve you can enjoy springs and uplifting springs in the heart of a Mediterranean forest and orchard landscape. The hiking trail to Horbat Shehadeh is an easy route suitable for families, where you can climb a beautiful hill, headed by a farm from the Second Temple period and imagine how they lived here in the past, gain a panoramic view of the area and even a valley caused by the collapse of a large cave.

Nahal Kana (Photo: Samaria Tourism)Nahal Kana (Photo: Samaria Tourism)

We ended the day full of experiences with dinner and accommodation in a dining and recreation complex, “at the top of the mountain”, by the interior designer, Miri Levy, which is located in Nofim. The family villa is designed to accommodate about 15 people, with two double bedrooms, another huge extra bedroom, 2 toilets / showers, a kitchen, a living room and a large dining area. The couples villa has a particularly luxurious bedroom, a spa Jacuzzi, a shower, living seating areas, a dining area, a kitchenette and lots of atmosphere.

What else can be found in the complex? Huge swimming pool (cleaned with salt as opposed to chlorine), sports field (tennis, basketball corner, ping pong table), upgraded barbecue area, lawns, gazebo corners and more. The entire complex (2 dunams) is immersed in an old and well-kept garden with dozens of fruit and ornamental trees, vines, shrubs, flowers, lawns mixed with clover and more.

The place also hosts small boutique events, possible in combination with accommodation (such as: bachelor / bachelorette parties, birthdays, pool parties, fun days for extended families, advanced training, and more). During the visit, I met with the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, who told us about tourism in the area, and its flourishing during the Corona period: “To our delight, the public in Israel and abroad discovered Samaria. Before the Corona period, travelers from all over the world would come here, but the Corona period, although it led to a decrease in the number of travelers from around the world, on the other hand led the Israeli traveler to discover Green Samaria, which offers new tourist sites. Precisely the search for new places to travel has done good for tourism in Samaria. For our part, we are investing the maximum in tourism and these days new bicycle routes are being planned and built on the landscape route at several points in Samaria, new visitor centers and more. I invite the public to come and enjoy all the good that Samaria has to offer, from the wineries through the refreshing springs to the heritage and nature sites that Samaria abounds in. ”

After a wonderful night at Miri’s B&B and a rich, handmade breakfast, we headed east towards Elon Moreh. The road from Nofim to Elon Moreh, passes through the spectacular landscapes of Samaria, mountains, olive trees, natural groves, and amazing blooms. After a drive of about half an hour we arrived at the old settlement of Elon Moreh. From the foot of the settlement we climbed Mount Kabir, the Kabir winery to its restaurant and the visitor center located at the winery. The view in the winery is crazy, the food is delicious, the design is very unique and the people are charming. You can also get wine tasting, instruction and a tour of the winery.

Mount Kabir (Photo: Samaria Tourism)Mount Kabir (Photo: Samaria Tourism)

After the tour of the winery and visitor center, we boarded the Easy Rider vehicles for a riding tour on the Elon Moreh Wine Road. We passed through the vineyards, we saw in front of us Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal and between them the city of Nablus which seemed to unfold before us. We finished the riding tour at Ein Kfir spring which is at the entrance to the village of Elon Moreh, this is a beautiful spring, to which an ancient aqueduct leads, the spring is called Ein al Kabira which means the great spring. A paddling pool was built near the spring and was dedicated to the memory of the soldier Avner Kfir Hezi HaYad, Ben Alon Moreh, who fell in Lebanon. Near the spring there are picnic corners. A guaranteed experience for families.

Ein Kfir (Photo: Samaria Tourism)Ein Kfir (Photo: Samaria Tourism)

From Elon Moreh we moved to the nearby Itamar ridge, this is a mountain ridge in Samaria, located east of the city of Nablus and reaches the outskirts of the Jordan Valley. The length of the ridge is about 13 kilometers. The first place we visited on the ridge is Pnini Farm, around the farm are dozens of wineries that testify to an ancient wine culture. The Pnini family has a boutique winery, “Tom Winery”, the winery uses the historical and human climatic trout and grows quality wine. Breathtaking views accompany the farm all year round and the Pnini family is always happy for visitors. We finished drinking wine and now we felt like eating some cheeses, and not just cheeses but organic cheeses.

From Pnini Farm, we went to Givot Olam Farm, Givot Olam Farm, the leading farm in the field of organic food in Israel since 1997. The farm is located in the hills near Itamar. The farm produces and markets a wide range of products – fresh and healthy organic eggs, organic goat dairy products and quality and selected boutique wines. The farm is always open to the visiting public, entrance to the farm is free, as are the spacious lawns and shaded seating areas, eight clean toilets, fountains and ample parking.

At the farm you can be impressed by the living conditions of the animals, walk around the herds, watch the milking, clothes and patches bouncing for their enjoyment in the yards, sit in the dairy yard and enjoy the variety of products we offer you to purchase there. You can buy in the factory store the best produce as well as products sold only on the farm – iced coffee and American ice cream in vanilla and walnut chocolate flavors made from organic goat milk.

From Givot Olam Farms we went to the “Kedem” studio – Eretz Israel art, where we met Meir Sharon. The studio is a studio for sculpting in iron, wood and stone, as well as for applied and conceptual art for the design of private and public space. The studio is large and spacious to accommodate ancient tools used for sculpture and creation, and to also accommodate visitors who want to experiment with their hands in the special creative processes. Here you will see iron forging in the heat as our ancestors did in ancient times and hear stories of blacksmiths from biblical times to the national revival. You will also find a gallery, art shop, coffee corner and toilets in the place.

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

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