Away from the peak of the tourist season: December is the best month to travel in the north

At the entrance to Nahariya, right in front of the train station, in the tallest building in the city, is the CASA boutique hotel. The hotel, which caters to the adult audience (aged 18 and up), is a paradise for antiquities lovers. So if you want to go on a time travel and feel like you jumped into the Europe of 50 years ago, without giving up all the contemporary indulgences, this is the place for you.

The hotel has 59 rooms and suites in a cool vintage style, and each room has its own character with collectibles from different periods but with all the necessary indulgences, including an espresso machine. The person behind the retro design is none other than Carlos Giovino, and you can feel his presence in every corner of the hotel, from the common spaces that are decorated in romantic colors to the items in the rooms.

The retro atmosphere does not stop at the design, and already at the entrance you will be greeted by the staff, who wear special uniforms, who will invite you to refresh yourself in the hotel’s professional bar.

As the place wants to provide a complete boutique experience, the roof of the hotel has a heated swimming pool with panoramic views. Not far from it there is a space with another bar and tables for those who want a light evening snack and a drink. In addition, the hotel has an excellent spa offering high-class treatments and massages.

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As we were used to during the Corona period, but out of a desire to maintain an intimate atmosphere at the hotel, breakfasts are served in a picnic basket to the room at any time you choose. Breakfast is simply a treat, very rich, and allows you to eat whenever you want and take a snack from it, as the hotel is a great starting point for excursions.

Hagaaton Blvd. 1, Nahariya.
More details: 04-6811900

Casa Boutique Hotel (Photo: Anat Dekel)

Raising heart rate

The northern beaches are considered the most beautiful in the country. The magical lagoons, endless sand and open spaces invite visitors to come and relax and forget about the troubles of the day. But now that beaching is irrelevant, we can enjoy the breathtaking views of Achziv beaches and the open dunes in a slightly more challenging way.

Not far from Nahariya you will find the Achziv Trek Company and the Northern ATVs, which offer travelers in the area to take part in a self-driving experience in SUVs on the shoreline on the horizon of Rosh Hanikra. The routes they offer go through the dunes and agricultural fields of the area, combine self-driving with razors and include a coffee stop and sightings.

Among other things, you can see the Lebanese border, the coastal strip and the Sulam Tzur ridge – and hear a brief explanation of important points of interest in the area. Since the trails pass through open areas, it is very advisable to bring warm clothes and closed shoes.

Length of the route: about an hour.
Price: NIS 500 for a razor – up to four participants.
How to get there: Wise – “Northern ATV – Extreme in Achziv”.
More details: 04-9823671

Northern ATVs (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Northern ATVs (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Wine, arak or coffee?

In the village of Mi’ilya, which is a short drive in northern terms, preparations are already underway for Christmas, and the village, which is home to more than 3,200 Christians, looks charming at this time of year. For us, tourists from all over the country, this is a good opportunity to come, get to know the special people, and sit down for a short chat over a drink.

Julia Winery
Our first stop is in the heart of Miilya, where we found Julia Winery – a small and intimate boutique winery named after Julia, the wife of George Araf. The winery is run by George, an agronomist by profession, and his son Anan, a chemical engineer who decided to leave his career at the center and join his father.

Araf established the winery about a decade ago, after planting a vineyard in 2009 near the family’s olive grove. Today they are based on grapes from the family vineyard and other vineyards in the north. In the winery you can find three red wines (Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah), rosé wine and white wine. The small winery, which produces 11,000 bottles a year, has a barrel room and a bar. Visitors can take a tasting tour of the place, which includes a brief explanation of the production process, tastings of three to five types of wine and snacks of cheese and olive oil.

Open every day except Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00.
Price: 35 – 50 shekels.

Julia Winery (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Julia Winery (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Arak Distillery

After settling down lightly from the wine, we moved on to the next stop: a tobacco house and an arak distillery run by Basel Cassis. The Cassis distillery is housed in an ancient building that used to be a home for growing tobacco. The building, which looks a bit neglected at first glance, has an interesting history. The building was the residence of the Cassis family, who also used it to dry tobacco.

Basel’s family, like many residents of Mi’ilya, was engaged in agriculture and mainly in growing tobacco, which was a good source of livelihood in the area until the 1990s. Today, as mentioned, tobacco is no longer grown here, but the agricultural tradition has been preserved, and it utilizes the skills and even planted in 2003 a small vineyard. From the grapes he grows he produces arak in several levels of alcohol. During a visit to him you can hear a little about the family history and how to grow and treat tobacco, hear about the production of arak that started with him as a hobby and today already supports him, and of course taste arak of different types.

Price: NIS 20 for an hour and a quarter tour.
More details: 052-4246691

Basel Cassis (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Basel Cassis (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

“VERO” coffee
If you want to recover from all the alcohol, you can take a short coffee break at “Coffee VERO”. This is one of the most beautiful coffee shops you will find in the country. The shop set up by Alaa Mata has a visitor center where you can get an impression of modern coffee machines, grinders and antique coffee machines.

Coffee lovers can go on an hour-long tour, which includes a short lecture on coffee, a film about growing coffee beans and experiential coffee roasting. The tour is mainly suitable for groups of up to ten people, and it costs 300-400 shekels, but if you are traveling as a couple, they will entertain you for free as well. You can stop there on the way to buy coffee beans, ground coffee and also coffee machines.

Monday to Friday, 8:00 – 17:30, Saturday 8:00 – 15:00. First closed.

Cafe Vero (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Cafe Vero (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Where to eat?

If you have arrived in the Rosh Hanikra-Achziv area and you are looking for a perfect place to start your morning and your trip in the area, get a recommendation: “Breakfast Club” in Moshav Shavei Zion. In the pastoral seat, which sits on the shoreline, is a sweet dairy bistro, which attracts breakfast lovers from all over the country. The “club” has a special atmosphere – a kind of combination of the Tel Aviv vibe and the relaxed moshavnik atmosphere.

This can be seen in the ease with which diners feel on the one hand and precisely in the dishes on the other. The bistro has an enclosed central space and a charming courtyard with a fun atmosphere, where people from all over the country sit. Some look local who jumped in to drink their morning coffee, some business people who came to the meeting, and there is also a collection of travelers who are excited (like us) to photograph each dish and enjoy the familiar flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, served accurately and beautifully.

Apart from an upgraded classic breakfast, the menu includes a variety of dishes inspired by the Mediterranean Basin and Scandinavia. Among the dishes: caprese sandwich, sabih sandwich, salmon bagel, beets in a stone oven on Greek yogurt, burata, Balkan Arabian pastry, fish falafel and arancini. Do not give up the malabi they make, because it is among the best we have tasted.

How to get there: The boat 1, Moshav Shavei Zion.
For more details: 04-6893991

Breakfast Club (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Breakfast Club (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

A pile of meat for carnivores

If you are people of meat, and a lot of it, in the heart of a banana grove in Moshav Betzet, there is a “300 gram” restaurant. The name can attest to the specialty of the restaurant, which is headed by chef Itai Hasson. Itai studied and specialized in meat preparation in restaurants on the East Coast of the United States. After returning from the aftermath, he decided to fulfill a dream and set up a kosher restaurant that is all a song of praise for meat. In fact, what sets the restaurant apart is the delicious dishes that are served generously and at a fair price.

300g restaurant (Photo: 300g)300g restaurant (Photo: 300g)

These days, when the whole restaurant world is talking about rising prices, Itai chose to attract the crowd with a double corruption meal that includes house bread, chimichurri, several starters, including vegan stone, onion cream and melon in Asian sauce, followed by arais, entrecote steak , Veal chorizo ​​on sauerkraut and Dijon mustard, and main courses: meat mix 800 g entrecote, sirloin, chicken steak, baked potato and green beans. All this at a ridiculous price of 199 shekels per couple.

How to get there: “300 g” restaurant, Betzet.
For more details: 072-3951758

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