The sky is open, but the corona is with us and the truth is that our country has so much to offer, so it does not fall short of any destination abroad. This week, when the evenings begin to cool and autumn knocks on our window – I chose to shine on the north. A star, with an anchor point that is close to everything – whether it is in Italy, whether it is in Australia or any destination in the world, and here in Israel, so this time we will refer to the location that has become a particularly attractive destination in the north – Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
The kibbutz is a starting point for a variety of trips and attractions in the northern Golan Heights. No matter if you are planning a trip to the area’s streams, nature reserves, Mount Avital, the volcanic park or Mount Hermon, this is a great place to put your head. Beyond that, it is also a great place for culinary and wine lovers, for lovers of jeep tours for couples and families with the option of a chef’s meal, a sunset or sunrise trip and a night safari.
When planning a trip, you usually want to make the most of the time to experience nets and not get involved in finding different hotels in each location, but find a central center that is easy to get out of and return to for a variety of attractions and activities. Such is the holiday village in Ein Zivan, which combines a rural atmosphere with a spectacular view of spacious lawns, summer fruit orchards and vineyards. It is located on the route of the popular “Golan Trail” and next to it are hiking sites to view the natural phenomena left by the volcanic eruption in the area thousands of years ago, and quite a few other routes and attractions.
The resort has 49 wooden cabins and guest rooms of a luxurious standard that does not fall short of the pompous hotels, with modern design and facilities that allow for a perfect experience: from a barbecue area and outdoor and indoor seating as Israelis like to a private sauna in luxury wooden cabins. Guests of the village also enjoy a free swimming pool (in season), tennis courts, workshops and activities for children.
Breakfast served in an intimate space includes fresh vegetables and fruits straight from Ein Zivan farmers and nearby orchards, along with a wide variety of cheeses, salads, fresh breads, pastries and more.
Prices per season: A night for a couple in the cabin, including breakfast: in the middle of the week – starting at NIS 550, at the weekend – starting at NIS 800. For details: 073-7576880, enzivan.co.il.
After settling in the cabins, it’s time to go out and enjoy what the kibbutz has to offer, including two wineries – Bahat Winery and Pelter Winery. We visited the Bahat (kosher) winery of Ofer Bahat, an agronomist and expert in the preservation and cooling of fruit, who has dreamed for years of producing his own wine, from the grapes of the northern Golan Heights. The wine production process at the winery is based on a traditional method from the vintage stage, through aging in wooden barrels to the bottle stage. Wine is mainly handled by manual processes. The wines of Bahat Winery are aged in oak barrels for 12-18 months and aged for another year in bottles before being found for sale.
At the visitor center you get a glimpse of the barrel room and the wine production process. You can of course enjoy wine tastings and meals, and alongside the wine you can enjoy a boutique pizzeria that operates on site. There is a boutique store with a wide variety of cheeses, wines, liqueurs in different flavors, as well as cherry liqueur and delicacies made in the Golan Heights and the surrounding area. And if that’s not enough, these days Ofer has launched a new BURGER stand for hamburger lovers in the complex.
Phone: 0542468019, Website: bahatwinery.co.il
Throughout the trip there was no one we met and did not find out if we had already been to “Materlo” – a bakery whose name precedes it and has become a complete must for anyone who comes to the area. Adi Peretz, a young culinary photographer who decided to translate his love of food, opened about two and a half years ago, “Materlo” (a rolling pin in Italian) – a cafe-bakery, near the holiday village. And the truth? Not for nothing is there a queue of foodies waiting to come in and taste – and the wait is worth it and Peretz does not disappoint. Everything is fresh and delicious on a level that there is no one who does not load more carbohydrates on the way (and yes, we did not hold back either). The menu changes weekly, the dishes change according to the seasonal supply of Ein Zivan agricultural fruit. Reservations can be made in advance and taken to the guest room at Ein Zivan Resort Village or for a picnic.
Opening days: Tuesday-Saturday, 9: 00-13: 00, for details: “Materlo” – 077 – 6020721.
And if you are less into the section of pastries, sandwiches and salads – Peretz also recently opened the “hummus” – home-made hummus, located near “Materlo”. Along with the hummus and toppings, the menu also includes brick and mausoleum, masbaha, a falafel dish (also gluten-free), crunch chips and salads. For dessert: knafa and malabi are highly recommended, and do not forget to pick up a glass of ouzo, arak or beer – because it is a holiday after all.
Opening days: From Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 15:00. For details: 077 – 6020721.
After eating, and between routes, it is recommended to stop at a boutique factory and the cafe “Chocolate de Carina – DE KARINA” (kosher) in Ein Zivan. Along with a chocolate cafe with a menu rich in unique chocolate drinks, milkshakes, ice creams and surprising desserts that are prepared on site, you can enjoy sweet workshops at the visitor center. The center is an experience for children and adults, at all ages – from the personal and Zionist story of the chocolatier Karina, a third generation to a family tradition of a hundred years of chocolate production, through the chocolate aromas and chocolate dripping wheels of the production machines, to personal experience in making chocolate. In the workshop, you receive a personal kit and quality raw materials, various fillings, colorful toppings and everything you need to experiment, be photographed, taste, design and create gourmet chocolate products, under professional guidance. The products are received refrigerated in custom packaging at home. Of course there is also a boutique store with DE KARINA products, gourmet chocolate products, pralines, truffles and rich liqueurs.
Activity days: Monday-Thursday, 10: 00-17: 00, Fridays – 9: 00-15: 00, Saturdays and Sundays – closed. You should be constantly updated about the changing operating times. Child and adult activity – NIS 69 (from age 3). Phone: 04 – 6993622 Website: de-karina.co.il
And sorry for the vegans and vegetarians, but it is impossible to visit the north without enjoying one of the finest meat restaurants. On Route 91, in the heart of the open spaces and natural treasures, you will find “Gilbon Farm” – a meat restaurant founded in the late 90’s by Avi and Nir Lalush, father and son. When we get there, we feel the most Texas-diner-style American Westerns that put us directly into the atmosphere, and the two of us built everything with their own hands.
The menu of “Gilbon Farm” operates on the purity of “from pasture to table” and includes a variety of fine cuts of meat and burgers. These are joined by starters, bread and dips. For those visiting the restaurant for the first time I would recommend a double farm meal.
Activity time: Sunday 17: 00-22: 00, Monday-Saturday 22: 00-12: 00. For details and reservation: gilabun.net
Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.
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