Surges and the Carmel Coast – a winter trip – Israel

In winter the sun sets early and to make up for it, we rush down the narrow path that climbs to the top of the hill. We reach the observation deck just in time: the sun goes down in front of us to the sea, painting the sky orange stripes on its way. We are located at the head of Tel Dor, above one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. And if you have not yet hiked here out of season, get a warm recommendation. Fortunately, we will spend the night very close to this beach, right next to it, so that the next day we will return for a walk, but we will get to that later.

The sunset from Tel Dor Photos in the article: Rotem Bar Cohen

Organic farming in the Green Valley

We started the trip in the area of ​​Hof Hacarmel in the oil press of Indoor farm. Neta Aran Rilov, who runs the oil mill, was born on a covered farm, which her grandparents set up and raised cattle in years when there was no access road here and not even an electricity connection. When Neta’s father, Guy Rilov, grew up and started running the family farm, he did not want to raise cattle and instead planted orchards of olives, avocados, persimmons and lychees. In the 1980s Rilov fell ill and tests revealed that he was suffering from poisoning, a result of the use of pesticides. This was a turning point: he discovered organic farming, at a time when it was unfamiliar in the country. Since then all the family members who live on the farm adhere to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and all the crops on the farm are organic. Instead of chemical fertilizers, compost is used, instead of pesticides, biological pesticides are used, such as wasps that kill the flour aphid. Rilov’s dream, the pioneers of organic agriculture in Israel, is that all local agriculture will be organic.

The shop and cafe in the organic cloth house of an indoor farm

The shop and cafe in the organic cloth house of an indoor farm

The oil mill was established on the farm about 30 years ago out of a desire to process independently and under optimal conditions the organic olives grown here. The oil is extracted from the olives by cold pressing, without the introduction of water and without heating. The oil mill is an excellent extra virgin oil from eight olive varieties grown on the farm, some local (Syrian and Nabali), others are varieties from the Mediterranean region. They also occupy edible olives, mainly Kalamata and Syrian. Recently the small shop of the cloth house was renovated and became a very inviting and pleasant place. You can buy olive oils from different varieties grown on the farm, natural cosmetics, spices, pickled olives and more. Particularly nice is the small cafe of the cloth house, with tables in the beautiful courtyard. On weekends you can enjoy successful brunch meals, with local produce from the farm and producers living in the area. Thus, for example, the wonderful pastries of a gold crumb bakery in Beit Oren, from which it is simply impossible to stop eating. The brunch also includes organic vegetables, excellent cheeses, including vegan cheeses, various spreads and more.

Ancient olive trees on an indoor farm

Ancient olive trees on an indoor farm

In addition to the oil mill, you can also visit the farm in the Tam Orchard, a charming place in memory of Tam Farkash, who fell in the Second Lebanon War, and the Amphora Winery. Throughout the year, various activities are offered that are also suitable for families, such as olive harvesting in season, picking tours, sessions and more. And you can just sit in the cafe of the cloth house and enjoy the clear air and the green landscape that surrounds the farm from all sides.

An indoor farm is located on the outskirts of Moshav Kerem Maharal, for information about the farm and its activities Click here >>

Trails, lookouts and sea views

A short distance from an indoor farm is a charming forest, which combines natural woodland and planted forest. You may know him by the name of Ofer Forest, his official name is Hof Hacarmel Forest. The forest, which covers the western slopes of the Carmel, is located between the Meir Shfeya youth village in the south and Nahal Maarot in the north. It has hiking trails, bike paths, parking lots, scenic roads, beautiful picnic spots and great views of the Carmel coast and the sea. In the fall, saffron blooms here, in the winter, daffodils, anemones and other seasonal flowers, all of which add color and charm to a walk in the woods.

Hof Hacarmel Forest

Nof HaCarmel Forest.  Hiking trails, scenic views, picnic areas and more

Nof HaCarmel Forest. Hiking trails, scenic views, picnic areas and more

Every year during the month of December it takes place in the Hof HaCarmel forest Boots hikers festival, Which offers dozens of unique activities for families, in the forest and other places in the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council. This year, among other things, it is possible to participate in an award-winning family mission game in the Hof Carmel Forest; At a family picnic at the Yam Carmel lookout, where the podium “Window to the View” is located, a lantern walk in boots in the forest, a walk on the escape route, a cell phone game about recycling and cleaning the forest and much more. And if you are a bike enthusiast, do not miss riding with family or a group of friends on the spur of the moment.

Food truck "Window to the landscape" in the Nof HaCarmel forest.  Food, drink and a dreamy view

Food truck “Window to the landscape” in the Nof HaCarmel forest. Food, drink and a dreamy view

A boot hikers festival takes place during the month of December, details bNext link >>

A magical beach trip

At this point of the hike we felt an intense need to walk along the shore we were looking at from the tops of the forest. A short distance from Hof ​​Hacarmel Forest is located Kibbutz Nachsholim, On one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Everyone will find something to their liking here: you can sit on the soft white sand and be mesmerized by the beautiful view of the bay, you can experience water sports activities at the beach sailing club or go for an introductory dive or a guided dive in the sea, the brave ones go for a refreshing winter swim. – The water in the bays of Dor Beach and Habonim Beach is incredibly calm). In the nearby Moshav Dor there is a horse farm, from which you can go for a ride on the beach, a romantic experience like no other (for details on horseback riding on the beach Click here >>.)

Surge Beach.  In winter, when the beach is almost empty of people, it is especially beautiful here

Surge Beach. In winter, when the beach is almost empty of people, it is especially beautiful here

Another option is to go for a walk inDor Habonim Nature Reserve. Begin with a short walk along the beautiful coastal strip of waves and climb to Tel Dor. There, even before concentrating on the antiquities of the biblical city of Dor, head to the top of the mound for the wonderful view of the sea, coves, lagoons and small islands, and if you arrive at the right time – you will witness the most beautiful sunset imaginable.

Tel Dor.  Remains of the biblical city and pulsating views of the sea

Tel Dor. Remains of the biblical city and pulsating views of the sea

From the top of Tel Dor there is a new accessible path, c. 800 m long, which leads next to the antiquities (it is recommended to stop and read the explanations on the signs along the path) and ends at the Nature and Parks Authority Visitor Center. From the visitor center you can continue on foot north along the coast, in the direction of Habonim, or return to Nachsholim beach, this time on a marked path next to the water. Either way, you are guaranteed a dreamy hike, especially on a winter sunny day, when the beaches are almost empty of people.

On the way between Dor Beach and Habonim Beach

From the sights of the road between Dor and Habonim Beach

From the sights of the road between Dor and Habonim Beach

This route is so beautiful that we walked it twice: first towards sunset and then again the next morning. In between, we spent a quiet and peaceful night at the Nachsholim Beach Hotel.

Quiet night by the sea

In the 1970s, the guest house near the waterfront was opened in Kibbutz Nachsholim. Over the years the place has been renovated and upgraded, a few years ago boutique rooms and a new two-story wing were added that includes spacious suites facing the sea, some with a private pool. recently, Nachsholim Beach Hotel Goes through another makeover and gets a characterization of a Greek village. The ground-floor rooms have been upgraded and redesigned in light blue and white, the Rosemary restaurant has taken on a Greek character, nature has taken care to provide everything else, including a light blue sea, just like in Greece.

The Greek Village at the Nachsholim Beach Hotel  Photo by Nir Davidson

The Greek Village at the Nachsholim Beach Hotel Photo by Nir Davidson

Each of the accommodation units in the Greek village consists of two rooms: a living room with sofa beds and a bedroom, so that even on a family vacation the parents can enjoy privacy. The bathroom has been upgraded (with two separate sinks and a wide shower) and there is also a kitchenette with an espresso machine, coffee and tea corner and a small fridge.

During a winter vacation at the hotel you can enjoy especially equal benefits (by prior arrangement). There are some romantic experiences offered to guests in the boutique rooms or suites, such as a double massage or a double horseback ride on the beach, and there are experiences that are suitable for the whole family, such as a visit to the glazier museum, a mosaic tour or a guided tour of Tel Dor. In addition to these benefits, Nachsholim Beach Hotel also offers themed vacations, including postpartum vacations with the baby, “connected” vacations for mothers and daughters and wellness vacations in partnership with Sorento, which combine indulgences with body and mind empowerment content.

Wellness vacation at Nahsholim Beach Hotel  Photo: Nir Davidson

Wellness vacation at Nahsholim Beach Hotel Photo: Nir Davidson

While you are staying at the Hof Nachsholim Hotel, you can contact Tamir Hirschberg, from the Nachsholim Trail company. Tamir, a member of the kibbutz whose mother Lily created the amazing mosaics in the mosaic house, is involved in local tourism and offers encounters with the nature, culture and art of the area, including encounters with the local communities. Phone details: 050-4923948.

Hof Nachsholim Hotel, Kibbutz Nachsholim, Website

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