Through the country: It’s time to take advantage of the peak of the north

With the fifth wave of the Corona in full swing and in the background the new variant, it seems that abroad is really not on our horizon, so lucky we have a country full of all good. This time I chose to go on a particularly pampering vacation in the north In style, and most importantly – not the taxi.

We started the trip at the beautiful Sheldag beach on the Sea of ​​Galilee, with lunch at Chef Or Kakon’s Alta restaurant. It is a privately owned beach that has no bath, and the restaurant building sits right on the water. That. “Alta”, which opened two years ago, just before the Corona, is a rare chicken in the area.

The building was burned and abandoned, until the brothers Nadav and Naor Dayan decided to turn it into a fish and seafood restaurant. The two also own the “On the River” restaurant in the area.

Kakon, who began his culinary career at the age of 16 in the “Hakata” restaurant in Ramot, cooked in the Segev group restaurants and today, at the age of only 26, heads the restaurant’s kitchen and is totally worthy of the class. Also for small events up to 75 people.

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Alta’s menu is seasonal and changes according to the season, and even daily depending on the raw materials, as everything is fresh and comes straight from the markets in Tiberias and the north, and freshness is entirely the name of the game.

The fish dishes – from the first to the main – are simply an ongoing celebration. From red palmida sashimi that you can’t stop eating, through sea bass tartare to burnt squid. The leaf salad with St. Mohr noir cheese, pears, pumpkin seeds and other surprises was also perfect. In the main section, the hand-made pastas and the seafood and fish – completely starred.

The meats and desserts – which are also made in a local patisserie – are the least powerful side. The restaurant has a special wine menu composed by sommelier Omri Yitzhak, a menu that has already won an award. For a business lunch restaurant, the average price per diner is about 220 shekels, which is worth every penny. Closed on Sundays.

“ALETA”, Kinneret Colony Junction – Sheldag Beach. Not kosher.
Phone for reservations: 04-8870040.

Alta Restaurant (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

On a full stomach, we drove about half an hour to the Olives neighborhood in Rosh Pina, to the Olia accommodation complex. This is a new accommodation complex opened a year and a half ago by Yoni Kantro (one of many bar owners in Tel Aviv) and his partner Bari Israeli.

During the Corona the bars were closed and the opportunity fell on them to take a neglected accommodation complex and turn it into a location on the purity of service. The complex offers rooms for couples and units for families. It has a total of seven units – four double units, two double units and also one villa with four bedrooms.

The complex has a particularly luxurious heated pool, a hot tub, spacious seating areas full of vegetation that disconnects guests from the nearby main road, a shared outdoor kitchen that includes grills, refrigerators, an oven, utensils and everything you need for meals, including a beer tap and large knights tables for communal meals. The rooms also have a kitchenette, and include a coffee maker, electric kettle and tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge and utensils for meals.

This is a complex that is more luxurious than any other hotel, and in terms of price it is more accessible than a 5-star hotel. And the shit? Precisely the mattress! A special mattress was made for them at the Polyron factories, and everyone who was in the compound asked where it could be purchased. The complex’s managers are on site 24 hours a day, and the desire to generously entertain is evident in the common spaces, rooms, the unreasonable amount of towels and bathrobes in each room and the bathing and grooming kit of the Italian brand ANYAH.

The location is wonderful for star trekking. Breakfast can be ordered at the complex through the complex’s managers – this is a Landover double breakfast at a cost of NIS 80 per person. Adjacent to the complex is also a small but beautiful garden that is suitable for activities with the children.

January-February specials: Accommodation + tasting tour at Assaf Winery – NIS 790 per night and NIS 1,400 for two nights (minimum on weekends). Night + breakfast: NIS 790 per night in a double room and NIS 1,400 for two nights in a double room. Family room / villa – regular prices with an additional NIS 100 for a double breakfast (instead of NIS 130).

Mid-week sale in January-February: Double room – NIS 650 per night and NIS 1,200 for two nights. Family unit – NIS 1,200 per night and NIS 2,200 for two nights. Villa – NIS 2,800 per night and NIS 5,000 for two nights.

The beauty of the complex is that you can invite everyone to a celebration, a company event or a large family and get help from the complex managers who will invite therapists from the area for you – from masseurs to chefs. After a rest we enjoyed a Druze dinner prepared for us by Nasiba Samara, who arrived with all the equipment and her son the chef straight from Buqata.

We sat for an outdoor dinner (and wonderful ovens that kept us from the cold of the north) and ate some of the best Druze dishes: stuffed grape leaves, makluba, salads, chickpeas and of course oven-baked pitas, meats and more.

The meal was wonderful and delicious, and during dessert Samara joined us and told us the fascinating story of her life – which did not leave any cynic indifferent. This is a 49-year-old woman from Majdal Shams who rebelled and insisted on learning to drive against the authority of the villagers, went out to work and study, and soon became an entrepreneur who got the family out of debt thanks to her hospitality and cooking.

We ate at the Olia complex, but you can also travel and stay with her in Buqata. During the Corona period she built a second floor, lifted the house up and created an entire living space from the first floor to make it spacious. She, like the food she cooks, is fascinating and sweeping, inspiring and captivating.

For groups of ten people, the price is about 150 shekels per diner.
Phone for reservations: 050-2253343.

Olia Accommodation Complex (Photo: Oren Amos)Olia Accommodation Complex (Photo: Oren Amos)

The truth is that the choice to invite a chef to the complex and not to go to Buqata turned out to be great, as we walked to our room on a full stomach, and whoever wanted more continued the evening in the heated and bright pool.

The next day the guide Yoav Uziel arrived with his open jeep, to take us on a jeep tour in the Biriya forest. Because it is impossible to reach the area without walking and soaking up some of the spectacular scenery. We asked for a short route due to the shortness of time, but Yoav has quite a few routes in the area (and also in the south of the country).

We started our route in the pear orchards of the Schwartz family (already three generations), visited the monument of eight, which was erected after the storm of the storms in 1974, and from there we went up to the forest by shooting. Uziel is the salt of the earth, tells fascinating stories and has amazing knowledge – and no less important – connects to everyone at any age, and even manages to make teenagers disconnect from the mobile.

We stopped for an observation at Mitzpe Chen, where we observed the view from Ramot Naftali to Kfar Hanassi, heard fascinating stories (and juicy gossip), watched and learned about the Israeli and Syrian Hermon, and went for a short walk for the sculptures. The way we drove can not be done with private, but in the forest there are lots of marked trails for pedestrians, cyclists and private cars.

Some jeeps are open and some are closed. An open jeep is suitable for seven or eight people. The trips last between two and four hours, and it is possible to build custom routes of two to two weeks. Price: NIS 700-800 for a trip of up to two hours and an additional NIS 200 for each additional hour.
Phone for reservations: 050-5363546. 

Jeep tours in the Birya forest (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Jeep tours in the Birya forest (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

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