As the summer heat swoops into Israel, the need for cooler adventure sites and activities becomes relevant. The north of Israel is loaded with flowing streams, crystal clear springs, shaded valleys, breezy mountain tops, and miles of coastline. So pack up your camping gear, swim wear, and your sense of adventure and hop onto Route 6 as you bee-line to family friendly fun and excitement in the Galil.
Here we will highlight some of the best spots.
Nachal Kziv is a family-friendly water hike that can be done from Park Goren, just south of Israel’s northern border. Beginning near the observation point for Montfort’s Castle, this trail affords excellent views, challenging terrain, and best of all, plenty of water and swimming holes. The optimal place to swim is at Ein Tamir which is one of the main sources of water in Nachal Kziv. The area surrounding the spring has been eroded over the years in an unusual way which has created bathtub size pockets flowing with crystal clear water. Each person in your family can pick their own natural jacuzzi and enjoy the refreshing dip before the hike back up to your car. For those who do not wish to walk all the way to the spring, there are many other places along the way where you can take a dip. Bring along food and water and get ready to go amphibian in this perennial creek.
Keshet Cave is one of Israel’s most eye-catching natural features. This arch-shaped stone bridge, just to the east of Rosh Hanikra, was created through a carstic erosional process but more interesting than the geologic story of this place is the multitude of legends you can hear from the various tour guides who pass through this site each day. (No two guides here will ever say the same tale.) The stroller accessible path leading from the parking area of Park Idmit leads visitors on a short and scenic stroll to the caves opening which yawns over a panoramic view of the upper Galil. The park is situated right along the border road and is also nearby a friendly Druze village, Al-Aramsha, whose residents have their own legend about the caves formation.
For those looking for more hiking in the area, there is an adventurous trail (that is officially designated for those who have enjoyed a 35 meter rappel off the natural bridge) that is well worth checking out. This trail leads along the cliff edge and then down to the bottom of the cave from where you can continue on to the main road for a pick-up.
Alma Cave also known as the Babylonian Cave is considered to be the cave through which some of the Jews returning from Bavel traveled through to Jerusalem. This 105 meter deep cavern is an exciting way to spend the afternoon while beating the heat. The AC is always on inside the pitch black hole and sunglasses and sunblock will not be needed in here. What you will need is a reliable flashlight and clothing that you are happy to get dirty as you wiggle, climb, and slide your way to the bottom chamber. Parts of this marked underground trail are tight and require physical exertion and it is not a place that you should bring the elderly, pregnant, or faint of heart. The journey down and back up this cave is a journey into your own determination and ability to smile despite the discomforts of the dark and difficult terrain. For those who love a good challenge the Alma Cave is for you.
Yardenit is a baptismal site just at the southern end of the Kineret where the Jordan River begins its flow towards Bet Shean. Unless you happened across this article in your church, I am not suggesting the baptismal site, what I am suggesting is the nameless but awesome area just downstream from Yardenit. Along this two kilometer stretch of flowing fresh water you will find a dozen tarzan swings, tree jumps, and even a pipeline bridge from which you can take the plunge (not the holy one) into the water. If there is such a thing as a natural waterpark, than this is it. You will also find turtles and aquatic birds, plenty of shaded picnic spots, and if you are feeling lucky, bring along a fishing pole and catch yourself some lunch (or one of your kids if you are not casting carefully). This site is for advanced swimmers only, of course, always check the water before jumping or swinging into it!
You are now ready for one super fun family adventure! Get out, be safe, and have a blast!
Ariel Fishman runs Adventure Israel, an action-packed adventure travel provider specializing in rappelling, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, caving, and survival trips. ODT workshops, corporate programs, and adventure therapy are also available. All trips are safe, fun, and empowering, and the intensity of the adventure is decided by you. From extreme expeditions to super-relaxed family trips, Adventure Israel’s staff are here so you can enjoy and challenge yourself like never before. Ariel can be reached at 058-536-4938. For pictures and more trip options visit http://www.adventure-israel.com.HERE