Time spent in Israel’s great outdoors will reward you with a host of memorable encounters that will be highlights of your trip. It’s the amazing variety of scenery and people, seemingly in another world but in reality only a couple of hours from the center of the country, which make this experience unique.
Kayaking on the Jordan – some segments so calm you can “body-float” and others of the helmeted heart-racing variety – are part of the excitement in the north, while in the south, you can experience Israel’s pristine desertscapes up close and personal on hiking, four-wheel-drive, or cycling trips.
Is bird-watching your pleasure? A whopping 500 million birds from hundreds of species cross Israeli skies twice a year, creating scenes that are breathtaking to behold.
If the fruit of the vine is your pleasure, you can choose from boutique winery routes in the Galilee, the Judean Mountains, and even in the Negev.
Are dairy delights your direction? You can visit a goat or sheep ranch for cheese tasting and purchases, or even a water-buffalo farm for some real mozzarella.
Israel’s rural scene boasts some of the best restaurants in the country, too, from haute cuisine to wholesome home-style.
Of course, historical treasures are never far away; you’ll find it easy to combine your countryside forays with visits to ancient cities that can end or begin a touring day.
Speaking of winning combinations, you can also plan the rural pleasures of your Israel vacation to coincide with celebrations like the Olive Festival in the fall, cherry-picking in the spring, and bird-watching in the winter. Residents of many countryside communities with overnight accommodations have branched out into handicrafts, art, holistic products, and more; they will be the source of some of your most imaginative gifts for friends and family at home.
Those wonderful bed-and-breakfast accommodations can await you not only at the end of a drive, but also after hiking, including segments of the Israel Trail, which is becoming popular with visitors, as it has been with locals in recent years. Whether you are traveling with friends, family or are on a romantic getaway, Israel’s country-style lodgings are the key to all the great things that lie ahead. For example, they may rent you bicycles or direct you to someone who does, hook you up with an off-road four-wheel-drive tour company and other local attractions. Most are located on kibbutzim and moshavim, where the residents have decided that the tranquil setting and grand vistas revealed from their own backyard, whether mountainous, Mediterranean, desert or alpine, are just too beautiful keep to themselves.
The Israel Trail: http://www.israelnationaltrail.com/