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Photo by: Dan Segal
The Great Escape: Galilee perfection
By WILL BLESCH
11/27/2012
In a new column, travel writer Will Blesch goes in search of the perfect weekend getaways, romantic hideaways throughout the country.
 
Clil is a Hebrew word that means perfection. It’s also a place, and for one weekend, I understood why that place bears that name.

Like a luxury hotel that's spread out over acres of land, Clil offers all the comforts one expects of many star, boutique hotels. Unlike these hotels however, Clil offers a peaceful, back-to-nature atmosphere one could never find in Tel Aviv.

Thus, after a few months of working hard, with no real time for rest and recreation, I found the time to sample the finer services Clil extends to its guests.

Clil is a little community located east of Nahariya and quite close to the Arab village, Kfar Yasif. Although it's located near various villages and kibbutzim, it gives the impression of being remote although in reality, it's only about an hour and a half drive from Tel Aviv.

Tzimmers at Clil (Dan Segal)The first thing you notice is that the road immediately becomes very narrow. There's enough room for one car, and there's barely a shoulder to pull over on if you happen to meet another vehicle coming your way. There's not much in the way of noticeable buildings either, which, again, adds to the impression of remoteness. However, if you look up on the hills you can see various dwellings dotting the landscape. But, that's ok. That's why we're here. We're getting away. Eventually, the pavement ends and becomes a dirt road. It's not so "country" that you will need a four wheel drive or jeep, however. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a tzimmer is simply a room. It's a room, a little hut, a one-room cabin that you can rent out just like a hotel room by the night, for the weekend, and in some cases longer periods. The community offers a number of these and my partner and I ended up booking one called Dan Eden (a play on the words "Gan Eden" or the Garden of Eden) owned by a friendly man named Danny Segal.

Fast forward a bit, and we arrived at our weekend escape. Our tzimmer was in the shape of a round hut. Made entirely of wood with its own deck, and with table and chairs, it seemed a bit rustic and small. However, for those used to the hustle, bustle and activity of large cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem there is something incredibly peaceful about the place

The Dan Eden tzimmer's deck offers an amazing view. Stretching out before you seems the whole of Israel. You can see hills and fields that lead up to villages all around, and beyond them, in the far distance, tall buildings that signify you've reached a pretty big city.

Relaxation is the name of the game at Clil (Dan Segal)

Inside, although only one room, the tzimmer is like the best studio apartment you can think of. All in one huge circular room, there is a kitchenette with wine glasses ready for a romantic evening, a bathtub for two with a mirror behind it that reaches to the ceiling, a king sized bed, a bathroom, a wall mounted flat screen TV with DVD player and stereo. This place is truly set up.

Even more interesting, the furniture and decor of the place is entirely made of wood. It's like something you'd find in a woodsman's hut, or a pioneer's cabin in the mountains of Colorado, just like the tzimmer itself. It's rough and has an actual "made by human hands" feel to it. I asked about it and learned that Danny’s carpentry business, Danny's Workshop, actually makes all the furniture.

For those who are work weary, Clil and Dan Eden offer an environment where focusing on yourselves and relaxation are the most normal thing in the world. The bed is mind-blowingly comfortable. At night, there is nothing but the sound of a soft wind rustling through the leaves of the trees and the natural sound of insects. There are no car horns blaring, no loud parties that last until midnight or later and no trash trucks waking you up at five in the morning.

View of tzimmers at Clil (Dan Segal)

For those inclined, there are "room service" options available. If you don't feel like cooking, you can pick up the phone and a cook will arrive with a pre-set menu with a few different tasty dishes to choose from and will actually cook you a meal right there in your tzimmer. You can also call and have a massage therapist show up to give a Swedish massage.

If those options are not to your liking and you prefer something more traditional, you can either drive or walk to one of two different restaurants in the community. One of them offers an extremely relaxed atmosphere where you sit on cushions on the ground around little tables. You can kick back barefoot and enjoy all kinds of typical Israeli fare like shakshuka, or an Israeli breakfast.

One other major advantage for those staying at Clil is the community's close location to many different attractions for those who are outdoor enthusiasts. One can use a tzimmer in Clil as a base camp of sorts, and then make day trips to places like Rosh Hanikra with its polished white cliffs, caves and outstretched beach.

We enjoyed the reasonable prices for everything, the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of Clil and the non-pushy hospitality. We liked that you can get whatever you want if you ask for it, but they don't shove anything in your face.

Clil means perfection, and it's a perfect, weekend getaway.

Will Blesch is a Travel Writer and Copywriter
www.willblesch.com
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