For those of you who remember the American TV show Green Acres, the opening song says it all: Green Acres is the place to be Farm living is the life for me, Land spreading out so far and wide, Keep Manhattan but give me that countryside! If you want to get away from it all, leave the noise and the traffic and the rush-rush of daily life behind you – at least for a little while – then the Golan Heights is the perfect escape. Fresh air, wide open spaces and a laid-back, cool and calm approach to the world at large is the order of the day there.
One of the nicest resort-style lodgings is Mul Hermon in Moshav Nov, with five luxury chalets and a gorgeous view of the Hermon Mountains. The self-contained wooden chalets are suitable for either families or couples and can accommodate as many as eight persons comfortably.
Each suite features a spacious bedroom, a double jacuzzi, two TVs with cable – one in the bedroom and one in the living room, so kids and parents don’t have to fight over what to watch – air conditioning, a large terrace, living room, dining area and kitchenette with microwave, kettle, refrigerator, Shabbat hot plate and utensils.
The suites are surrounded by a wide garden with tables and chairs for picnics, as well as swings, hammocks and ample parking. There is a covered heated swimming pool in the courtyard behind the suites, where hydrotherapy treatment for women is available, and a host of massage treatments can be ordered as well. There is also the option of a private dining room for groups of up to 50 people, as well as a succa and a general store to buy provisions. As Moshav Nov is a religious community, there is also a synagogue and a mikve on the premises.
Moshav Nov was founded in 1974, just after the Yom Kippur War. It began as an agricultural settlement, with large stables and grazing areas for cows and sheep. As time went on, it developed a strong hitech component and became an educational center as well, centered around its Ulpana regional high school for girls.
Today, more than 200 families live in Moshav Nov.
The moshav is a short distance from numerous attractions and tours for the whole family. These include horseback riding, a petting zoo, tractors, jeep and cycling tours, as well as hiking trails around the Golan Heights and surrounding areas. There are also tours of the rivers and waterfalls just minutes away from Moshav Nov; the Gamla Nature Reserve, with its vulture caves, waterfalls and antiques; and Katzrin, the capital of the Golan, where one can visit the Golan Heights Winery, the Eden water springs and Katzrin National Park.
The Hamat Gader springs and the Kinneret beaches and, of course, Mount Hermon are easily reachable for a day trip.
Another added bonus at Moshav Nov is the Gilis Restaurant (04-676-3555), open on Thursday evenings and offering what may be the finest selection of meat dishes in the country (Gilis also offers various cuts of meat for sale). Dining there is a unique experience, with customers coming from all over the country to experience the culinary delights of the local meat and wine.
Mul Hermon has been run for the last 10 years by Shoshana and Chezi Nakash, a couple who have lived on Moshav Nov for the past 32 years. They see to every last detail and treat guests as if they were members of the family. Chezi, who came to Israel from Iraq at age five, loves to take a deep breath, extend his arms and exclaim, “You don’t get air like this in the city!” And he’s right. The cool, fresh air of the Golan may be the most desirable feature of all.
Prices for the chalets start at NIS 500 per couple per night (depending on the season); each additional person is NIS 100. Moshav Nov is the perfect venue for a Shabbat Hatan or Kalla, a family vacation or a group study seminar. After two days in the relaxing, takethings- as-they-come atmosphere of Moshav Nov, I had to practically be dragged back to the city. ■ The writer was a guest of Mul Hermon.Chezi and Shoshana Nakash can be reached at 050-238-7521; 077-206-3588: 972-5023-87521) or www.zimmeril.com/site.asp?site_id=1470