Spend some time on Route 99

Route 99 is one of the most beautiful roads in Israel.

By ITSIK MAROM
August 11, 2018 06:43
3 minute read.
A wading pool awaits at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve.

A wading pool awaits at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve.. (photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)

 
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Route 99 is one of the most beautiful roads in Israel (and some might even argue, the most). It climbs from Kiryat Shmona eastward, toward the Golan Heights, rising almost 1,000 meters in a stretch of 24 kilometers.

In the western half alone you can explore and enjoy numerous types of terrain, views, sites and activities, making this a perfect location for a two- to three-day getaway and an ideal spot for a great family trip.

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Once you are in the North, everything is nearby and can be easily reached in less than a 10-minute drive. Check out the natural treasures of the Banyas Nature Reserve, which is full of natural beauty with its sparkling water pools and trails along the stream. Enjoy a stroll through the lush vegetation under the large trees and enjoy a tranquil hike.

On the south side of the road, climb down the cliff to the Banyas waterfall with its roaring waters, especially in the winter and spring. You won’t want to miss the short trail to the suspended bridge that will take you over the gorge and above the rushing water, which runs throughout the year.

Nearby is the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, which is also full of water throughout the year due to the Dan Stream and numerous springs that create their share of water for the park.

Keep the whole family happy and busy with some physical activity alongside the beautiful scenery. Book an activity with Masa Be’izi in She’ar Yashuv and enjoy an exciting all-terrain vehicle ride. A guided tour will get your adrenalin going in an adventure ride over the rough terrain of the slopes of the Golan. The occasional stops for photos and explanations about the nature, geography and history of the area can’t help but get you excited about where you are.

For a more relaxing trip on two wheels, give a call to Cycle Nature in Kibbutz Dafna. Here you can rent bicycles (adults and kids), mountain bikes, electric bikes, bicycles built for two or bicycle add-ons for kids. Two main routes (along the Dan or the Hermon streams) are available on which to enjoy your ride and breathe in the beautiful scenery along the way. Both routes are just perfect for families.

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By now, your appetite will be calling, so visit Dag Al Hadan restaurant, where they offer fresh fish from the adjacent fish ponds, and where you can enjoy fresh and tasty dishes of smoked, barbecued, fried or oven-baked fish as fresh as it comes. After a satisfying meal, check out the smoked and fresh fish and the locally grown fine black caviar which are on sale to take home.

Another delectable option is the chef restaurant Banjolina, with both a fixed and changing menu to keep things up to date and interesting. Attentive service and deliciously prepared food are a winning combination to satisfy everyone’s palate.

To recharge your batteries before embarking on another day full of activity and fun, stay overnight at one of the local lodging options, such as Kibbutz Snir’s boutique accommodations. These conveniently designed cabins perched on a hill provide scenery, quiet and proximity to the sites, as well as the traditional breakfast after a good night’s rest.

You won’t want to end your time on Route 99 without picking up some chocolate from Shulman. Visit the chocolate museum/factory and the store located on Kibbutz Dafna. Let your kids create their own chocolate in a chocolate workshop on site and try to the meet the creator/founder, Dimitri Shulman. He will raise your already high spirits with his never-ending optimism and smile.

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