Spend Shavuot weekend at Rosh Pina

For couples without kids, or parents who would like a little alone time, staying at an adults-only hotel is a great way to enjoy your next vacation.

 Khirbet Yarda (photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Khirbet Yarda
(photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)

With Shavuot upon us, it’s time to think about where to spend the long holiday weekend, or where to go on a getaway in the coming weeks – being the last vacation before the end of the school year. For couples without kids, or parents who would like a little alone time, staying at an adults-only hotel is a great way to enjoy your next vacation.

1. Edmond Hotel

In recent years, a number of new boutique hotels that offer a kid-free setting have opened. One such place is the Edmond Hotel and Spa, which is located in picturesque Rosh Pina, and is open to guests who are 14 and over. Now that we are moving into summertime, this is a great time to enjoy hanging out at the hotel pool or going on a nearby outing. 

The Edmond Hotel offers 66 lovely spacious rooms, some with balconies. Guests are welcome to relax at the quaint bar, where musical evenings are held, or hang out at the heated pool and hot tub, which are open all year long. In addition, you can book treatments in the spa, work out in the gym and enjoy spending time in the dry and wet saunas. 

All stays include bountiful breakfasts and dinners at the hotel’s Victoria restaurant, so you won’t need to worry about finding places to eat in the area, or end up spending more money than you’d already budgeted. The restaurant, which overlooks the pool, offers an eclectic menu based on locally sourced produce from the Galilee. Breakfast includes a classic Israeli menu of salads, quality cheeses from Bat Harim Dairy in Malkiya, fresh breads made by chef Gal Levy of Bread Men Bakery in Kibbutz Moran, freshly squeezed fruit juices, an omelet station and sweet pastries. 

 Edmond hotel (credit: URI ACKERMAN) Edmond hotel (credit: URI ACKERMAN)

Next to the restaurant, you will find the hotel’s wine hall, where wine workshops take place each evening. If you aren’t able to attend a workshop, you can also enjoy a glass of wine at the hotel’s own Laurence Bar. 

Location: 35 Derech Hagalil, Rosh Pina. Price: Weekdays, starting from NIS 1,500. Weekends, starting from NIS 1,750. Spa treatments, starting from NIS 290.Details: (04) 906-4555, www.edmond-hotel.co.il.

2. Khirbet Yarda

Located just next door to Moshav Mishmar Hayarden, sits Khirbet Yarda, where you’ll find archaeological remains dating from Roman times all the way up through the Ottoman period. At the site, you’ll see a monument in memory of the 48 soldiers from the Carmeli Battalion who fell there in battles against the Syrian army during the War of Independence. 

The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel restored Khirbet Yarda in the 1990s, and visitors can now see remains of the estate, including a covered cistern in the large courtyard. Archaeologists who were involved in excavations claim that pottery shards and coins found near the main structure date back to the Roman era.

Once you’ve finished the tour of the ancient remains and enjoyed the spectacular view of the Golan Heights, I recommend leaving your car in the parking area and walking to Ein Yarda. Walk toward the intersection and then down the dirt path, which leads to the spring. As you walk down the short, winding path, you’ll pass underneath the shade of eucalyptus trees that were planted along the riverbed of Nahal Mahanayim. As soon as you begin the descent, you’ll hear the water flowing over rocks and right away feel the change in temperature as the cool air blows off the water.

There are lots of places to stop along the path for a rest or picnic, including “Omri’s Corner,” a bench built in memory of Omri Lahad, a young backpacker who died from a snake bite while traveling in Colombia. 

Directions: At Mahanayim intersection, turn onto Road 91 (toward the Daughters of Jacob Bridge). Then, before you reach Moshav Mishmar Hayarden, turn left onto a path through the fields. Drive 800 meters until you reach an intersection. Straight ahead of you will be the Khirbet Yarda parking area. To the left is a road that leads to Ein Yarda, which is accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicle, so it’s best to park and walk down. 

3. Bazelet HaGolan Winery

No trip to northern Israel would be complete without a visit to one of the region’s boutique wineries. The rich soil of the Golan Heights is ideal for growing grapevines, which is the reason so many vintners have opened wineries in this region. Bazelet HaGolan, the first boutique winery in the Golan Heights, was founded in Moshav Kidmat Zvi by Yoav Levy, who moved to the region in the 1980s. In the winery’s vineyard, which sits at 900 meters above sea level and is spread out over 10 hectares (25 acres), Levy grows grapes for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay wines. Bazelet HaGolan produces 80,000 bottles a year. 

Guests are invited to tour the winery’s visitors center, which includes a visit to the wine cellar and the garden, where you’ll have a breathtaking view over the region. Wine tastings include explanations and a short video about the winemaking process, after which guests are welcome to enjoy some wine and tasty snacks. The price of the wine tasting is NIS 50. Guests can also skip the tour and instead buy a glass or bottle of wine, as well as cheese and vegetable platters, and smoked trout.

Location: Moshav Kidmat Zvi. Hours: Open every day 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Details: (04) 696-5010, www.bazelet-hagolan.com.

4. Hammam Bnot Yaakov

Not many people know about Hammam Bnot Yaakov, which is made up of a few pools of very cold water in an ancient well near the Daughters of Jacob Bridge. It’s also not far from places on the Jordan River where you can rent rafts. Since this “hammam” is not very well known, you will most likely be able to rest and hang out in the shade of the huge fig tree without having to share the spot with lots of other hikers. It’s not known why the bridge was called Daughters of Jacob, but there are multiple stories. One version is that the daughters of our patriarch Jacob bathed in the water there. 

Directions: From Mahanayim intersection, turn onto Road 91 (toward Katzrin). Turn left onto Road 918, then right where you see signs for Jordan River Rafting. Keep right on the road and pass by the kiosk until you reach the parking area. 

Translated by Hannah Hochner.