Blooming blossoms across Israel

Enjoy these recommendations for places that offer fun for the entire family.

If you haven’t gotten too carried away with the Coronavirus hysteria and still want to get out into nature to see the beautiful flowers blooming around the country (and you’ve already visited Darom Adom), you’ll be happy to know that it’s not too late in the season to find these colorful blossoms.
The Negev, which is carpeted in red anemones every year at the end of the winter, is not the only place in Israel to find sweet-smelling blooms. Enjoy these recommendations for places that offer fun for the entire family.
The dramatic blue lupine flowers are hard to miss, as they cover extensive areas throughout the Middle East. They grow to 25-60 centimeters high, they have a very mild scent and the petals almost look like human fingers. Blue lupine grow in areas that are full of other bushes and plants along the edges of forests.
If you’d like to get out and see the blue lupine, the best place to hike along the 1.5 km path in the rocky canyon area of Nahal Tavor. All you need to do is park your car in the parking area and walk along the path with red trail markers. After walking about 2 km, you’ll reach the stream. The path continues alongside the stream, and here you’ll see plenty of flowers and greenery. If you don’t feel like walking to the end of the trail, you can stop here next to the flowing water for a picnic and then return to your car. To continue on the trail, continue in a westerly direction. Here the trail gets a little more difficult and involves a bit of climbing. Blue lupine can also be spotted into March and April near Nahal Tut on the rocky slopes of the Jordan River. Sometimes they can be spotted in Judea and Samaria, too.
Length of circular trail: 8 km, 3 to 4 hours.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Directions: Drive on Road 7276 towards Kibbutz Gazit. Pass the front gate and continue for another 500 meters according to signs. Exit through the northern gate of the kibbutz on a dirt path that leads to a parking area. Best to bring sandals or water shoes.
The Gilboa Iris is most commonly found in the North in the eastern section of Mount Gilboa. Sometimes a few flowers can be seen in cliffs of the southern Golan and the eastern part of Samaria. The Gilboa Iris flower is 35-50 cm tall, and its two pairs of purple or crimson petals and outer petals are arranged like a fan.
If you’d like to go on a fun family outing in search of Gilboa Iris flowers, then I recommend taking a trip to the Gilboa region. Mount Tavor, which reaches a height of 536 meters above sea level, has a number of peaks and the road that winds its way through the mountains leads to a number of spectacular coves and views of the Jordan Valley. One of the most popular hikes is to the top of Mount Barkan, where you will most definitely find many Gilboa Iris flowers, along with lots of other types of flowers. The path is easy and pleasant and leads directly to the peak of the mountain. Be sure to make the extra effort to go all the way up to the outlook – you will not be disappointed by the incredible view.
Length: 1.5 km, 1 to 2 hours.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Directions: From Megiddo Intersection, Drive east on Road 65 and then turn right at Hasargel Intersection and drive southeast on Road 675. Turn onto Road 667 and follow signs to the Mount Barkan parking area.
The Sword Lily, whose name comes from its unique shape, is commonly found in the Mediterranean basin. It stands 40-60 cm high, and its erect stem looks like a sword. The flower has around 15 petals that look like pink horns. The Sword Lily can be found along the coastal plain and Nahal Oren during March and April, mainly in wooded and grassy areas, as well as the sandy areas near beaches.
If you’d like to go out on an interesting family outing and also find lots of pretty pink Sword Lily flowers, you don’t need to search any farther. Just go to the Mount Carmel National Park and Nature Reserve, where you’ll find a variety of hikes at different levels of difficulty. And don’t worry – you’ll find plenty of Sword Lilies along all of the trails. After you park your car, find the path the green trail markers, which connects to Nahal Oren. It’s a long, narrow path with lots of lush greenery around. Near the stream, you’ll also see rare flowers, such as the Madonna Lily and sweet clover. Along the path, you’ll pass by Alon Spring and also the remains of an ancient flour mill. These are great places to stop for a rest of a picnic. Afterwards, continue on the path with the red trail markers until the end of the trail.
Length: 4.5 km, 2 to 4 hours.
Level of difficulty: Easy-Medium.
Directions: Drive along Road 721. Enter Osafiya and follow signs to Nahal Hik.
The Coastal Iris is a beautiful red flower that grows in the sandy and grassy areas of the coastal plain until the beginning of March. It’s a very rare flower, but it’s absolutely worth it to spend time and effort searching for it since it’s a spectacular sight when you find it.
The Nahal Poleg Nature Reserve is one of the few places where you can spot the Coastal Iris and also enjoy a fun family hike. Just east of Nahal Poleg, there’s another nature reserve called Sha’ar Poleg where you can see lots of daffodils, cyclamens, anemones and orchids. You can walk by foot from one nature reserve to the other by going under the Nahal Poleg Bridge.
Length: 2 km, 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Directions: Drive on the Coastal Highway (Road 2) and then turn west into the Wingate Institute. Park your car at the entrance of Wingate and then walk by foot to the nature reserve. To reach the Sha’ar Poleg nature reserve, drive along the coastal highway and turn east into Kibbutz Yakum and then follow signs.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.