Touring Israel: Going glamping in the Golan, Galilee

A number of new glamping sites have opened up this past year in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. Here are three of them.

 Kibbutz Ma'ayan Baruch (photo credit: Crea-tv)
Kibbutz Ma'ayan Baruch
(photo credit: Crea-tv)

The summer is upon us and it’s time to start planning your vacation. Prices of everything seem to have increased lately, so why not look into camping or glamping this year? Luckily, there are many camping options to choose from. Glamping has become much more popular, so if you love getting out into nature but also need to be comfortable and pampered while you’re on vacation, this option could be perfect for you.

What’s more, you’ll enjoy saving a bit of money, too. It’s great that we no longer need to choose between going to a fancy hotel or pitching a tent next to a burbling stream. Glamping is the perfect compromise in comfort, as well as in price.

A number of new glamping sites have opened up this past year in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. Here are three of them.

1. Blum Village

Kfar Blum Kayaks, which is part of Blum Village, is one of the most well-known rafting and sailing sites in northern Israel. The village campground, which is located right next to the starting point for rafting and kayaking on the Jordan River, is popular among families. From the village, there is direct access to the Rope Adventure Park, which has a 12-meter-high climbing wall, an archery range, a zipline that will take you into a pool of water, and a well-stocked snack bar with fast food and ice cream.

The camping site at Kfar Blum, which can more accurately be called a “glamping” site, sports 60 family-size tents that have a/c and are fitted with all the necessary accessories. One of the biggest differences between Kfar Blum and other camping sites is that you will barely feel or hear the other families.

 Blum Village (credit: Alex Gyner) Blum Village (credit: Alex Gyner)

One of the benefits of staying at the Blum Village is that all of the attractions in the park are included in the vacation package. But be aware that children under age five are not allowed on the kayaks. It’s best to know that one of the adults in your group should be ready to wait with them until you return from your kayaking adventure. I’ve seen many families that didn’t know the age limit having to change their plans at the last moment, so it’s just better to know ahead of time.

Thankfully, there’s a playground on the site, and you are welcome to bring a children’s pool from home. Also, if you’re staying in one of the glamping tents, you’ll be happy to know that they are air-conditioned and outfitted with beds, sheets, electrical outlets for charging mobile phones, fridge and freezer, a wooden deck and a picnic table. In short, it’s a very comfortable place to relax while waiting for the rest of the family to finish their kayak trip. In addition, the camping site has a kitchen open to everyone, that is outfitted with a large sink, a microwave and electric kettle.

Price of family tent including entrance to attractions: NIS 1,160.Without attractions: NIS 750.Location: Kibbutz Kfar Blum, Upper Galilee.Details: (04) 690-2616.

2. Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch

At Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch, you’ll find Israel’s famous Hagoshrim Kayaking, situated in the center of the northern Galilee. This is a great place to stay since there’s a plethora of hiking trails, treks, tourist attractions and national parks nearby. The kibbutz offers a number of options for reasonably priced sleeping accommodations. For example, there’s a camping section, cabins and a glamping area.

The camping section contains a large grassy area with large plane trees where families or groups can set up tents. The camping area is situated right next to a stream, and at night when everyone has settled down, you can hear the burbling of the water streaming by. The bathroom and changing room in the camping site is newly renovated, with hot water, and a number of food trucks set up each evening to offer guests a variety of food options for dinner. There are also fridges you can rent.

Price: NIS 90 per person (from age 2).Discounted pre-registration rate: NIS 80.

In the glamping area, there are nine new 19-square-meter, air-conditioned tents. Each tent has a fridge and comes with sheets. Outside, there are picnic tables and a common kitchen area with stoves for cooking and barbecues. The tents can fit a couple, plus three children.

Price: NIS 750 per tent.Location: Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch.Details: 052-346-7457, 077-271-7518, www.maayanmb.co.il.

3. African safari glamping lodge

In the heart of the southern Golan Heights, just two kilometers from Moshav Givat Yoav, you’ll find Ein Te’ena, a glamping site with one cabin and four African style safari tents that let you enjoy nature, but with maximum comfort. The site is a wonderful mixture of nature and comfort, and overlooks a nearby spring where animals that live in the area can be seen drinking and frolicking.

The safari tents, which were designed especially for glamping, sit on a wood deck that is slightly raised off the ground. The walls are made from a high-quality thick canvas and the floor is covered with wooden parquet. The tents fit four people comfortably, and a mattress for a fifth family member can be placed on the floor. There is a double bed, as well as second fold-up bed.

The kitchenette includes a hot water kettle, fridge, a/c unit and ceiling fan. The bathroom area has a toilet, exotic shower and a sink. There’s also a common kitchen outside that is outfitted with a stove top, picnic tables and even a firepit to make a poika (camp soup).

Guests are welcome to enjoy a jeep tour or walk along any of the marked trails. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of local fauna.

Price: NIS 1,000 per couple, NIS 120 each extra person. Minimum 2 nights.Details: 054-478-4677, ein-teina.com.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.