Positively perfect

An adventure at Kfar Giladi.

Kfar Giladi (photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Kfar Giladi
(photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Summer is a great time to explore all the nooks and crannies of our small country, and one of my favorite places to visit is a spot in the farthest-north corner of the Galilee panhandle: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi.
One of the most veteran communities in the North, its proximity to a number of water sources makes Kfar Giladi an extremely popular location for travelers. Located just south of Metulla and the Lebanese border, the kibbutz was established in 1916, during World War I, by Hashomer, a Jewish defense organization founded to guard Jewish settlements and free these communities from dependence upon Arab watchmen for their security. Among the founders of the kibbutz were Yisrael Giladi, Yosef Trumpeldor, Alexander Zaid and Israel and Manya Shochat, whose actions affected the course of history in the pre-state days.
Kfar Giladi Hotel
Nowadays, kibbutz members run the Kfar Giladi Hotel with pride in their history. They are happy to tell nostalgic stories to guests who come to stay in their newly renovated rooms, from which you can look out over the beautiful, blossoming hills and the majestic Mount Hermon. In addition to its 160 rooms, the hotel recently completed a new wing with 15 high-end suites in earth colors, parquet floors and decorated with basalt stones and a retro look.
The hotel offers two different types of holiday visit. One is for parents who can’t wait to kick off their shoes and let their children run around freely in the large grassy areas, splash around in the pool and take advantage of all the fun attractions the Galilee has to offer. The high-end suites, however, are for couples looking to treat themselves, enjoy the quiet, pastoral North and eat incredible gourmet food. Even if you don’t feel like taking your car out for a ride, there’s plenty of history to discover on the kibbutz, such as the picturesque Poultry Path, the Beit Hashomer Museum and the underground arms cache.
Poultry Path
The Poultry Path is a restoration project involving the original chicken coop, cow shed and farmyard area built in the early 1920s. It’s become a popular tourist site thanks to the many charming boutiques, galleries and cafés lining the path. One of the coolest stores there is a second-hand thrift shop with a wide assortment of books and music CDs. There’s also Ronex, a gallery with the most impressive eyeglass collection ever. And at the end of the path, a boutique beer brewery has just opened its doors – a great place to relax at the end of a long day.
Arms cache
If you love a good mystery, I recommend taking the guided tour of the arms cache, which is appropriate for kids and adults alike.
During the tour, participants will be taken down into the underground cache created by kibbutz members in 1922, making it the oldest arms cache in all of Israel. Located underneath a stable, the cache was dug out in secrecy during the night by five kibbutz members.
The five-meter-deep hiding space, which one had to climb down an old ladder to enter, was so secret that its existence was not made public until 1983, and only then because the entrance was exposed when the kibbutz began digging to build new rooms.
If you prefer to get out and about, the hotel offers tours of small producers in the Upper Galilee that are part of the farm-to-table movement. For those who haven’t heard of this concept, it’s centered around the desire to help small producers by skipping the grocery stores and going straight to the source of the food we put on our tables. During the tour, participants can interact with farmers, ask questions, learn about the sources of the food we eat and, of course, purchase high-quality food items.
Guests can also join a culinary tour, which includes dinner and breakfast prepared from gourmet Galilee fare. In this way, you can enjoy an upscale, relaxing vacation while simultaneously giving back to the community. One stop on the culinary tour is the Hirsch farm on Moshav Dishon, which offers tours of family goat farm.
They have lots of items for sale, such as milk and cheese products made on-site, so if you want to have a picnic in nature, you can purchase everything you need at the Hirsch farm.
Details: 054-979-6945.
Vegan ice cream
Another enjoyable place to stop is Keren Yaakobovitch and her French husband’s vegan ice-cream shop called Ilo, located at Kibbutz Hagoshrim. The ice cream is made from coconut milk and agave syrup, and I must say it is just as tasty as regular ice cream.
Details: 052-728-1586.
‘Bread and Cake’
A great way to end your tour is with my favorite kind of food.
Bread and Cake is a small bakery on Kibbutz Moran that specializes in natural sourdough bread prepared and baked fresh every morning, entirely by hand. Each loaf is prepared with love and baked in a stone oven. The bakery also sells cakes and other baked goods prepared around the Galilee and the nearby Golan Heights, and also runs a small café where you can have a meal of sandwiches, salad and baked goods.
Hazayit Street, Kibbutz Moran.
Details: (04) 698-8992.
Galil Mountain Winery
If you’re already in the area, there are two more trips involving breathtaking views and wine you shouldn’t miss.
The first is a scenic tour of Galilee wine country organized by the hotel. The Upper Galilee is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Israel, and during the tour you will drive over rolling hills covered with grape vines, and then stop off at the Galil Mountain Winery on Kibbutz Yiron for a wine tasting and tour.
If you prefer being a little more independent, you can hop in your car and enjoy the winding roads that lead to the Adir Winery and Dairy, located in the Dalton Industrial Park. At the visitors center, guests can watch a short film that describes the stages of wine production, from the moment the grapes are plucked off the vine until the wine is bottled. Afterwards, they can nibble on cheese, sip Adir’s excellent wine, and even taste the incredible goat milk ice cream made on location. There is also an option of having breakfast or brunch at the winery, during which guests are welcome to eat out on the balcony and enjoy the incredible view.
Price of tour: NIS 35 for adults, NIS 15 for children. Breakfast: NIS 70 per person.
Details: (04) 699-1039.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.