Spring in the Western Galilee

Many activities will be taking place during the festival.

The 'Concertiyul' is one of the highlights of the annual Spring Festival in the Galilee (photo credit: ANATOLI MICHAELI)
The 'Concertiyul' is one of the highlights of the annual Spring Festival in the Galilee
(photo credit: ANATOLI MICHAELI)
Although we are already in June, the Western Galilee Now organization is proud to invite the public to its fifth annual Spring Festival next weekend, June 8 to 10. Visitors are invited to make their way to the Galilee for three days of beautiful scenery, tasty cuisine, cooking workshops, wine tasting at local wineries, meetings with local artists at their galleries, and musical performances.
Among the many activities that will take place during the festival, there will be a unique collaboration between the Madrigal Ensemble and tour guides Ayelet Bar-Meir and Amnon Gofer that will be called “Concertiyul.” The guides will lead visitors on a journey through the ancient alleyways of Peki’in, culminating with a concert conducted by Itai Berkowitz in the village churchyard. The “Concertiyul” will begin at 12 noon on Saturday, June 10, with the first tour setting out at 12:30 p.m. with Gofer, attending the concert at 2 p.m.
A second group tour, led by Ayelet Bar-Meir, will first attend a concert at 12:30 p.m. at the church and then at 1:30 will be guided through the alleyways of Peki’in. During the tour, participants will learn about life in the village and hear tales and folklore of intriguing events that took place in the village in the past. During the tour, participants will visit the Rashbi Cave, the carob trees and the ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter.
Price: The concert and tour are NIS 80 to NIS 90 each. If you purchase tickets for both the concert and the tour, the combined price is NIS 130 to 140 per person with a 50% discount for kids. Pre-registration required: (04) 601-5533.
ANOTHER GREAT way to experience the region is by joining a jeep tour organized by Rimonei Hagalil. There will be organized group tours each morning during the festival that will take participants to the Montfort Fortress to look out over the incredible view from the fortress balcony, breathe in the magical air blowing up from Nahal Kziv and sip some bubbly wine. The tour includes a ride through the dense forest and a 100-meter walk to the fortress. Tours commence at Mitzpe Hila.
Price: NIS 700 for a jeep with room for 7 or 8 people. Details: 054-222-9697, (04) 952-4566.
PART OF the Galilee’s charm is due to the fantastic culinary activity there. Visitors are invited to partake in the Ta’am Hagalil farmer’s market on Friday morning, which is co-sponsored by the Dallas Jewish Federation and the Jewish Agency. The market, which will be held at the Kishor Winery at Kishorit, a home for adults with special needs, will include dozens of food stalls with an assortment of cheeses, pastries, and wines for sale. Participating vendors include Alto Dairy and Shirat Ro’im Creamery, which will offer a variety of soft and hard goat cheeses; Kishor, Stern, Lotem and Yiftah’el boutique wineries, which will offer wine tastings; and Buza icecream from Ma’alot-Tarshiha, which will be selling a variety of ice creams.
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, a few restaurants from the area will also have food stalls, such as La Pampa, which will be selling empanadas and sandwiches at the festival; and Kokoschka, which will be offering fish & chips and Malka Beer. During the festival, visitors are invited to participate in a leather-hammering workshop with Eldad Bachar from Omania or painting on porcelain plates.
Price: Entrance is free of charge. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
THAT’S NOT all – Kishor Winery’s new visitor’s center will be holding an art exhibition in which it will display works by artists who live in the Western Galilee, with live background music supplied by Amir Zuskowitz and Avi Ben-Dov.
Kishor Winery is one of the most fascinating wineries in the area, largely due to the fact that they integrate people with special needs into the production process. The winery planted its first vines in 2007 on a mountain at 500 meters above sea level, across 50 hectares, in the Upper Western Galilee overlooking the sea. The climate is perfect for growing grapes for the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier wines.
ANOTHER DELIGHTFUL place to visit in the Galilee is Aya Natural’s visitor center. Aya Natural uses all natural ingredients and vegetable oils – mainly extra virgin olive oil – to produce high-quality skin products. Aya Natural was founded by chemist Jamal Hamoud, a native of the Galilee, who is involved in the production process from start to finish. Guests are invited to take part in workshops at the visitors’ center, or buy Aya Natural products at the Ta’am Hagalil farmer’s market.
AFTER YOU’VE had a full day of visiting sites and nibbling delights at the farmer’s market, you’ll probably be ready to sit down to a real meal. My favorite restaurant in the area is La Pampa, where you can sit outside and enjoy gorgeous natural woodlands while you partake in some of the best smoked meats you’ll ever taste. La Pampa was founded by the Tabachnik family adjacent to their home in Mitzpe Hila and you’ll catch a whiff of the smoker from the moment you exit your car. The menu changes from day to day, depending on what cuts of meat were put inside the smoker earlier in the day. Guests can also enjoy starters, such as empanadas and chorizos, while they’re waiting for their main dish to arrive.
On the Thursday night of the festival, La Pampa will be holding a special evening of all-you-can-eat smoked meats and Kishor wine.
Date: Thursday, June 8, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Reservations: 052-425-3566.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.