A dozen or so years ago - it seems eons now - the word "festival" conjured up images of something that comes along only once in a while, thus to be savored for a long time. But the country now seems to have some festival or other happening every day. Next week's Hanukka will offer so much and with so much range, it is difficult to know where to start. However travelling up north is a great way to begin. "The aim of the Kfar Blum Festival is to provide a feast of culture," says Michael Melzer, its artistic director. Every two weeks, Kfar Blum's Pastoral Hotel holds a specially themed musical weekend, titled Pastoral in Sound. Numerous bands and artists gather at the hotel to perform music and more within the boundaries of the selected genre. For next weekend, December 10-12, the topic will be Jewish soul. Jewish music of all ethnic groups, Shlomo Carlebach melodies, Yiddish plays and much more will be performed in the hotel venues. The hotel chef, Ilan Shlider will serve up a variety of international home cooking - mullet kebab, hrayme, chopped liver, gefilte fish and other "soul food" dishes accompanied by local Galilee wines. For nature lovers, one can choose from a wide variety of guided trips and special programs: from short walking tours to jeep tours or a night concert in the magnificent Nimrod Fortress overlooking the valley to a peaceful afternoon welcoming in the Sabbath at the beautiful Kibbutz Yiron winery. For more info visit: kfarblum-hotel.co.il Another great trip to take in the area is the Metulla tour. The last time I visited Metulla, I was in the army and stayed at Kiryat Shmona but wanted to explore the area. I had completely forgotten how beautiful it was, so maybe I should take this tour. It's a city that looks like what I imagine an Alaskan resort to be - small beautiful boutique hotels and adjacent stone wall restaurants. While you're there, you can enjoy a fall foliage tour of the region with its beautiful rivers and mountains and a focus on the beautiful colors of the deciduous trees. The Beit Shalom Hotel offers such a trip including a great breakfast featuring their terrific homemade cheeses and olive oil for NIS 80. For more info call (04) 694-0767. If you decide to stay in the area of the Kinneret, drop by the Flavors of the Kinneret festival taking place from December 11-19. The festival celebrates the cuisine of the different restaurants near and far with each offering winter menus of special dishes in addition to unique activities. For example, Ugata at Kibbutz Kinneret, offers a doughnut making workshop, the Vered Ha'galil Resort Ranch invites you to a wild west activity with horseback riding, ending with a cowboy meal at the restaurant and Marinado in Ein Gev hold the Poyke King contest, where some of Israel's finest chefs will decide which contestant makes the greatest Poyke (preliminary registration is required). For more info on the different restaurants and activities visit: kinneret.info Take your pick and hit the road.