De Karina Chocolate Factory – Ein Zivan, Golan Heights

After visiting the waterfalls on the Golan Heights, or the Talmudic Village  in Katsrin,  this is a great stop for the whole family.

De Karina makes delicious chocolate and liquers and they offer a fun tour and workshop, and you’ll take home your very own hand made chocolates.

If you are a chocolate lover you’ll enjoy their pralines. There’s a coffee shop on site where you can try chocolate spiked coffee beverages.

De Karina Chocolate Factory, Golan HeightsThe workshop is a lot of fun for kids of all ages (including grown ups). It’s a bit pricey, but good value for all the chocolate you get to take home with you.

The liquer is some of the best we’ve tasted – both the chocolate and coffee flavors. Ein Zivan is a bit out of the way, but it’s a great place to stop if you plan on seeing the Peace Vista, Winding Highway 98 and Hamat Gader in the Golan Heights.

The products are strictly kosher and the factory/shop is closed on Shabbat.

Call them directly for more info at 04-699-3622. They are open 9am – 5pm on Sunday through Thursday and 9am – 3pm on Fridays and before Holidays. www.de-karina.co.il

De Karina Chocolate Factory is located at Ein Zivan about 50 minutes from Villa Rimona Zimmers.

View Larger Map

Moroccan Fantasy – Hatzor HaGlilit – Fantasia Moroccait

Not everyone wants to spend all day Kayaking and Jeeping in the Galilee when they come to visit Villa Rimona Kosher Zimmers in Yavne’el.



For those of you who like shopping and browsing you can visit the Moroccan Fantasy wholesale warehouse in the industrial area of Chatzor HaGlilit. It’s about 45 minutes north of Yavne’el on highway 90, just past Rosh Pinah.

There is a huge selection of vases, housewares, lamps, fabric, furniture, trays and more. It goes on and on. They make handmade mosaic fountains and garden furniture on site and will make to order.

It’s a fun stop on your way to the upper galilee and golan.

10 Great FREE family friendly activities in the Galilee and Golan

At Villa Rimona Zimmers we specialize in families travelling on a budget.

Here are 10 places we’ve visited that you’ll really enjoy!

1. Family Hike and Picnic in the Eshkol Forest

Between Yavneel and Menachemia is one of the Galilee’s best kept secrets … Levi Eshkol Forest Park.

On the way you’ll see stunning vistas of the Kinneret, Jordan River, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. Watch out for the cows at the natural oasis and avoid a natural landslide due to a recent earthquake.

2.  Ayit Waterfall (Eagle Falls) – Golan Heights

If you love nature but don’t like hiking, here’s a beautiful site for your next visit to the Golan. Mapal Ayit is right on highway 808 not far from Gamla. The waterfall is a few steps from the parking lot. It’s even wheelchair accessible!

There are stunning views and water flows all year long. The best time to visit is in the winter and early spring when the water is roaring and the spring flowers are blossoming in the fields and the rocky cliffs.

3. Highway 98 – Golan Heights – Stunning Vistas – Exciting Switchbacks

If you love Highway 1 on the California coast, then you’ll love Highway 98 descending the Golan Heights from the top of the mountains down to Hamat Gader on the way back to Tiberias.

We recommend driving on the road from top to bottom (north to south) as you’ll see more stunning vistas that way. The highway is full of exciting switchbacks, so make sure the driver keeps their eyes on the road!

It’s only 20 minutes from Yavne’el and our Villa Rimona Zimmers. Take the road on your way back from Qatsrin to Tiberias and you can stop along the way to visit Ayit Falls, Peace Vista Lookout.

4. Peace Vista – Amazing View of the Sea of Galilee from the Golan Heights

The most amazing view of the Sea of Galilee can be enjoyed by your family only a few minutes from Hamat Gader on the Golan Heights.

On a clear day over Pesach we were able to see the entire Lake Kinneret, the Jordan Valley, Zemach, Kibbutz Kinneret, Yavne’el, Mount Tavor, Tiberias, Arbel, Meron, Tsfat, Migdal, and even the snow on top of Mount Hermon!

In the spring you’ll see wildflowers everywhere. There is a short hike of about 20 minutes through wild fruit trees down to an old man-made pool fed by a natural spring.

The Syrian soldiers made many of these pools for officers stationed on the Golan Heights before 1973 so they could cool off in the hot summers.

5. Gourmet Olive Oil Tasting in Katzrin

You may have been to a “wine tasting” or even a “scotch tasting,” but recently we tried an “olive oil tasting” in Katzrin on the Golan Heights. It’s a great stop after a morning or afternoon of nature trails, waterfalls, biking or jeeping.

The Golan Olive Oil Mill and Visitor Center offers a guided tour which explains the process of olive oil production. reviewing the evolution of the process from ancient tools to our modern machines. The tour includes a short film. Complete your visit with a gourmet tasting of different flavours of extra virgin olive oil.

During the olive-harvest season (which begins in October), visitors can watch as olive oil is produced. The entire process, from crushing to bottling, is open to the public.

We had a great time there… here’s a fun 2 minute video including us “tasting” the oil and “scrubbing” with olive soap.

6 Hike to Ein Yavne’el – Natural Spring

Just a few minutes from Villa Rimona is a hiking path that leads to a natural cave with a fresh water spring. The cave serves as a natural mikvah.

On Chol Hamoed or summer Bein HaZmanim you may find some other hikers, otherwise you can often have the place to yourselves.

Along the way you may see some doodlebugs, honey bee hives, wild blueberries and incredible views of the Jordan Valley, Golan Heights, Yavne’el Valley and Tiberias

7. Tamarim Plus – Learn about Dates (and taste them) at Kibbutz Kinneret

Kibbutz Kinneret is a short drive from Villa Rimona near the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Ron and Omri were on hand at the Kibbutz Kinneret Factory outlet store called Tamarim Plus- to offer explanations and a “Date Tasting” lesson in this funny video.

We learned about the different varieties of dates – from the “dietetic” Chiani variety, to the King of Dates, the Medjool.

In addition to the fabulous variety of dates, date spread and syrup for sale, there is a great collection of local boutique wines, fresh spices and exotic spreads and condiments available.

It’s a short, fun, interesting and delicious stop on your visit to the Galilee and our family Zimmers at Villa Rimona.

8. Upper Tiberias Flea Market

Every Tuesday in upper Tiberias there is a wonderful combination of colorful wares and personalities that come together in the open air market. Join Chana as she has fun searching through the merchandise to find some great deals and gets to meet some of the local characters.

9. Klezmer Music Festival in Tsfat

Every summer Tzfat is the home to the international Klezmer Music Festival. People come from all over Israel (and the world) for the mult-day event. There are bands everywhere throughout the Old City of Tzfat. Vendors sell cotton candy, crepes and other fast food while jewelers and artists display their work.

10. Hike and Picnic in the Switzerland Forest above Tiberias
The Switzerland Forest provides beautiful hiking opportunities and breathtaking views of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee. It’s a park that was created by Keren Kayemet through donations from the Jewish community in Switzerland beginning in 1927 to prevent soil erosion and landslides on the steep slopes above the city. You can park you car once inside and take a leisurely hike with the whole family, it’s fairly level in most places.

In addition to hiking, you can drive the entire length from Poriya to Tiberias and I recently took the “short-cut” from Villa Rimona on my way to Tiverya and stopped to take some beautiful photos.
Switzerland Forest

Make Villa Rimona Zimmers your base for visiting these and other great attractions in the north.
Book your vacation today!

CHECK AVAILABILITY AND PRICES

NUMBER OF GUESTS CHECK-IN CHECK-OUT PREFERRED ZIMMER(S)
Adults           : Studio (max 5)
Children        : 1-Bedroom (max 6)
Infants in Crib: 2-Bedroom (max 9)

 Email      Name    

Family Hike to Eshkol Forest in the Galilee

Between Yavneel and Menachemia is one of the Galilee’s best kept secrets … Levi Eshkol Forest Park. In this 2 minute video, join Shmuel and friends as they hike from Yavne’el to the forest.

On the way you’ll see stunning vistas of the Kinneret, Jordan River, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. Watch out for the cows at the natural oasis and avoid a natural landslide due to a recent earthquake.

For families it’s best to drive part of the way and continue on foot, but if you want to make a day of it, you can hike all the way from Villa Rimona.

Call today to book your next stay at Villa Rimona Zimmers – 077-419-9001 for more information

CHECK AVAILABILITY AND PRICES

NUMBER OF GUESTS CHECK-IN CHECK-OUT PREFERRED ZIMMER(S)
Adults           : Studio (max 5)
Children        : 1-Bedroom (max 6)
Infants in Crib: 2-Bedroom (max 9)

 Email      Name    


 

Hike to Ein Yavne’el – Natural Spring

Just a few minutes from Villa Rimona is a hiking path that leads to a natural cave with a fresh water spring. The cave serves as a natural mikvah.

On Chol Hamoed or summer Bein HaZmanim you may find some other hikers, otherwise you can often have the place to yourselves.

Along the way you may see some doodlebugs, honey bee hives, wild blueberries and incredible views of the Jordan Valley, Golan Heights, Yavne’el Valley and Tiberias.

Come join us soon for your own walk through the Naftali Hills behind our home in the Galilee.

Here are the directions to find the spring:

Walk toward the Breslov Shul and cross straight through the traffic circle.

At the third street past the traffic circle turn right up the hill toward the cemetary.
Stand when facing the cemetery and go to the right about 20 meters until you reach a dirt path that bends left and goes around the cemetery to the west. It’s moderate incline which becomes immediately a decline. The cemetery is on your left, continue for about 150 meters (you’ll see beehives to your right).

You’ll come to a sharp right bend into the Wadi. Immediately at the end of the curve will appear a low cattle fence on the right side. Leave the “road” which continues down  into the valley (ATV’s can go down that path). Instead turn right before the fence and walk parallel to the fence, after about 10 meters the fence ends.
Turn left onto a mildly sloping path towards the spring. (This path is parallel to the dirt road that continues at the bottom of the Wadi.)
Continue about 300 meters on the path to the heart of the riverbed, until the spring, which is the middle of the channel.

Kinneret Rising – Sea of Galilee is almost full!

Join Shmuel as he visits the Kinneret as it continues to rise. It’s the highest it has been after seven years of drought in Israel.

Beaches have disappeared and now large boats and pleasure craft can safely dock in the Tiberias harbour.

The water level is now just over 210 meters below sea level. Less than two meters to go and the Degania dam at the south end of the lake will have to be opened to prevent flooding!

Come join us at Villa Rimona Zimmers for a quick getaway. We’re only eight minutes from the Lake and a short drive to see the gushing rushing waterfalls on the Golan Heights.

Sukkot Harvest – Shmuel Picking Dates – Fun 1m video

One of the amazing surprises about living in “farm country” in Israel is that I’ve begun to appreciate that Chag HaSukkot is Chag Ha-asif (The festival of the autumn harvest).

In Toronto we davened that it wouldn’t snow on our Sukkah. In Yavne’el, in addition to all the other preparations for the holiday, we get to harvest our own date crop!

We have two varieties on our property, the golden Bahri, and the light brown Halawi.

Here’s a fun 1 minute video of Shmuel trying to pick the dates with an extension pruner.

Come visit Villa Rimona Zimmers soon and you can try some. They’re yummy.

Chag Samayach!
Category:

Rosh HaShanah “Simanim” (Significant Omens)

It’s the month of Elul and we’re greating ready for Rosh HaShana at Villa Rimona.

We’ve got a bumper crop of Dates and Pomegranates this year and the Date clusters are hanging heavily on the tree and need to be tied up, and the pomegranates need to be protected from their enemies with paper bags.

We’ll be using both the Dates and Pomegranates for our Rosh HaShanah “simanim” (significant omens) platter. It’s customary to recite verses that “sound” like the foods which either foreshadow success for the Jewish people or the downfall of our enemies in the coming year.

Watch this 1 min video to see how we do it at Villa Rimona.

Mazel Tov to the English Family

Howard English and his extended family are regular visitors to Villa Rimona. Last time they visited they were celebrating a grandson’s Bar Mitzvah with a family tour in Israel. Here’s a 1 min video of them.

Rabbi Rafi LipnerThis past weekend Howard and family celebrated again as their son-in-law, Rabbi Rafi Lipner spent his first Shabbat as new Senior Rabbi of Shaarei Tefillah Congregation in Toronto. Mazel Tov!

I grew up spending the High Holydays at Shaarei Tefillah. In fact I was there with my little shovel at the ground-breaking of the main sanctuary where Reb Rafi spoke this past Shabbos.

Here’s an old pic of me and my family outside Shaarei Tefilla at my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah circa 1960. (I’m the little guy on the right. Check out the chevy on the left)

HIKING: Switzerland Forest – Poriya to Tiberias

The Switzerland Forest provides beautiful hiking opportunities and breathtaking views of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee. It’s a park that was created by Keren Kayemet through donations from the Jewish community in Switzerland beginning in 1927 to prevent soil erosion and landslides on the steep slopes above the city. You can park you car once inside and take a leisurely hike with the whole family, it’s fairly level in most places.

In addition to hiking, you can drive the entire length from Poriya to Tiberias and I recently took the “short-cut” from Villa Rimona on my way to Tiverya and stopped to take some beautiful photos.
View of Tiberias from Switzerland Forest

Directions: 13 Minutes from Villa Rimona.

Enter Porriya Illit for 768. The JNF paved a road from the Poriya Youth Hostel northwards, leading the you into the heart of the forest and to the best vantage points. The road continues into “Schunat Dalet” of upper Tiberias