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.
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