Tour Is­rael

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - CONTENTS - • MEITAL SHARABI RA­MAT HANADIV

On Sun­day night we usher in Hanukkah, when fam­i­lies and chil­dren will cel­e­brate the mir­a­cle of the oil that lasted for eight days. In or­der to keep their chil­dren oc­cu­pied dur­ing this long hol­i­day, par­ents will search for fun and in­ter­est­ing ac­tiv­i­ties around the coun­try. If you’re tired of the stan­dard chil­dren’s the­ater pro­duc­tions that are full of scream­ing tod­dlers, I rec­om­mend in­stead get­ting out into na­ture.

The weather is fab­u­lous and you can en­joy hik­ing on trails that for much of the year are too hot to tra­verse. In ad­di­tion, since we were blessed with a rel­a­tively wet Novem­ber, all the hills and val­leys are full of green grass and mul­ti­col­ored flow­ers. Many sea­sonal streams are al­ready flow­ing with water from the re­cent rain­fall and many tourist sites will be open dur­ing the Hanukkah hol­i­day to wel­come chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

Here a few choice tourist at­trac­tions that I rec­om­mend this Hanukkah sea­son. The pub­lic is in­vited to take part in a tour of the beau­ti­ful flow­er­ing gar­dens of Ra­mat Hanadiv, a spe­cial site that is a liv­ing memo­rial to Baron Ed­mond de Roth­schild. The tour, which of­fers gor­geous views of the Mediter­ranean Sea, will in­clude rid­dles about the jug of olive oil and will pass by the Byzan­tine Villa and the an­cient wine press. Dates: De­cem­ber 3 and 5 at 10 a.m.

Price: NIS 35

Info: De­tails can be found on the Ra­mat Hanadiv web­site or (04) 629-8111.

The town of Yero­ham will cel­e­brate the Fes­ti­val of Lights with two days of work­shops, ac­tiv­i­ties and tours in the form of “Ex­pe­ri­ence All You Can.” In other words, the pur­chase of an en­try ticket en­ables you to par­take in all of the ac­tiv­i­ties, which in­clude draw­ing, tiling and bas­ket weav­ing work­shops, pic­ture de­sign, beer mak­ing, a Moroc­can cui­sine class and bike tours.

Vi­ta­min C will be or­ga­niz­ing a bike tour at the Yero­ham Lake Park. Spread over 400 hectares, the park is partly desert with lush green­ery around the water. Guests are wel­come to rent bi­cy­cles and ride all around the Vi­ta­min C com­pound and all the way to the Yero­ham Lake. In ad­di­tion, tour guide Avi Ben-Zaken will be lead­ing walk­ing tours dur­ing which par­tic­i­pants will ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture and learn a lit­tle about the his­tory of the area. Ben-Zaken, who was born in Morocco, will also re­gale vis­i­tors with fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries about his own per­sonal aliyah ex­pe­ri­ence.

Dates: De­cem­ber 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price: A full-day ticket costs NIS 140 if bought ahead. On site, tick­ets cost NIS 160. A fam­ily ticket (up to 5 in­di­vid­u­als) costs NIS 580 ahead and NIS 630 on site. Info and tick­ets: 054-665-6512.

CITY OF DAVID

At the City of David in Jerusalem, vis­i­tors can join a lan­tern tour of the Hero­dian water chan­nel that leads up to the Western Wall. This pas­sage was used by the last Jewish rebels fight­ing in Jerusalem on the eve of the de­struc­tion of the Sec­ond Tem­ple. Par­tic­i­pants will get a taste of what the rebels felt dur­ing this cru­cial mo­ment in Jewish his­tory. At the end of the pas­sage, guests will come out near the Ko­tel and be in­vited to climb up to the an­cient street that pil­grims would use on their jour­ney to the Tem­ple for fes­ti­vals.

Dates: De­cem­ber 4 to 6, at 11 a.m, noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Price: Tours are two hours long and cost NIS 45 for adults and NIS 35 for chil­dren.

Reser­va­tions: *6033 or (02) 626-8700

ACRE

Acre is known as a city where Jews, Chris­tians and Mus­lims all live to­gether peace­fully. Dur­ing Hanukkah, a new ini­tia­tive called Nashim Mevashlot (Women Cook­ing) will be or­ga­niz­ing a spe­cial tour that will be led by lo­cal Jewish and Arab women. Par­tic­i­pants will dis­cover new tastes, fla­vors and cus­toms each cul­ture has to of­fer.

The tour will be­gin at the Otzrot Ba­homa Mu­seum, where par­tic­i­pants will learn how homes were lit be­fore the era of elec­tric­ity. The next stop will be the Al-Jaz­zar Mosque, where vis­i­tors will learn about the im­por­tance of lights dur­ing the month of Ra­madan. At the lo­cal church, guests will hear the story of St. Ge­orge from Cyprus, who lit up the city some 200 years ago, and as you walk down Yonatan Ha­hash­monai Street, you’ll hear about the con­nec­tion be­tween the Has­moneans and the city of Acre.

Dur­ing a visit to the Ei­tan Horowitz’s art stu­dio, guests will get to view his re­mark­able hanukkiah col­lec­tion. Lunch will in­clude treats from Ge­or­gian cui­sine pre­pared by lo­cal Jewish and Arab women.

Dates: De­cem­ber 5 and 19

Tours will be led by Acre na­tive An­drew Abdo. Price: NIS 190 for adults, NIS 100 for chil­dren Info and reser­va­tions: (03) 690-9463

BASHVIL HA’OR SO­CIAL RUN

From De­cem­ber 2 to 9, the Is­rael Elec­tric Com­pany and KKL-JNF will be hold­ing its an­nual Bashvil Ha’or So­cial Run. The start­ing point of the run is Ag­mon Hahula and it will fin­ish at the end of Hanukkah in Ei­lat. Each day of the run will be de­voted to a dif­fer­ent so­ci­etal value, and on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 7, the run will reach Gi­lat In­ter­sec­tion, where a gi­ant hap­pen­ing will take place.

Price: Free, but pre­reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired. Ev­ery per­son who reg­is­ters on­line will re­ceive a run­ning kit that in­cludes a T-shirt, water bot­tle and bag.

Reg­is­tra­tion: events.shvoong.co.il/or-iec

ROSH HANIKRA

Spe­cial tours of Rosh Hanikra will take place ev­ery Shab­bat from Hanukkah through the end of De­cem­ber. The Otzrot Ha­galil ini­tia­tive of­fers combo tick­ets that in­clude en­trance to the grot­toes site, as well as a guided agri­cul­tural tour in elec­tric cars of Kib­butz Rosh Hanikra. Tours will in­clude a visit to the ex­otic fruit cen­ter, tast­ings and ex­pla­na­tions while walk­ing through the ba­nana and av­o­cado fields, the cow­shed (which re­ceived an award from the EU), and the nurs­ery.

Tours last one hour.

Dates: Ev­ery Satur­day in De­cem­ber at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Price: NIS 87

De­tails: 077-996-4433

OLD JAFFA

The Old Jaffa De­vel­op­ment Com­pany will be hold­ing hanukkiah tours in Old Jaffa this Hanukkah. Dur­ing the tour, guests will be taken to artist stu­dios and gal­leries where they will see hanukkiot that light up the dark­ness on the hol­i­day and hear fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries about life in the an­cient port city through­out his­tory. Dates: De­cem­ber 5 and 6, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Reg­is­tra­tion: www.old­jaffa.co.il

Price: NIS 30 (NIS 15 for Dig­i­tal Card hold­ers) Meet­ing point: Café Ke­dem, 1 Mazal Dagim Street, Jaffa.

(Tal Glick)

FROLIC IN Ra­mat Hanadiv’s flow­er­ing gar­dens.

(Or Alex­en­berg)

GET YOUR wheels in gear at Yero­ham Lake Park.

(Nu­rit Guy)

HAR­VEST­ING OLIVES: Taste their oil in Ra­mat Negev.

(Tourist At­trac­tion Rosh Hanikra)

TAKE A guided agri­cul­tural tour at Kib­butz Rosh Hanikra.

(Eliyahu Yanai)

LIGHT YOUR lan­tern at Jerusalem’s City of David.

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