Visiting the Holy Land this summer? In Israel alone, there are hundreds of beautiful and diverse nature reserves: from snowcapped mountains in the north to desert dunes in the south, cold cisterns and hot springs, forests and groves, and an abundance of other magical locations.
Here are 5 recommendations for nature reserves in Israel, where time seems to stand still:
Tel Dan Nature Reserve
Tel Dan is fantastic to visit in the summer, offering lots of shade and wading pools, a historic site that dates back thousands of years, and even a Winnie the Pooh tree! The site contains hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. The trails are mostly suitable for families and parts of it are even suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. (Waze – Tel Dan Nature Reserve)
Mount Meron Nature Reserve
An easy walk with an amazing view. It is said that here the wise Kabbalists from Safed were inspired by the Galilee and Meron mountains to write The Zohar book. What suited them in the 16th century, will definitely suit us in the 21st… The 2 km circular course loops around the peak of Mt. Meron, the Galilee’s tallest mountain. Most of the path is shaded and offers spectacular views of the Galilee, Lebanon and Safed of course, shining brightly below. (Waze – Meron Mountain Reserve)
The upper pools, the hidden waterfall, and the contrast of water and desert are always stunning. Chances are you’ve already been to the well-known trail of Ein Gedi – Nachal David. The adjacent Nachal Arugot is the next level in evolution: a trail for hiking enthusiasts! A hike of about 5 km up the river will bring you to beautiful pristine pools, a true oasis in the heart of the desert. (Waze – Arugot Stream)
Not far from Jerusalem there’s a truly enchanting spot. ‘Hemed’ in Hebrew literally means charming, and the place is true to its name- a great location for picnics on the way to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. You can buy excellent hummus nearby in Abu Ghosh, some pita bread from the bakery and you’re set. The kids can dip their feet in the spring water, and the adults are welcome to wander through an 800-year-old crusader fortress. (Waze – Ein Hemed National Park)
Coral Beach in Eilat
Yes, a beach can also be a nature reserve, especially if it’s filled with corals. The reserve contains the most northern shallow water coral reef in the world. A snorkel and mask is all you need to take in this marvel and get the full experience of this magical alien world that resides so close to the waterline. (Waze – Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve)
Elad Bar Ilan is the owner of Time Travel Israel and lives in Kibbutz Hulda. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.