Four Family Adventure Destinations
Whether you are in Israel alone or with family and friends, there are many adventures waiting for you. One of the best ways to see the sights and have memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences is by adventure touring, which pairs must-see sites with exciting, adventurous options that are suitable for the entire family.
Gil Travel recommends that travelers check out the following destinations on their family adventure trip.
Set up by the Haganah in 1945, the site features the reconstructed secret underground ammunition factory which manufactured over 2 million bullets in preparation for the coming war under the watchful eyes of the nearby British base. There were two entrances to the underground factory. One end concealed by a laundry and the other by a bakery. The entrances were so well incorporated into the design and the workflow was so seamless that many members of the kibbutz were not aware of the double lives their neighbors led meters below ground.
The clandestine factory has been remade into a museum and visitors can go down to see the manufacturing area. As with many of the sites, the Ayalon Institute has a fascinating history that one should not miss. Please call ahead to make reservations and be sure to indicate if you would need an English tour.
De Karina Chocolate Factory
Do you know that Israelis love chocolate? In 2013, Tel Aviv hosted Israel Chocolate Week and held its first chocolate festival. Needless to say, it was incredibly popular. Unfortunately, Israeli Chocolate Week and the Chocolate Festival are over for 2014 (make plans for next year!). With a country that loves chocolate comes exquisite chocolate production. To make up for missing the Chocolate Festival, or for more chocolate, consider visiting a chocolate factory. There are a number of them in Israel and many of them are open to the public for tours.
Chocolate connoisseurs cannot miss De Karina Chocolate Factory located in the Golan Heights. The basic tour consists of a short movie about the history of their chocolate and a guided tour of the factory where visitors learn about chocolate-making and even see the manufacturing process. It is quite an experience to see all the chocolates made by hand. And of course, no chocolate tour is complete without a chance to taste some chocolates.
Visitors can enhance their experience and add a workshop to their basic tour. There are two separate workshops for children (40 minutes) and adults (90 minutes). Both workshops include making chocolate, and of course, tasting your delectable, unique creations. It’s a wonderful, gastronomical adventure for your taste buds.
Tours run from Sunday to Thursday, from 9AM to 5PM and on the holidays, its hours are 9AM to 3PM. Each tour accommodates 45 people, so please call ahead and plan accordingly.
Hiking Judean Desert
To the east of Jerusalem lies the Judean Desert, which contains many beautiful canyons and ravines. The rocky terrain makes it a popular destination for hikers seeking moderate to difficult trails. It is also a popular destination for family trips due to its proximity to the Dead Sea.
Many of the trails are sheltered by tall canyons, which provide protection from the elements so it is suitable for hiking all year round. However, as it is a desert, there is no safe, fresh water supply outside of towns. Each hiker must carry the amount he or she needs for the trip (3L-7.5L drinking water depending on the temperature and season), so it is not advisable to hike on exceptionally hot days.
Please refrain from leaving markings on rocks and trees, picking plants and flowers, and feeding wildlife as they are under government protection; such action would result in penalties. Sunscreen is a necessity anytime of the year; make sure it has at least 30 SPF.
If you plan to make an extended trip, make sure to have appropriate clothing and footwear. Hiking boots are advised, but sandals and swimsuits are recommended if your trail includes water crossing. Temperature in the desert changes drastically throughout the day, make sure to have warm clothing for the cold nights, and modest clothing if you would like to visit religious sites along the trail, such as the St. George Monastery on the Wadi Qelt trail.
The Upper Galilee, in northern Israel, has many natural landscapes and thus, a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
If you want an adventure on the water, you may find yourself drawn to the Jordan River, which offers many opportunities to go kayaking or white water rafting. There are various excursions to accommodate all skills and ages. Adventurers who like heights would enjoy a breathtaking view from the Keshet Cave, one of the highest points in the area. The arched structure and its rocky surroundings provide ample opportunities to rappel, rock climb, and hike.
The Galilee region is very accommodating. Travelers with young children or who prefer a more relaxing vacation would enjoy visiting the charming towns and farms in the area. There are many family-run farms that allow visitors to visit the animals and pick fruits. Some even offer horseback riding and wine tasting!
There are so many adventures waiting for you in Israel and this entry barely scratches the surface of all that Israel offers its travelers. We mean it when we say that there is something for everyone, regardless of age and activity level. We hope this gives you some ideas on what to do while in Israel or prompt you to pack a bag and travel.
Gil Travel will take you to some of these exciting destinations and more on our Family Adventure Tour! If adventure is what you seek, then check out our full Family Adventure Tour itinerary. Contact Gil Travel with any questions or concerns. We will work with you to create the perfect Family Adventure Tour!