Passover is less than a week away, the sun is shining, Israel is in bloom - spring is definitely here! The most beautiful time of year in Israel, when the whole country - even the Negev - turns green and flowers are blooming everywhere. The perfect time for a daytrip in nature, wouldn't you say? Below you can find all the best places to visit this Passover (and the rest of spring of course!), including places to visit by train and/or bus.
Places available by public transport are marked with ***.
All the best places to visit in Israel this spring:
The buttercup bloom is one of the most beautiful of the year, creating rows and rows of colorful flower fields - and the best part is, many flower fields let you pluck your own bouquet of flowers! The buttercup bloom has started this week and the highlight will be exactly around Passover, but will last all of April. Where to find the flower fields?
Be'er Tuvia This is the best known buttercup flower field, where you can pick your own flowers. Opening hours are Friday-Shabbat and hol hamoed in Passover from 9-17 PM. Where? Put in Waze: "רחוב ישראל טל באר טוביה" Entrance for one person to pick flowers (they gave a bucket and scissors): 60 ILS. For two, it's 100 ILS, and every extra person adds 50 ILS. Entrance without picking flowers is 10 ILS. Gan Yavne These fields are for photography only, not for picking flowers. To get there, put in Waze: הפלג גן 'בנה
One of the most beautiful hikes in Israel, in the lower Galilee, with sloping green hills filled with flowers and a beautiful gorge - views for miles! There is a short, family friendly hike (follow blue signs for either 1km to a viewpoint, or 2 km to the river) and a longer hike (8 km, 5 hours) for those wanting more of a challenge.
How to get here? By car: The entrance is on the north side of Kibbutz Gazit; you can get in through the main gate of the kibbutz and continue for about 400m until you reach a dirt road that leads to the parking lot. By bus: take a bus to Afula (bus 825 from Tel Aviv) and from there bus 42 to Gazit. From the bus stop it's a ten min walk north to the starting point.
Dogs are not allowed in the park and bring enough water on the hike!
***Gedor Sea Reserve
In my opinion, Israel's most beautiful beach reserve, unspoiled, usually quiet and with stunning lagoons and dunes full of flowers this time of year. Perfect for a family hike, beach day or picnic - or all of these :) Only a very short drive from the center and easy to reach by bus! There are no facilities at these beaches, so make sure to bring the food & drink you need.
How to get here? By car: put in Waze or Google Maps 'Gedor Sea Reserve' it will take you straight to a free, large parking lot from where it is a one minute walk to the dunes and beaches. By bus/train: there are many ways to get to the beach reserve, either by train and bus or by bus alone. Google Maps gives lots of option from all directions in the country. Keep in mind that from the closest bus stop, it is still about a 15 minute walk to the reserve.
This garden & memorial site next to Zichron Yaakov is one of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in Israel and at its peak this time of year. The park has all the facilities you need for a great family trip, while entrance is free. The park is open daily from 8 to 4 PM, except for holidays. Dogs are not allowed.
Ein Prat Nature Reserve
Have you ever seen the desert in bloom? One of the most beautiful places to visit this time of year is Ein Prat, a desert canyon like an oasis, with several natural pools for bathing and an ancient monastery. It's a great park for a family trip! The park is open daily from 8 to 5 PM, except on Fridays and holiday eve when the opening hours are 8-16 PM. Entry is 29 ILS for adults and 15 ILS for children.
*** Park Apolonia
Apolonia is always a good idea; I think I've been there five times and it's always a great trip. Especially this time of year, with flowers blooming everywhere on the high cliffs above the Mediterranean. Since Apolonia is located in Nof Yam, it's a perfect day trip in case you don't want to travel too far. It's also easily reachable by bus from Tel Aviv.
Apolonia is an archeological park with remains of a Crusader's fortress and port town dating back to the Phoenicians. It's a really nice and easy walk along the cliffs, with beautiful views all around. Opening hours are 8-5 PM daily (Fridays 8-16 PM) and
To make it a complete day trip, after visiting the park, turn right from the parking lot towards Sidney Alley Beach. From here you can enter the beach with the famous Hermit House (house built inside the cliff from materials found on the beach) and the beaches here are perfect for long beach walks and picnics. Nearby Café Nof Yam serves delicious food and great coffee.
Halbrecht Farm Food Garden
Have you heard of this wonderful garden in Bitan Aharon? A perfect place if you need a quiet retreat from city life to spend some time in nature. It's designed for families, but I've visited with friends and it was one of the best afternoons in a while. It started in 2013 as a vegetable garden and now has a beautiful garden for picnics (you can order delicious picnics here), a zoo for children, farm shop and in Passover they host lots of activities and workshops, like tours in the garden. They are open daily from 9 AM to 3 PM on Shabbat from 9.30-3 PM). Make sure yo check their website www.foodgarden.co.il for all activities and details in Passover!
Please note: on Shabbat and holidays, there is an entrance of 54 ILS for everyone over the age of two, because of the activities they host on those days.
Have you ever been to the famous suspension bridges at Park Nesher in the Carmel? I visited for the first time a while ago and it was one of the most surprising, lovely trips I've had in a while! Entrance is free and the hike is very family friendly. The park has a loop trail of about an hour/hour and a half, taking you over two suspension bridges, through beautiful forests with stunning views of the Carmel.
How to get there? Simply put in Waze or Google Maps 'Park Nesher' and it will take you straight to the parking lot from where the trail starts.
Visiting one of these places? Don't forget to tag me on Instagram at @talesofisrael :) And feel free to write me a message with your questions!