Curious what you can do in Israel in winter? Quite a lot, as it turns out!
When you think about travel in Israel, wintery landscapes and activities don't immediately come to mind. But did you know that in winter, you can ski in northern Israel? Or bath in hot springs with water from an underground geyser? Winter in Israel also means waterfall season - the waterfalls throughout the country are at their best and it's some of the most spectacular sights in Israel!
As for all the best things to do in winter? Read on to find out!
Also looking for a cozy, wintery zimmer in northern Israel? Explore my guide with the best places to stay in Northern Israel
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Hermon Mountain & Ein Hermon
The Hermon Mountain is Israel's highest mountain and at 2400m above sea level, they've created Israel's one and only ski resort. Although it's of course not comparable to the beautiful ski resorts in Europe or North America, it makes for a really nice day trip! Next to a ski school, there is an alpine coaster, sleds and of course a cable cart with some of the most amazing views in Israel. On the website, you can find daily updates on how much snow there is, keep an eye on their forecast! Note that entrance is only upon reservations made ahead on their website and they are not open daily - depending on weather conditions. For all information & prices, see skihermon.co.il
Also in the area of Hermon, you can find one of the most beautiful natural pools in Israel: Ein Hermon (עין חרמון). It's a little hike from where you can park the car, on the road to the village of Nimrod. The views from the pool on the Hermon Mountain are simply stunning! How to get there?
- from road 9898, turn on the little road to the village of Nimrod. If you put Nimrod in Waze, you'll get to this road.
- about 500m before the entrance, park on the right side, at the entrance of an off-road path. From there you can continue by foot on the path.
- pass the fence on the path, towards a group of trees you can already see. that is where the pool is.
In total, the walk is about 400m, it's a really short and easy walk.
Hot springs at Mount Bental
Only recently I found out about this incredible place in the Golan Heights, that honestly looks like Iceland! From an underground geyser, water flows out from a pipe into open fields, forming warm, steaming pools to relax in. The water temperature can get up to 40 degrees Celsius! This is the exact location of the hot spring.
Have you ever been chasing waterfalls in Israel? Winter is the perfect time to see the waterfalls in northern Israel at their best due to all rain fall. Some of them are in national parks and require entrance, others are free - and in one day you can easily see several, like all the ones in the Golan Heights. Here are my favorite waterfalls:
- Ma'ale Gamla nature reserve: in this national park you can visit the highest waterfall in Israel, it's stunning and the whole park is very special to visit. In my opinion one of the most underrated national parks in Israel. Next to waterfalls, you can see the giant eagles of the Golan heights in the park and the ancient settlement of Ma'ale Gamla. The whole trail takes about 1,5 hour.
- Ayun River nature reserve: also a national park, with four beautiful waterfalls along the trail. Two of them are some of the most beautiful in Israel and the whole hike is really beautiful. There are two entrances to the park, one upper and one lower; whereas the main entrance is the lower, if you want to do the whole hike - have someone drop you off at the upper entrance and walk down to the lower entrance. It is really not fun walking up from the lower entrance, there are many steep stairs you will have to climb!
- Sa'ar waterfalls: straight on road 99, this is one of the most impressive waterfalls to see free of charge
- Ayit waterfall: another beautiful waterfall that you can visit free of charge. You can find it next to road 808 close to Ani'am
Birya scenic road
My personal favorite winter attraction in Israel, it is simply so beautiful and there is so much to see & do. The Birya road is the road from Zefat to Amuka, all the way to Hatzor Haglilit - but the part between Zefat and Amuka is the most beautiful! First of all, the Birya forest is so so stunning on its own, in winter it gives you the feeling you're in Switzerland or Scandinavia with the pine trees and wide open views all the way to the snow-peaked Hermon. Here are some of the must-see places along the way:
- Birya Fortress
- Uri Observation Point
- Bat Ya'ar Farm, this is a horse ranch with amazing kosher restaurant where you can eat in horse carts with beautiful views
- House at the Edge of the Landscape, for coffee with the some of the best views in Israel
The suspension bridges of Park Nesher make for a perfect winter trip, because it takes you through a beautiful pine forest in the Carmel with stunning views. The best part? It's completely free of charge! The entire trail is very family-friendly and it takes about an hour and a half. At the beginning of the loop trail you can also find a small café for drinks & snacks.
Coming soon: all the best places to eat when traveling in northern Israel!