Into The Upper Galilee

Into The Upper Galilee – The Landscape, People and History – 7 days

Intro

Riding Level

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Groves of silvery, green olive trees. Ancient ruins of biblical cities. Fields of poppies and peonies. Craggy hills dotted with herds of goats. Steep and windy village roads. Welcome to the Upper Galilee!

The mountainous north, considered by many to be the most beautiful area of Israel, is also the setting for captivating historical and biblical tales. Covered in oak forests and crisscrossed by bubbling brooks, the upper Galilee is a challenging and adventurous horseback riding destination.

 

Horseback riding in the Upper Galilee

The rewards for conquering this breathtaking landscape are exceptional views and the chance to investigate archeological ruins and natural wonders beyond the reach of cars and hikers. On this horseback riding vacation, we will climb one of Israel’s tallest mountains, explore important archeological sites and enjoy firsthand Bedouin hospitality.

This trip also includes walking tours of Nazareth.

Dates & rates

Accommodations:

Country lodges and one night in a Bedouin tent

Availability:

Year round. The ideal seasons are March to June and September to October.

Rate:

$2150 per rider ($1620 per non-rider), single supplement $250

2017 Tours

From Date To Date Duration Reserve
Per request 7d-6n Open

Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in the early evening at Kibbutz Dahlia in the stunning Ramot Menashe region. After introductions and explanations followed by dinner, you will enjoy an enlightening lecture on the history of the Galilee from the time of the Bible until 1948, Israel Independence. We will sleep in a cozy country lodge located on the Kibbutz.

Day 2:

After matching horses and tack with riders, we will set off for an introductory ride in the Riding Adventure Park in Kibbutz HaZorea. This will give us an opportunity to bond as a group and to get to know the horses. Then we will head out for our first trail ride to HaZorea Stream and Gahar Spring– giving you your first taste of Israel’s beautiful natural landscape. Later in the afternoon, we will drive to Nazareth for a walking tour of the holy sites and markets. You will enjoy the unique sights, aromas and tastes of this intriguing city. A delicious dinner will be served in an Oriental restaurant in Nazareth followed by sweet baklava for dessert. We will return to Kibbutz Dahlia for the night. Length of tour – 12 km/ 7.5 miles

Day 3:

The first full day of riding begins by crossing the bucolic Jezreel valley, covered in a tapestry of brown and green agricultural fields. Our ride will take us through the forested area surrounding Kfar HaHoresh, near the western neighborhoods of Nazareth, to the ruins of the ancient city of Zippori (Sepphoris). Josephus Flavius, first century Jewish historian, described the metropolis as “the ornament of the Galilee”; explorations of the site prove his title was accurate. Dismounting from our horses, we will tour the fascinating archeological excavations including figurative mosaics which give us insight into the lives of the people who inhabited this city two thousand years ago. We will leave the ancient city’s ruins heading downward along the Zippori Stream whose banks are lined with fruit orchards. We will then ride through the Bedouin villages of Caabia and Tel Ali to reach the village of Bir El Muksur. There we will be treated to the famous Bedouin hospitality. Platters of steaming meats and fragrant rice will be served to us on low lying tables. Reclining in a Bedouin tent is the perfect way to unwind after a hard day of riding. For a complete Bedouin experience, we will spend the night in the village. Length of tour – 27 km/ 16 miles

Day 4:

After thanking our hosts, our day of challenge riding will begin in earnest. Riding over the rocky terrain of the Yodfat mountain range, we will arrive at the site of ancient Yodfat. Here is where an especially bloody battle between the Jews and the Romans took place during the Great Revolt (66 AD). A witness to the violence, we will hear the story of the battle according to Josephus Flavius. We will then continue along the mountain range, overlooking the stunning Beit Netofa Valley until we reach the Netofa Retreat, a Christian monastery. The views from the monastery are breathtaking. Then we will ride to Tselmon Stream, following it until we reach our final destination, Kibbutz Moran. We will spend the night on the Kibbutz sleeping in their lodge. Length of tour – 35 km/ 22 miles

Day 5:

Dedicated to the natural beauty of this region, today will also include some of this trip’s most adventurous riding. We begin by climbing Mt. Merone, the highest mountain in Israel until 1967. Our climb will lead us through the village of Ein El Asad into the Mt. Merone Nature Reserve. Considered to be the most beautiful reserve in the north of Israel, we will take our time to enjoy its impressive flora. We will eat lunch in the Druze village of Beit Jan and then conclude our day by riding to the Beit HaKerem Valley along old donkey trails the Druze used in the past. In the summer months, we will take the opportunity afforded by warm weather to swim in a natural pool in the valley. Our day will end when we arrive at Kibbutz Moran for the night. Length of tour – 20 km/ 12.5 miles

Day 6:

Our day opens with a climb up Mt. Hazone. Then we will follow Tselmon Stream through olive groves to reach the plains of Ramat Ravid. From there we will follow Arbel Stream along gorgeous cliffs (in the winter and the spring) or straight down along Tselmon Stream in the summer months. Riding through the small town of Migdal, we will bathe in the Noon Spring. Here tradition says Mary Magdalena bathed as a child. After a long day of riding, we will be able to take a relaxing swim in the Sea of Galilee. To celebrate the end of our trip, dinner will be a night of barbecuing, wine and beer. We will sleep in a country lodge on Kibbutz Dahlia. Length of tour – 28 km/ 17 miles

Day 7:

After breakfast, the trip is officially over. You can relax in the lodge until the afternoon or our staff will be happy to advise you on what to see in the area. We can also arrange transportation to the airport.

Additional information:

On the first day of the trip, participants have the option of being picked up at 4 pm from a hotel in Tel Aviv or at 4:45 pm from Ben Gurion International Airport. This service costs an additional $35 per person and it is necessary to notify us ahead of time where to pick you up. It is also possible to arrive independently at Kibbutz Dahlia by 5:30 pm. On the last day the tour officially ends after breakfast (10 am). Trip participants can stay in the lodge until 12 pm. For those wishing to leave the area, we will provide transport to  Tel Aviv or  Ben Gurion International Airport at around 11 am. We reserve the right to change the itinerary as necessary to accommodate weather conditions or additional unforeseen events.