Favorite Picnic Spots in Israel
Hebrew: מקומות מדליקים לעשות פיקניק בישראל
Spring, summer and even balmy autumn days are perfect times for family hikes, picnics in the forest or along the edge of a stream or perhaps at one of Israel’s many national parks. Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), the intermediate days of Pesach (Passover) in the spring and the autumn festival of Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles), are ideal picnic times. Enjoy the smell of pine trees, blossoming spring wildflowers, gorgeous scenery and views at some of our favorite picnic spots.
1. Jerusalem – The Martyrs’ Forest (Yaar HaKedushim)
From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Route No. 1 turn off onto Route 38 at Shaar Hagai traveling towards Bet Shemesh. Follow the sign post to the Martyrs’ Forest. In the park you will find the Scroll of Fire Memorial, the Anne Frank Memorial and the Martyrs’ Cave. At this time of year it is appropriate to take in the 8.5 meter Scroll of Fire M onument commemorating the destruction of our nation at various times through the ages.
2. Another Jerusalem favorite – The Jerusalem Forest
Plenty of walking trails and picnic spots and lookout posts. Wonderful views at sunset.
Parking, shade and picnic tables are available.
3. Afula – Nahal Harod Park
Driving south of Afula on Route 60 turn left onto Route 675. Travel about 1km from the Jezreel Junction to the entrance of Kibbutz Jezreel. A paved road – parallel to Route 675 – forks off to Tel Jezreel. The river trail, the Western Roman Bridge, Ganei Huga and the Basalt Canyon are just some of the attractions in the area. The ancient ruins and antiquities in the Bet Shean National Park are close by.
4. Beit Shemesh – British Park (Park Britannia)
South of Beit Shemesh, 10,000 acres of planted forest and natural flora, carob, pine and oak tress all nestle in the Judean Plain and make up Park Britannia. The park has a scenic lookout, marked walking paths and also historical and archeological sites. A variety of wildlife including the mountain gazelle (צבי), caracals (חֲתוּלי הַמִּדְבָּר), rabbits ( ארנבים), porcupines (דרבנים) are often sited. There are numerous entrances to the park on Routes 38, 383 and 353
5. Central Israel – Ben Shemen Forest
Hiking routes, a section of the Israel Trail, bicycle paths, archeological sites, wild flowers and picnic spots with a BBQ area are what you will find in the Ben Shemen Forest. With easy access from Route no. 1 and Route 6 (Kvish Shesh) the forest is close to Lod and relatively close to Modiin. Ne’ot Kedumim Park is also close by.
6. The Negev – Beeri Forest
Following Route 25 at Saad Junction turn onto Route 232 and a few kilometers down the road you will come to the Beeri Forest where you will find green fields, open spaces, wildflowers and lots of anemones (כלניות). There are a number of sites within the forest including the ANZAC memorial and some sulfur mines. Once you have had your picnic you might want to take in some of the other sites in the area including the Yad Mordechai Forest and the town of Netivot which are both close by.
7. Haifa – The Carmel Forest
Thousands of acres of natural woodland, planted forest covered with wildflowers make the Carmel Forest to the north-east of Haifa one of the most visited parks in the area. Meander along one of may hundreds of trails. If you come really early, you may be lucky enough to claim a picnic table and if not, just throw a blanket on the grass and enjoy the day. Follow Route 672, take one of the turnoffs and find your perfect picnic spot.
8. Tzfat – Blue Valley Park
580 dunams of parkland, north of Tzfat, lets you take in views of Mount Meron from every angle. If you are lucky you will see some of Israel’s wildlife including; deer (אַיָּל), ibex (עז הבר) and antelope (אַנְטִילוֹפָּה) on the many, marked footpaths in the Park. A real joy for young children. Route 89 takes you to Tzfat. Once you are in Tzfat, drive towards the Central Bus Station and approximately 1/2km from the main junction, is the entrance to the park just off Atzmaut Street.
9. Western Galilee – Adamit Park
Adamit Park offers spectacular views of the Western Galillee and Haifa Bay. An easy half-hour walk to Me’Arat HaKeshet (The Arch Cave) will be enough to build up your appetite. Just drive east from Shlomi for about 4 kilometers on Route 899. Just before Moshav Yaara turn northwards onto the winding road that climbs up to Kibbutz Adamit (Route 8993). The entrance to Adamit Park is at the top of the hill.
- BBQ facilities are NOT available at all of these sites
- National parks are run by KKL-JNF (Keren Kayment LeYisrael – Jewish National Fund). Contact them with questions regarding facilities and possible entry fees. Tel:02-670 7411
- Be conscious of the environment. Take only pictures and leave only footprints.
- Have sufficient drinking water and plenty of sunscreen for your protection.
- More travel tips here