Tourism News from Israel

Eco-tourism in the Galilee

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Tourists from both Israel and abroad can travel the country and enjoy activities that have minimal impact on the environment and build environmental awareness.

Environmental tourism options in Israel are growing apace, especially in the verdant Galilee region. If you want a healthy holiday, check in to the Mizpe-Hayamim Hotel, Spa and Organic Farm. Dating from the 1960s, the complex was the vision of Dr. Eric Yaros – a physician and homeopath who emigrated from Berlin.

The vegetarian restaurant gets a personal recommendation and while you’re there, be sure to walk up the hill to the 28-acre farm that supplies every single one of the restaurant’s seasonal vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

The valley below the hotel is home to the bird-watching paradise of the Hula Valley and Lake Agmon. More than 500 million birds – 400 species – stop over in the valley, as they migrate between Europe and Africa in the spring and fall. Visitors can rent electric golf carts or bicycles, and set out alone or with a resident ornithologist for a tour of the restored wetlands

For a more intimate green getaway, try Hemdatiya in Moshav Sejera-Ilaniya. It’s a small B&B with five rooms, in carefully-restored stone farm buildings dating from the early 20th century. Vineyards, goats and seasonal organic vegetable gardens, provide salads, wine and cheese for guests.

Another attractive and practical eco-feature for drought-plagued Israel – all the water from the rooms is channeled down to the wetlands, to irrigate the orchards.

Atalya Trua, one of the owners of Hemdatiya, is passionate about the importance of the eco-holiday site: “The ecologic life is the only way to live today… for the environment, and for the next people, the next generation.”