Our Summer Adventure 2017: Touring Israel by caravan!

caravan holiday israel

This summer we’re taking you on a tour of Israel – by caravan!!!

As always, our tour is primarily to highlight a way of seeing Israel that might never have crossed your mind – yes, by caravan – as well as give you some great ideas on places and parks that might not typically make it to your bucket list of Israel destinations. And excuse us if we have a cracking time enjoying ourselves while we show you!

After last year’s crazy 32 day tour from Metulla to Eilat, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’re only heading out for 15 days this time! However, we’ll still be squeezing in some true delights, including some of Israel’s finest national parks, sea turtles, Dead Sea boat rides (yes, there is such a thing!), and heck, even some crocodiles! And all via caravan!

caravan holiday israelNow for a short commercial break: the tour is being kindly sponsored by Israel’s premier caravan firm, Nofey Moledet. They’ve kindly donated one of their family-sized caravans, and we’ll be sharing our experiences along the way. Join us for the ride – and watch out for the hashtag #IsraelByCaravan – it’ll be everywhere this summer!

Preparing for a caravan tour of Israel

Before we head out, there are a few basics you need to be aware of when driving a caravan in Israel. First of all, you need to ensure your car can tow a caravan, something which from 2016 seems to be a lot easier to do, what with a change in the law here in Israel. But if you have any doubts, check with the super-knowledgeable guys at Nofey Moledet.

Secondly, if you’re coming from abroad, they can also help you with a whole range of services, including airport pickup, finding you the right caravan, helping you build and plan your caravan tour in Israel, guidance in how to operate the caravan, as well as help in renting a towing car, if needed.

Day 1: Collecting the caravan and heading north!

caravan holiday israelSo, after a long night catching Radiohead’s epic performance in Tel Aviv and celebrating with some after-party beers, it was a bit of a struggle to head out for Caesarea, where we had to go and pick up the caravan for our 15 days on the road…but after verifying everything was in order, we were soon hitched up and off we went, on our merry way! We actually headed out to our moshav in the Lower Galilee, where we picked up another couple of beautiful iGoogledIsrael kids, and then headed to Betzet Beach, the most northern beach in Israel!

Unhitching your caravan and getting all connected to the water and electricity supply takes a bit of getting used to (so it seems), but with some excellent assistance from the guys who run the park at Betzet Beach (Itamar and Soof), we were soon settled in for the night. And with the crashing waves of the Med just a few meters away, it wasn’t too long before three tired kids were flat on their backs…

First impressions of driving a caravan: it’s not the easiest drive in the world, and it’s hard to see what’s coming up on either side of you since the caravan pretty much blocks your rear view completely. So overtaking becomes very tricky, although when your towing a 1200kg caravan, overtaking isn’t something you’ll be doing too often…

Day 2: Enjoying Betzet Beach

When you wake up at the doorstep of one of Israel’s cutest beaches, the only thing you really need to worry about is whether or not you have enough sunscreen…and after downing some Cheerios the kids were definitely ready to splash on the old creamy stuff!

The sea was a bit on the wild side in the morning, but we still had some fun before heading back to the caravan to test out our cooking skills in the confines of a caravan (and with 5 of us, there was definitely some serious advancements in the management of personal space going on!). On the menu, shakshuka (a famed local dish made from eggs, tomatoes, onions, and plenty of spices)! I think to all of our astonishment, it actually came out very tasty!

After chilling out for a bit in the midday heat, we headed back to the beach to catch the last couple of hours of the sun. As usual, the kids teamed up and built some serious sand defenses to save the northern coastline from any immediate flooding, and we stayed at the water’s edge well into post-sundown bliss. With some serious showering and de-sanding going on in the showers at the beach itself, the day ended perfectly with some tasty shnitzel and chips.

Have to say, the guys at Betzet Beach are a friendly bunch, and pay close attention to their caravan customers. There are also some additional camping facilities within the beach grounds, but the area cordoned off for the caravans is a lot sweeter.

Day 3: Heading inland to the Upper Galilee!

caravantourisraelAfter waking up slowly and enjoying the fruits of some expert air-conditioning tweaks, it was great to wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing in the not too far distance. And after scoffing down some biscuits and coffee, it wasn’t long before we were back on the beach, making our way along the numerous rock-pools that make up this part of Israel’s northern coastline. Just watching the kids ducking and diving among the waves made me realize what pure joy is all about…forget iPads, smartphones, and their XBox, get your kids out in the waves for some serious fun!

Once again we rustled up some home-cooking using the caravan’s gas stove, and yep, the gluten-free pasta coupled with some Neapolitan sauce and tuna chunks went down a treat! It gave us a bit of energy for the next phase in our journey – packing up and moving on to the Upper Galilee.

With some excellent assistance from the guys running the camping facilities at Betzet Beach, we were soon all hitched up and raring to go. However, I should add that the chemical toilets used on caravans are a bit of a bitch if they get fairly full; you have to lug it to the nearest public toilet to empty the humdinger of a load you and your family have created over the last couple of days. Not the nicest task you’ll find yourselves doing on a caravan tour of Israel!

caravanIsraelAnyway, within a couple of hours we were at the delightful Meister Farm and Winery in the Upper Galilee, next to Rosh Pina. After a quick tour of the grounds by owner Itai, we were soon won over – what’s not to like about the endless fields of grapes, the cute swimming pool, endless shady corners, and the history-infused wine cellars! This place looks like a keeper!

With the hunger pangs taking over, we headed to nearby Rosh Pina (about 4-5 minutes drive) to eat out at AmBurger, a burger bar we’ve been dying to try for ages. And it didn’t disappoint, one of the best burgers in Israel it has to be said! Service could do with a bit of kick in the ass, but nothing to complain about on the food side! That was enough to wipe out the kids – see you tomorrow!

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