October 21st 2014

Did you know there’s an ice skating rink in Israel? Beit Canada, an indoor sports complex in Metula, houses Israel’s one-and-only ice skating rink. The sports complex also houses fitness rooms, gyms, bowling, basketball and swimming pools. It’s quite an impressive facility for a town of just 3000 people.

Metula is the northern most community in Israel, right on the Lebanese border. In the summer of 1896, 60 families, all experienced farmers, came to the hills of Metula in the Upper Galilee to establish a moshava, a partially-cooperative agricultural community similar to a kibbutz. Their benefactor was Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who helped establish numerous other Jewish communities in pre-State Palestine.

Today, Metula is a tourist destination and tourism is the main industry in town. Come stay overnight in one of the community’s varied hotels and guest houses. Delightful accommodations await you in guest cottages that were constructed beside century-old private homes.

As you drive into Metula, note the orchards of peach and plum trees that line the meandering path into town. If you visit during the spring, you’ll be graced with white and pink blossoms on the fruit trees. The main street in Metula is HaRishonim Street (literally, The First Street) and it’s still possible to view the community’s original stone house on HaRishonim in downtown Metula.

Don’t miss the Beit ha-Ikar Farmers House Museum where you can learn more about the agricultural origins and the early history of Metula. The other museum in town is called The Music Box of Zami, a private collection of 160 different musical instruments from 50 different countries. An hour-long visit to The Music Box of Zami, housed in a private home, includes a coffee, cake, a lecture and a concert.

An overnight in Metula is also ideal for those who wish to hike Mount Tsfia (Lookout Mountain), rising nearly 2000 feet above sea level, affording a fabulous view of the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Hermon and the green vistas of the Galilee. Another major attraction in the area are the waterfalls and flowering fields of Machal Lyon.

Metula itself is a picturesque rural village, a quiet and contemplative place. Do keep in mind that Metula is in hilly country, so definitely pack some comfortable shoes.