Rappelling, chocolate, and wine in the Golan Heights

July 10th 2012

The Golan Heights, in the north of Israel, is considered by many to be the most beautiful part of the country. While Jerusalem may be Israel’s heart, the Golan is a dream come true for adventure seekers and food and wine connoisseurs. From exhilarating hiking and rappelling through waterfalls to chocolate and wine tastings, there truly is something for everyone.

To go beyond anywhere you could get by foot or regular car, go off-road in a TomCat all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Explore the rugged depths of the Golan Heights with unparalleled exhilaration. There’s nothing quite like having the wind blow through your hair (well, through a helmet) as you race down rocky, rugged, contoured and fun terrain in an open four-wheel buggy.

For the advanced adventurer, get your thrills at The Black Canyon (Nakik Shachor), the most thrilling rappelling site in Israel. Rappel through stunning waterfalls, jump into refreshing pools of natural water from up to 20 feet high, hike up and down the canyon, and dangle down cliffs. Along the entire way, experience the splendor of the northern Israeli landscape.

Once you have worked up your appetite, treat yourself at the De Karina Chocolate Factory in Ein Zivan. This magical place was started by a third generation Argentinian chocolatier who made her home – and chocolate factory – in the Golan. Head to the visitor’s center, where you can watch the hand-made chocolate being made (they use traditional techniques and work with no machines). Taste the artisanal chocolates, or even take a chocolate making workshop. A delectable kosher café is located on the premises, and, of course, a gift shop where you can stock up on goodies to take home.

Nothing goes so well with chocolate like wine does, so next up, be sure to visit the Golan Heights Winery. Established in 1983, it is one of the largest wineries in Israel today and produces a range of award-winning wines in many styles and under a few different labels. The beautiful visitor’s center offers guests the opportunity to learn about the history of the winery and how the wine is made and bottled, and to taste a selection of their wines.

If you are looking for a vacation to the Holy Land that includes exploring the great outdoors as well as an inside look at fine Israeli food and wine, then there is no better place to visit than the beautiful Golan Heights.