The City of...
Rosh Pina, one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel, was founded in 1882 by immigrant families from Romania.
Today it is a quaint little village with cobblestone lanes and historic buildings, dotted with many galleries and fine eateries.
Visit the historical Restoration Site, take a stroll through Baron de Rothschild's Gardens, planted in 1886 and designed by a French landscape architect, and browse the lovely artisan shops to your heart's content.
Rosh Pina is located in the Upper Galilee, about 13 km (8 mi) from Safed and 28 km (17 mi) from Tiberias.
Five Great Reasons to Visit Rosh Pina:
• Picturesque landscapes - The first Jewish settlement in Israel founded under the auspices of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild is a picturesque town set on the northern slopes of Mount Kna'anim.
A 20-minutes walk uphill to the old neighborhood will provide you with a lungful of clear mountain air - not to mention a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Mt. Hermon, Israel's highest peak (2236 me or 7336 ft).
• The Historical Restoration Site and Open Air Museum has beautiful stone buildings meticulously restored and preserved as private homes, bed & breakfast getaways, restaurants and cafés. Visit the Baron's Park, a small wooded area, and then continue uphill and tour some of the historical houses, such as the home of Professor Gideon Mer, who worked on a solution to the malaria problem that plagued the inhabitants of the swampy Hula Valley.
• The town is home to many farms, wineries, olive-oil presses, home bakeries and herbal medicine and spice farms, and the historic houses of Old Rosh Pina harbor quaint little galleries and artists' studios.
• Thanks to the gorgeous landscape and the mild climate, the area has become a summer holiday resort. Between Rosh Pina and Safed lies the Hotel Spa Mizpe Hayamim. With 37 acres of fragrant gardens, trails and pools, this is the perfect place for relaxation. The hotel is well-known for its home-grown organic fruit, vegetable gardens and dairy farm. The hotel has a full spa center, a lounge bar, a crafts gallery, a soaps and candles workshop and a library.
• Rosh Pina is a great base for hiking and nature trails in the Upper Galilee. Travel north and visit the Hula Nature Reserve, a world renowned location for bird-watching.
The Banias is a national park, with hiking trails and the roaring Banias Waterfall - the tallest in Israel.
The park is also home to the ruins of an ancient Greek city, where the god Pan was worshipped, (hence the name Panias, or Banias in Arabic and Hebrew). The park is also popular among Christian tourists, as traditionally, this is where Peter identified Jesus as the messiah.
The Upper Galilee area, from Rosh Pina to Kiryat Shmona, offers excellent opportunities for outdoor and indoor activities: AtKfar Blum, you can raft or kayak down the beautiful and celebrated Jordan River, and don't say we didn't warn you when you find yourself bracing for a little white water action!
There are also bike rentals for a trip down scenic country trails, while kids will surely go crazy for the adventure park, featuring a zip-line, climbing wall, rope course and archery.
The cable-car climbing up Manara Cliff is the longest in Israel, and the climb affords breathtaking views of the Upper Galilee. In addition to the ride itself, Manara Cliff has a wide variety of activities for the young and the young at heart.
The Canada Center is the largest ice-skating rink in Israel, with a wide range of other recreational activities you can enjoy even on a rainy day: an indoor pool, Olympic skating rink, luxurious spa, bowling alley, shooting range and much more.
Chokolate, at the Restoration Site in Rosh Pina, is the place to come to for a fix of chocolate, from pralines and cakes to exotic chocolate drinks. Add to that an excellent breakfast and a short menu of light fare (such as lasagna or fish), and don't forget the beautiful setting in one of the historical buildings.
Rafa Restaurant, also at the Restoration Site, is a great little place set in a 100-year-old house.
The menu features casseroles, steaks, fish and even a kid's menu.
Jauni is a kosher family bistro in the heart of Rosh Pina. The menu includes hearty and healthy breakfasts, an assortment of tapas-style first courses, and main entrees of meat or pasta.
Muskat, at Mizpe Hayamim Hotel and Spa, has an expansive view of the Golan Heights. The chef uses produce from the organic farm on the premises, and creatively blends recipes from the Galilean cuisine with flavors from his mother's kitchen.
Since you're in the area, don't miss Dag al HaDan, one of Israel's most famous restaurants. The location alone is magical, amid trees and the rush of the Dan River, and the bucolic setting is matched with its delicious food - fresh grilled fish, especially the trout (Kibbutz HaGoshrim)
At the entrance to Rosh Pina are two malls:
One of them has larger and more commercial chain stores, and the other holds upscale boutique shops, set around a beautiful courtyard… a true shoppers' paradise!
Aside from that, the Restoration Site in Rosh Pina harbors many gems: Haruzula is a magical place, with a huge
array of beads, crystals and arts and crafts supplies for making jewelry, feng shui and good luck charms.
The Well Delicatessen is a "gallery of arts and flavors," specializing in dressings and spreads, jams and a selection of killer homemade liqueurs, such as cinnamon, pomegranate or Limoncello.
The Colors of Light is another beautiful artisan shop, set in a historic building. Inside is a whole world of lamps, shades and other decorative pieces of paper maché and stained glass.
Roei Ivgy is a famous local jeweler. In the gallery, you will find a selection of his designs in unique styles, in gold, silver and gemstones. There is also a wide selection of engagement and wedding rings, for order in custom design.
For something different, travel a few minutes further to the welcoming Druze villages of the area, which offer fascinating antiquities and authentic foodstuff.
Tips and Trips
• Don't forget to dress appropriately when visiting the ice-skating rink at the Canada Center.
• A must see in the Upper Galilee is Tel Hai, where you can visit the national monument commemorating eight Jews, six men and two women, including a one-armed Russian named Joseph Trumpeldor, who died in a combat with Bedouins on March 1, 1920. Trumpeldor and his comrades faced a much larger attacking force, and their bravery became an inspiration and the stuff of legends. The statue of the roaring and defiant lion became a symbol for Trumpeldor and his friends.