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The Golan’s Natur World

Yes, 'Natur' without an ‘e’. A perfect place for Passover Chol HaMoed, or any other day.

Natur Bike Trail Photo Credit: Yehuda Weinberg

While Southern Golan holds Katzrin, Gamla, Nachal Yehudiyya, Natur is the road-less-taken, with wonderful small businesses, trails, luscious local foods and wines, and a most intriguing historical site.

Both eastern Kinneret Highway 92 and Golan eastern Highway 98 connect to Route 808, which cuts across the Golan Plateau. We turn at Natur Junction. A scenic cliff-edge walkway and a bikeway, on the left before Natur, offer dramatic views with water running below in season, and connect local communities. Moshav Natur itself, originally a kibbutz, is a small 130 family-town, evenly balanced and integrated between secular and religious families.


Unique Accommodation

Earthship in the Golan

Intriguing lodging options abound. Earthship in the Golan in Natur offers 11 unique ecological houses for couples and families (AirBnb). Take Levi Elor’s tour of ecological housing; learn about green building, sustainable living; environmental conflicts - from an hour to a day.

Natur Farm’s ecological campgrounds offer 32 beds under geodesic domes, and in recycled shipping containers; large student groups can add more beds: kitchen facilities; washer and dryer; recreational facilities onsite. Bring your own sheets/sleeping bags, towels (soon to change). Ecology guides all of Amitai and Sagi’s construction and gardening – an ecological pool cleans shower water by volcanic soil; then supports plants. Amitai can professionally advise or guide your area touring. Events of 120-250 people are possible. Groups of 10+ may opt to reserve and enjoy the entire campground privately.

Natur Farm Photo Credit: Yaakov Selavan

Natura Eco-Farm and campsite

Orly and Uriya Reshef have created education and tourism activity in their Natura Eco-Farm and campsite. Education combines sustainability, Tanach, a nursery and animals in workshops for schools, groups, and families. Tourism fits into that, as 10 camping grounds welcome families and groups, each with campfire and BBQ corner (wood available for purchase); picnic and shaded areas; electricity. The shared public area has showers, bathrooms, and a large kitchen. Use your own tent or rent theirs (mattresses for rent); a funky tzimmer is built into a former milk truck. Goats, chickens, donkeys, and a vegetable garden create a real farm experience. Families with children pick vegetables and help milk goats early morning, and feed the animals. Watch sunset over the Galilee; on clear days see the sun’s stunning red reflection on the Kinneret’s waters, and Mount Hermon.


Spas

Spa Marom HaAgam offers Almog’s spa treatments by appointment, day or evening. Up to 6 people can book the large jacuzzi and sauna for a few hours. For couples only, this lovely fully furnished unit is a bed-and-breakfast “tzimmer”, with full use of facilities even without spa treatment.


Food

An excellent picnic spot named for nearby Hirbat Bajoria, is next to Natur Forest’s free parking lot at the Route 808 turnoff. Natur’s SuperDidi Minimarket handy 7am-7pm opening time; for extra help call Didi.


Between the Arches Photo Credit: Yaakov Selavan

Enjoy home hospitality and fresh-cooked meals with Between the Arches in Natur – but in these days, Yael prepares amazing picnic baskets with a rich repast of local Golan products; return the picnic basket later. Or, order full takeaway dairy family meals, and wonderful group platters. Kanatir Winery, producing seven single-variety estate wines on 150 dunam, offer their wines in picnic baskets with cheeses and breads, dips and vegetables – preorder two days prior; or get wines alone delivered by appointment. An annual vineyard glamping event is usually around June.

For Yoel Zabar’s smoked meats in Natur just call, come by and buy. Full meals accompanied by wines and his dishes are by appointment. Summer Thursdays he often opens an evening restaurant. Follow Facebook event announcements.


Natur Dairy Photo Credit: Yaakov Selavan

Natur Dairy – a wondrous weekday breakfast or brunch, served 9am-3pm. Homemade sheep-milk cheeses made with wine, chili peppers, and more will astound you. Enjoy matched local Golan wines; omelets and well-built salads, fresh-brewed coffee and more. I recommend a tasting platter assortment there, or take-away, as my wife did. In normal times they offer tours; open on Passover by appointment. Buy cheese products and delicious condiments, wines and more, on weekdays until 5 pm. Friday mornings food and purchases are until early afternoon - Israelis love coming then, so call ahead for a table if possible.


Studio Mandarina

Israeli and US leaders know of Studio Mandarina in Natur, where Rina Appelbaum hosts glassmaking and glassblowing workshops for couples, families and groups, and sells her creations. Recognizing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights took everyone by surprise and catalyzed much local productivity and business opportunities; you would do well to explore options. Israel’s official thanks included Rina’s necklace for First Lady Melania Trump, based on ancient finds at nearby Gamla.

Studio Mandarina Photo Credit: Yaakov Selavan

Ein Keshatot

The highlight, the star magnet demanding you enter this hitherto-ignored area, is 1500-year-old Ein Keshatot community and synagogue National Park. The basalt stone synagogue’s reconstructed ark and decorative elements will make your mouth drop – this, in the middle of nowhere?! Destroyed by earthquake in 749 CE, whose piles of rubble were noted well over a century ago, it was excavated and restored by pioneering high-tech methods. A modern visitor center presents the site and this process.

Ein Keshatot Synagogue Photo Credit: Ofer Blanc

Park and descend 45 steps to the center, or use the accessibility elevator. After enjoying a movie and an archaeological display, descend 125 steps along a winding path with views and explanatory signs. Those needing assistance travel by van directly to the main site from the parking lot.

A natural spring facilitated garment-dyeing and olive product industries, to the left. Walk past them for viewpoints including where streams meet far below. Visit the synagogue complex - slowly, take in the details, sit on ancient benches lining the walls. The exit path up has only 45 steps. Seasonal pools everywhere, views, and participatory excavations add to Ein Keshatot’s magic. Currently, pre-book a timed entrance online due to Covid restrictions.


A day or more of enjoying nature, creativity, and inspiration and stimulation of body and soul, tucked away from the hustle-bustle – the Golan’s Natur World awaits you.


Food:

SuperDidi minimarket 050-3742135, 0503742126

Golan Smoke (MeAshenet HaGolan) smoked meats and meals 052-426-5464

Between the Arches picnic and full picnic meals to go 052-8309666 Home-kosher

Kanatir Winery picnic baskets 03-7550075, 054-3972035 Kosher

Natur Dairy breakfast through lunch, products 04-6600325, 050-4563111 Kosher https://waze.com/ul/hsvc6veymh

Crafts and Experiences:

Studio Mandarina 04-6763619

Spa Marom HaAgam 052-6113131

Earthship in the Golan 055-6665204

Natur Eco-Farm Orly 054-4314433, Uriya 050-8818211

Ein Keshatot National Heritage Site 04-6851002 https://einkeshatot.org.il/en/home

Bajoria Picnic Site - https://waze.com/ul/hsvc6yqsyn


Lodging:

Earthship in the Golan 055-6665204

Natur Farm Amitai 054-4442052, Sagi 052-9457904

Natur Eco-Farm Orly 054-4314433, Uriya 050-8818211

Spa Marom HaAgam 052-6113131


This guest blog post was written by Barnea Levi Selavan together with Yaakov Selavan


Barnea Levi Selavan, licensed archaeologist and guide, lecturer, codirector of Foundation Stone. Barnea offers tours around Israel; online talks and tours for overseas audiences on a wide variety of subjects. selavan@gmail.com +972507526888


Yaakov Selavan, leading Golan international spokesperson, founder of Slingshot Israel, an educational initiative offering unique programs and tours based on the IDF experience. yaakov@slingshot.co.il +972-508432379

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