Rosh Pina or Rosh Pinna (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ פִּנָּה, lit. Cornerstone) is a local council in the Korazim Plateau in the Upper Galilee on the eastern slopes of Mount Kna'an in the Northern District of Israel. It was established as Gei Oni in 1878 by local Jews from Safed but was nearly abandoned, except for the families of Yosef Friedman, Aharon Keller, and possibly a few others. In 1882, thirty Jewish families who had immigrated from Romania reestablished the settlement as a moshava called Rosh Pina. The town is one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel. In 2021 it had a population of 3,237.
This is for a little definition and history of the place.
For our interest, it is a pearl in the region. The idea is to enter the town and go with the bike until the beginning of the old town. Then, park, and enjoy some hours of walking through the village and having some coffee and pastry in one of the charming cafes all around.
The village is very close to Safed and to Meron. Here are some pictures and maps to Rosh Pina from Meron and from Safed.
Another thing: if you want to see the full map, just click on the link "More options" at the top of the map and you will have the full web page.
Hula Reserve and/or Hula Lake
The Hula is an area of Israel which, before the foundation of the country, was a swamp. Pioneers worked at this area to dry it, by planting trees that demanded much water, and by filling it with soil and sand. In the last years, the swamp is beginning to overcome that, but in a different form - some lakes have lately appeared in the area, and they are a source of water and fish for migrant birds. So, if you are coming to Israel between March and June or between September and November, you will probably see a lot of birds there.
There are two places to stop there: The Hula National Reserve, or the Agamon Hula.
The Hula National Reserve is an area that was kept almost completely natural. The only thing modified there was adding the cabin of the visitor center, some towers and bridges around the lakes for birdwatching, and a trail for walking through the small ponds. The rest was kept completely natural. Agamon Hula Park (Agamon means Little Lake), on the contrary, was built for being a touristic center, with a Bird Wall, an elaborate audio-visual spectacle (Mini-Hula), Flying with the Cranes (virtual reality), nature films and more. There you can rent bicycles and other things for moving faster in the region, and all is just more fit for family travel and joy. Please note that in both cases, for guaranteeing the ability to go in, it would be advisable to enter their websites and sign in for a visit. In both parks there is an entrance fee that, at the time of this posting, is NIS 35, or approximately USD 10.
The Manara Cliff is 840m high, one of the highest cliffs in Israel. There are two ways to visit the cliff. The first is by motorcycle directly from the Hula parks, using road 90 and taking a left at Koah junction, and a right a little later to road 886, and getting directly to the top of the cliff. There you will be again just beside the Lebanon border, and have a beautiful view of all the Upper Galilee. The road is beautiful and easy to ride, no special difficulties.
However, there is another way to get to the Manara Cliff that maybe can be more fun. One can continue to the city of Kiryat Shemona and take the cable car (the longest cable car in Israel, floating in the air for around 200m) on the way up, and getting to the same point. For the way down, instead of going back with the cable car, it would be preferable to take the slide car and slide down the mountain, with speed controlable by the driver, that can get up to 40 Km/h.
Here are the maps of the direct way to the top and of the trip to the cable car base.
After finishing with Manara Cliff, our next stop will be nearby at Metula. Metula will probably be your sleeping point for continuing in the next day (or days - two nights in Metula isn't something one would regret).
Getting there is not complicated and doesn't take time. Metula is a town located some 10 minutes to the North of Kiryat Shemona and at the very North border of Israel with Lebanon - the nail of the Galilee Finger. Once per year there is a motorcycle weekend in Metula, with a big crowd of motorcycles arriving there.
It is easy to see how to get there in the map below:
Sleeping in Metula
Tourists to Metula are blessed with a considerable number of options to sleep that are not as expensive as in the rest of Israel. At the center of the city one can find several 3-star hotels, like the Mantur, the Metulla Traveller Hotel, and others. Most of them are on the same central street in town, Harishonim Street, and they are simple hotels, a place to put your head at night.
If you prefer alternative lodging, there are also the Zimmers, and there are a lot of them. Zimmers are usually lodging rooms at family property. People build their houses with special separate rooms for hosting tourists as small boutique lodgings. Usually, each property of this type has 3-4 rooms, and they are all around town. One specific one that I stayed at is the The Baroness, a brilliant space to be and to sleep. It also has place inside their terrace to park 2-3 motorcycles. Anyway, there is no problem to find parking for the bikes in the street in front of the place, and it is completely secure. The owner of the property is the former Head of Security of Metula, and he organizes tours of the Lebanese border around the town for people that sleep there and people from other hotels and lodges.
One has not been in Metula if (s)he doesn't enjoy a meal at the restaurant HaTachana, one of the best meat-houses in all Israel. The restaurant is at the main Harishonim street, and eating there is an excellent experience.
There is also the Beit Ha Shalom restaurant, a middle Eastern food restaurant that is also considered excellent.
If you are more in the mood for Pizza, then your destination should be the restaurant, Ayuni. They also serve a very good local beer.
For burgers and similar, you can choose the restaurant Ha Simta.
There is also Udi's, a local brewery with excellent beer and sushi, a restaurant for youngsters. Additionally, restaurants of all kinds: Israeli, German, etc... and a range of nice cafes to sit, drink and eat something.
What to see in Metula?
There are many more attractions in this village than a tourist could ever imagine.
Let's begin by mentioning the tour of the Lebanese border which I mentioned before. It is organized by the former head of security of the town, and the man has a lot of stories to tell about this border that once, in better times, was called "The good border" - a reference to the only border in Israel to an arab country that was open to cross until the 1970s. Nowadays the situation is very different, with Hezbollah at the North, but the visit is very interesting.
The place is named after General David Elazar, or Dado, who was Chief of Staff in the Yom Kippur War. The views from the lookout are the Hula Valley to the south, the Golan and Hermon Mountains to the east and the Eyon Valley and the Lebanon Mountains to the North.
The place renders the people's honor and memory of 73 soldiers that died in the collision of two helicopters Sikorski CH-53 which were arriving to the region for military activity in the area, and is some kilometers from the actual place of the collision.
In the next article, we will visit together the Golan Heights.