Israel's Most Magical Picnic Spots

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A picnic.
A picnic.Credit: Barbara Helgason | Dreamstime
Ofer Hirsh, City Mouse
Ofer Hirsh, City Mouse

Picnic in the North – Flowing Streams, Lovely Flowers and Enchanting Views

Biriya Forest

East of Safed, in the directiQon of Rosh Pina and Hatzor Haglilit, you will find Biriya Forest – a large and impressive forest with very pleasant light (sometimes even more than a little cool), colorful wildflowers, groves and forest trees.

Biriya Forest.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Hula Nature Reserve

Birdwatching enthusiasts surely know the Hula Nature Reserve, known as one of the best birdwatching sites in the world. You can set up exciting look-outs for birds in a number of designated stations and go on guided treks along with activities for the whole family.

The Hula Nature Reserve in 2016.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Switzerland Forest

A steep forest where KKL-JNF built a number of scenic overlooks and viewing paths. From each lookout point you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Sea of Galilee, the mountains, and the Golan Heights. In addition to these, there is playground equipment for children.

Switzerland Forest.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Rosh Hanikra

Magical and unique beaches surrounded by enormous boulders, small tidal pools, golden beaches and an impressive promenade courtesy of KKL-JNF.

Rosh Hanikra.Credit: Ritvo Photography

Ramat Menashe and Nahal Hashofet Park

A short walking path through bushes along the riverbed will bring you to a cave with a unique shape carved into the rock. There are access paths for those with disabilities that lead to picnic tables and areas with wildflowers.

Ramat Menashe and Nahal Hashofet Park.Credit: Itzik Ben Malki

Elyakim Forest

A perfect place for a family or couples outing in the forests of the north, in which you can find a variety of picnic spots, wonderful hiking paths and playground equipment for children.

Picnic Along the Coastal Plain – Fragrant Orchards and a Selection of Agricultural Fields

Nahal Hadera Park

What some remember as a polluted stream near smokestacks has in the last few years turned into a pleasant area for hikers, romantic couples and seekers of quiet. This is a special site for a picnic or just to relax. You can look out upon the towering smokestacks, a lovely spring, and the breathtaking landscape of an orange sunset.

Nahal Hadera.Credit: Moshe Gilad

Sculpture Trail (Tzora)

Located in the President’s Forest between Shimshon and Nahshon Junctions, the 10 km. Sculpture Trail got its name from the 37 special sculptures along the route. The site also features a bike path, a road and, of course, a picnic area. Along the path you can see a number of special picnic sites and views of nearby communities.

Maginim (Defenders’) Forest

A large and beautiful forest in the Judean Foothills with paved roads, picnic tables, walking paths, a special horseback route and a monument to fallen IDF soldiers.

Maginim (Defenders’) Forest.Credit: Moshe Gilad

Nahshonim Forest

Nahshonim Forest near Rosh HaAyin boasts a particularly large natural grove in which you can find innumerable cute spots for a romantic, family or group picnic. Between the forest paths you can see the valley, and it’s recommended to hike, to see the wildflowers and listen to the chirping birds.

Canada Park

This large park is situated north of Highway 1 (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem) between the Latrun Interchange and Sha’ar HaGai. A natural grove of fruit trees surrounds the park, giving hikers a special feeling. Visitors will enjoy the aqueduct, a small lake and a number of historical sites.

Canada Park.Credit: Chaim Taragan

Hamalachim-Shahariya (Angels’) Forest

This is an expansive park east of Kiryat Gat with a circular car route and amazing views, filled with natural groves. You can have a romantic or family picnic here and enjoy the playground equipment and the picnic tables scattered throughout.

Hamalachim-Shahariya (Angels’) Forest.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Picnic in The Jerusalem Hills

Yad Kennedy (Aminadav Forest)

A special picnic location with breathtaking views, which includes the riverbeds of Nahal Soreq and Nahal Refaim, together with the Jerusalem Hills. There are springs, agricultural terraces, fruit trees, olive presses and more. KKL-JNF has set up parking lots along the way, playground equipment, bike paths, and even an accessible path for the disabled.

Yad Kennedy (Aminadav Forest).Credit: Emil Salman

Sataf and Mount Eitan

The Sataf site is one of the most well-known to Jerusalem area residents. This is a wonderful and well-maintained location (by KKL-JNF) in which you can find natural reservoir pools, fruit trees, gardens and terraces, which served residents as living quarters here in the past. The view from Sataf is of the Ein Karem area and West Jerusalem. At night, you can enjoy the view despite the dark with the help of the flickering road lights.

Sataf.Credit: Emil Salman

Masrek Nature Reserve

The Masrek Nature Reserve is known for its arresting tall fir trees that, when seen from afar, are in the shape of a comb (masrek in Hebrew). Along the reserve’s paths you can find dozens of perfect picnic spots, surrounded by trees, flowers or large boulders. At the edges of the park are amazing scenic overlooks, from which you can see all the way to the coast, including the beaches and boats. Inside the reserve is the grave of a sheikh. You can hold a large group picnic next to it. Come back in the winter, when the cyclamen and anemones are in bloom.

Mount Karmila

A small, special grove next to the farming village of Beit Meir looks out upon the Judean Hills and toward the coastal plain. You can find spots to picnic in the forest clearing or among the trees. Accessible by off-road vehicles or a short walk on foot. Note that along the access paths you should park at the sides as there is no organized parking area.

Picnic in the South – Enchanting Desert Terrain

Ofakim Forest

An expansive park, beautifully tended with shaded places to sit throughout, playground equipment for children, a skating area, lookout points, a beautiful cave and paved routes. Very suitable for a family picnic outing or an entire day.

Lake Yerucham

A large, lovely park with a lake, places to sit between the trees, lawns, an amphitheater, and paved roads.

Lake Yerucham.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Golda Meir Park

A large and very well-kept park on the banks of the Revivim River in the Negev hills, this oasis offers a desert spring, a lake, lawns and picnic tables among large trees and a beautiful lookout point from which you can see the whole area.

Yatir Forest

The largest forest in Israel, Yatir features a range of trees such as the Jerusalem fir, cypresses, acacias, tamarisks, eucalyptuses, Judas trees, terebinths and more. Several access roads are suitable for cars and there are parking lots, picnic tables and walking paths.

Yatir Forest.Credit: Eyal Toueg

Sapir Park

An amazing man–made park, Sapir is ideal for a perfect picnic with a large lake, quiet corners and wide lawns. It looks like a rich and colorful desert oasis in the middle of a barren area. Suitable for those traveling to Eilat or going north.

HaRo’a (Shepherd’s) Park.Credit: אליהו הרשקוביץ

HaRo’a (Shepherd’s) Park

A small park with playground equipment and tall shade trees, HaRo’a Park is suitable for a short stop on the way to Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, or Sde Boker.

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