A dozen years ago or so, a friend took a typical vacation in Israel. One of the most memorable parts of her trip was visiting the Banias, the start of the Jordan River in northern Israel at the foot of Mt. Hermon.
The geography of it all wasn’t what made this simple stop on this tour to Israel. No, it was the fact that she could actually drink the water. This was a city girl from the States; she protested that you can’t just go drinking the water as it sprung from the mountainside.
Oh yes, you can. And do you know what else you can do? Go rafting, kayaking, or tubing. Little did my friend know at the time, this was another way of enjoying the Jordan River, other than drinking from it.
A good place to start is up by Kfar Blum, a kibbutz that’s centrally located in the Upper Galilee. From here there are a number of kayaking and rafting companies that’ll set you up for either a leisurely ride down the river, or a more fast-paced rafting adventure.
Some of the rafting companies are located along the eastern Sea of Galilee, also known as the Kinneret; and the only fresh water lake in the entire country. This is also where you’ll find some tasty St. Peters Fish, but that’s a whole other blog now, isn’t it?
Back to rafting, before I get sidetracked. And speaking of tracks, the “short track” goes at a slower pace, and will take you about an hour-and-a-half to do. This is a great route to take if you’re traveling with younger ones in the family, as it isn’t all that daunting of a trip. There are far worse places to spend 90 minutes, however none that I can think of in Israel.
The “long track” is almost double the shorter route; and it’s got a lot more action for those looking to tackle more “falls”, but it shouldn’t overwhelm those in pretty fair shape.
Class IV Rapids it isn’t, but either way it’s an adventure that everyone in the family can enjoy, so it’s a win-win whatever route you’ve taken.
What’s even nicer about rafting in the Galil, is how refreshing the water feels after baking in the Israeli summer sun. It’s shockingly cold, mind you.
How cold is it? Cold enough to actually keep food, well, cold. Ah, who needs modern conveniences like a refrigerator? You’ll certainly be able to keep some food fresh for your rafting/camping trip this way.
Camping up in northern Israel is a must for the adventure seeker; and you’re not limited to just rafting. This whole region offers everything from zip-lining to rope bridge climbing. And isn’t that a whole other blog to write about…