Relax at Mitzpe Hayamim While Exploring Northern Israel

Written by Sandy Bornstein

January 2, 2023
Home >> Travel >> Hotels and Resorts >> Relax at Mitzpe Hayamim While Exploring Northern Israel

While exploring Northern Israel, stay at the luxurious Mitzpe Hayamim resort. It offers a perfect chance for you to relax between adventures.

In the northern part of Israel, visitors can explore sites in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. Touring options in these regions are plentiful. Outdoor enthusiasts trek through the diverse countryside while history buffs explore archeological sites. Shoppers looking for souvenirs and specialty items visit Akko (Acre), Safed (Tzfat), Tiberias, and Rosh Pina. Travel itineraries may include vineyard tours, a stop at a kibbutz, visits to religious sites, locations near the border, or a cooking workshop.

After a long day, many visitors spend the late afternoon and evening hours relaxing at nearby hotels or resorts. The Mitzpe Hayamim is a spectacular option for travelers who want to stay in a luxury resort in Israel between Safed and Rosh Pina.

From Jerusalem to Accommodations in the Galilee

Each time Ira and I visit Israel, our tours commence in Jerusalem and then head north to the Galilee. If time allows, we recommend breaking up the drive to your northern Israel hotel by stopping at one or more places highlighting different points in Israel’s history. On one trip we visited Akko to see the Templars’ Tunnel and the Museum of Underground Prisoners. In Akko we found wonderful gifts at boutique shops. We took majestic photos of Haifa’s harbor from an overlook above the Bahai gardens and participated in short walking tours.

A visit to Caesarea National Park on the Mediterranean Sea offers an excellent introduction to King Herod I’s life and Roman architectural accomplishments. Caesarea harbor was dedicated in either 10 or 9 BCE and was considered the most sophisticated man-made harbor at that time. This archeological site has abundant notable attractions, shops, beautiful views of the sea, and an explanatory movie.

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Mitzpe Hayamim Luxury Resort in Northern Israel

After a hectic day of touring in Israel, we look forward to downtime at a resort or hotel set on magnificent grounds with onsite restaurants. Our room at the Miztpe Hayamim in the Eastern Galilee had a balcony that offered a wonderful view of the Hermon Mountains, the Golan Heights, and the Sea of Galilee. The resort’s prime location perched above the valley offers a tranquil setting with one-of-a-kind guest rooms, spa facilities, a swimming pool, an organic farm, and a couple of restaurants.

When Sami Hazan purchased the property in the 1980s, he boldly decided to create a resort integrating both the body and the soul. His innovative ideas led to the development of Israel’s first spa hotel with a farm-to-table experience. Today, the resort is part of the Isrotel Group, the same luxury hotel operator as the Beresheet Resort in the Negev.

Inside the hotel and on the grounds, guests can sit in comfortable places to be in solitude or to gather with others. Tiered wooden decks offering views of the surrounding area and a multi-story indoor atrium with floor-to-ceiling foliage are places to consider. Judging from the number of people walking around in resort robes, we deduced that the spa was a popular option for guests who did not have a full itinerary.

Mitzpe Hayamin is located in Northern Israel.

The outdoor deck at Mitzpe Hayamim. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Farm-to-Table Food Options

Since this resort is not within walking distance of local restaurants, we were happy that our reservation included onsite dining for breakfast and dinner. Each morning before breakfast, we explored the grounds, including the farm, where we saw animals and birds and an assortment of crops in the fields adjacent to the thick foliage filled with blooming flowers.

After our energizing walk, we feasted on the resort’s breakfast buffet, which showcased a large selection of farm-to-table items arranged on tiered platforms identified with signs in both English and Hebrew. While we rarely eat dairy products, we nibbled on fresh cheeses and sampled enticing dairy dishes. The seasonal vegetables popped with intense color. We tried the oven-baked omelets as well as entrees at the Msabbaha station.

Selection of local cheeses at Mitzpe Hayamim in Northern Israel.

Selection of local cheeses at Mitzpe Hayamim. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

The evening buffet showcased an abundance of seasonal vegetarian dishes, foods made with dairy products, and various fish options. Everything that we tasted was delicious. Guests seeking lighter fare can request made-to-order foods at the reception desk in the lobby. Due to our dietary preference to avoid meat, we chose not to eat in the other restaurant, which appeals to carnivores.

Dinner buffet at Mitzpe Hayamin.

A section of the dinner buffet at Mitzpe Hayamim. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

A Sampling of Favorite Places in Northern Israel

We enjoyed exploring Northern Israel during our stay at the Miztpe Hayamim. It provided the perfect spot to venture out. Here are a few of our favorite places in Northern Israel.

Hermon Stream (Banias) Nature Reserve

Even though we have visited more impressive waterfalls at other destinations, we have hiked in the Banias Nature Reserve on more than one occasion to enjoy Israel’s most powerful waterfall. On one path, a hanging wooden platform provides a view of the rapidly flowing water. People tend to congregate in large groups along this stretch on busier days. Make sure to find the best vantage point. This park has several well-marked paths with detailed descriptions of what you can see along each route.

Herman Stream Nature Reserve Waterfall.

Herman Stream Nature Reserve Waterfall. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Bet Shearim National Park

The Romans destroyed Bet Shearim in the 4th century. The city experienced a small revival in the 5th and 6th centuries and was then abandoned. Today, Beit Shearim National Park is the site of the largest and most important necropolis from the Talmud era.

After the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE), Jewish life was centered in the Galilee. The Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish court, eventually found a home in Bet Shearim. One of the notable Sanhedrin leaders in the 3rd century was Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (135-219 CE). He chose to be buried in one of the caves at Bet Shearim.

The caves have different entryways. Wealthier Jews were buried in decorated sarcophagi made of stone, marble, or lead, while less prosperous Jews had more modest tombs.

Inside a catacomb at Bet Shearim National Park.

Inside a catacomb at Bet Shearim National Park. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Bet Shean National Park

History buffs who love visiting archeological sites featuring the Roman-Byzantine Empire will be thrilled with what they can experience at Bet She’an. Bet She’an is mentioned numerous times in the Bible and was a successful Roman city until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 749. The restorations and reconstructions allow visitors a sampling of Roman culture. While it has been many years since I visited this amazing place, I still recall the theater, the bathhouse, some mosaic tiles, and a street with columns.

Roman columns at Bet She'an National Park in Northern Israel.

Roman Columns at Bet She’an National Park in Northern Israel. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Druze Cooking Class

Foodies interested in deep diving into a country’s diverse cuisine will be attracted to local cooking lessons. In the Galilee I recommend taking a Druze Cooking class offered by Galileat. Even though our host, Miad, could not speak English, we assisted her in preparing a multi-course feast showcasing some of her favorite Middle Eastern foods. Paul Nirens, the owner of Galileat, translated her instructions and answers to our questions. This immersive culinary experience allowed us to learn more about Druze culture in the Galilee.

Sandy and Ira Bornstein participating in a Galileat Cooking Class.

Sandy and Ira Bornstein participating in a Galileat Cooking Class focusing on Druze food and culture. Photo courtesy of Eric Tomer

Ein Keshatot

In southern Galilee, it is possible to see how archeologists used technology to partially reconstruct a Talmudic synagogue that had been destroyed by an earthquake in 749 CE. The synagogue at Ein Keshatot was originally built in the 6th century as a focal point for a community that was one of the 30 villages known to have existed in this region. The restoration and rebuilding process took 15 years to complete.

Before walking down to the synagogue, I recommend watching the short movie and looking at the images taken before technology made this National Heritage Site possible. Visitors with mobility issues can rent a golf cart to reach the synagogue, which is down a steep path.

Inside the sanctuary of the rec.onstructed Ein Keshatot Synagogue.

Inside the sanctuary of the reconstructed Ein Keshatot Synagogue. Photo by Sandy Bornstein


Decades before the establishment of the State of Israel, Jewish pioneers, mostly from Eastern Europe, decided to create communal communities with joint ownership of the property in rural areas of the Galilee. Initially, these communities played a key role in Israel’s agricultural development and security. Over time the objectives and focus of the kibbutz movement adapted to changes in society so that kibbutzim could attract more members. A kibbutz tour introduces visitors to the evolution of the kibbutz movement and gives them a chance to interact with people living on a modern kibbutz. Most of these opportunities are in the Galilee.


Safed is one of the four spiritual centers of Jewish life in Israel and is associated with the Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. Each time I stroll through the cobbled streets, I feel like I am returning to another era. Whenever our timing is right, we have been able to step inside several historic synagogues—Ari, Abuhav, and Joseph Karo. We usually grab a snack or lunch at a local cafe and browse through the shops on Gallery Street. Sometimes we have had the opportunity to speak with the artisans.

Cobbled street with an archway in Safed, Israel.

Cobbled street with an archway in Safed, Israel. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Tzipori National Park

By preserving this site in the western Lower Galilee, visitors learn about the history of Tzipori, a notable Jewish center until the 5th century CE. Excavations since the 1930s have uncovered numerous archeologically significant structures from the Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader periods, as well as remains of a reservoir system. Make sure to walk up the hill to see what remains of a home built in the third century CE. In this structure you can see colorful mosaics depicting the life of Dionysus, the god of wine.

A colorful mosaic at Tzipori National Park.

A colorful mosaic at Tzipori National Park. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Tel as-Saqi

Whenever possible we visit sites near Israel’s borders. At Tel as-Saqi (Tel Saki) we met with a former IDF tank commander who explained the significance of the Friends Never Forget Friends Monument. This site, along with other Israeli war memorials, highlight the sacrifices made by the military to preserve Israel’s sovereignty. Even though we have no personal relationship with these fallen soldiers we are very grateful for their service.

Friends Never Forget Friends Monument at Tel as-Saqi in Northern Israel.

Friends Never Forget Friends Monument at Tel as-Saqi. Photo by Sandy Bornstein

Vineyards and Wineries in Northern Israel

Israel has a remarkable selection of vineyards for a small country. Since ancient times, wine has played an important role in Jewish religious traditions. In the Galilee we have taken tours at wineries featuring well-known labels available in the United States and boutique vineyards producing wines unavailable outside of Israel. After sampling a few varieties from the Bazelet HaGolan Winery, I look forward to when this wine becomes available in the United States. Some places include tours of the facility while others offer tastings of a handful of bottles of wine.

Sandy and Ira Bornstein at Bazelet HaGolan Winery.

Sandy and Ira Bornstein at Bazelet HaGolan Winery. Photo courtesy of Eric Tomer

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When Planning a Visit to Northern Israel

Working with an experienced tour guide is necessary when planning a trip that covers the northern part of Israel. While our objective was to include Jewish historical and secular sites, others may be more interested in other types of religious sites or other places. Unlike a city where it is possible to walk to several attractions, a vehicle will be necessary to transport you from one place to the next and to and from your accommodations. Let Wander With Wonder be your guide when planning your next trip to Israel or the Middle East.

While exploring Northern Israel, stay at the luxury Mitzpe Hayamim resort. It offers a perfect chance for you to relax between adventures.


Relax at Mitzpe Hayamim While Exploring Northern Israel

Written by Sandy Bornstein

Sandy Bornstein is a Colorado-based, award-winning travel and lifestyle writer who focuses on active adventure, food and beverages, history and culture, cruises, luxury boomer travel, family travel, health and wellness, worldwide Jewish culture, and the importance of embracing life when faced with an incurable cancer diagnosis. After living as an expat international teacher in Bangalore, India, Sandy wrote May This Be the Best Year of Your Life: A memoir as a resource for people contemplating an expat lifestyle. In the fall of 2022, Sandy's second book, 100 Things to Do in Boulder Before You Die, will be published by Reedy Press. Connect with Sandy at and

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