Places to visit in Kanaf

Journey to the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. Water, lavender and wine!


How to celebrate a birthday in Israel for these who born in the summer? A journey to cozy shady places near the shores of Lake Kinneret, to the springs of mineral water and a farm full of aromas of lavender on the Golan Heights can suggest the answer to this question. At the end of the day, you can fun yourself with a small boutique winery, tasting wines and olive oils. Happy Birthday!

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
60.62 km
4h 24 m
Places with media
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At this point, according to the Christian tradition, Jesus led a meal with his disciples after his resurrection. Jesus asked Peter three times about love, and three times Peter swore to love the Lord. The words of succession and the continuation of the church by Peter were spoken at this place. These words are of great importance in the history of Catholicism. Peter is the heir of Jesus on earth, to whom the keys to the kingdom of heaven were handed over. The Pope is the successor of Peter, hence the image of the keys on the flag of the Vatican. There is a tradition according to which the reading of the word love in the gospel sounds differently. There is a word for love for The Lord, and there is a word for love for man. When Jesus asks Peter three times about love, he talks about love for The Lord, while when answering, Peter speaks about love for man. That is, Peter continues to see a man in the resurrected Jesus, while Jesus is the Lord. Hence the Christian value of love for The Lord begins in love for man.

The events described in the Gospels took place on a rock near the shores of Lake Kinneret, and this rock is located in the apse of a small church built of basalt stones near the shore of the lake. This modern church is built on the foundations of a Byzantine church from the fifth century AD.

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The coast of Tabgha is notable for its religious value to the entire Catholic world. It is no coincidence that the church is located here. The aesthetic pleasure from the surrounding view is enhanced by a unique atmosphere. Colossal eucalyptus trees growing nearby give a pleasant shade. From the shore, a fantastic view of the Sea of Galilee opens up. Here you can take great photos with pastoral views of Galilee. The coast is forbidden for swimming, but you can sit near the water and feed the birds.

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When the lands along the coast of the Kinneret were acquired by the Catholic mission from Nazareth, along with the essential discoveries associated with the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, the basin and the spring were restored. The spring waters were used to irrigate the lands of the Ginosar valley. Due to the high temperature of the waters of the spring at its confluence with the Sea of Galilee, fish (catfish and tilapia (or St. Peter's fish)) gather near the shore during the cold winter months. The ancients believed that the catfish that live in the Kinneret and the catfish that live in the Nile are the same fish that swim in the winter from the river to the lake thanks to underground rivers. Joseph Ben Matityahu mentions this thing "... it is believed that the Nile raven (catfish) lives in the waters of the Kinneret, getting here along the underground river ...". The peculiar name "Nile Raven" was given to the catfish because of the black colour of its body and the sounds the fish makes when it is removed from the water. It is also home to a type of cancer that is not found anywhere else in the world. This cancer is blind.

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This area is associated with a settlement that arose in the second half of the eighth century AD, after the destruction of the historic Capernaum. The current church was built between 1927 and 1931. Before the church's construction, a small monastery and a winter house were on this site, occasionally visited by the Jerusalem Patriarch. After the War of Independence, the territory of the sanctuary and the church ended up in the demilitarised zone between Syria and Israel, and a friendly family settled in the winter house of the patriarch. The church was empty, and the Christian presence in these places ceased.

Two years later, after the Six Day War, in 1969, brother Irinarkh came to the monastery and restored the church.

"Russian Capernaum" is an excellent place in the quiet shady gardens where you can relax, go down to the Kinneret, fish and even barbecue. Father Irinarkh is exceptionally hospitable and kind, open to conversations. You can enter the territory without the intention of attending church and do not intend to connect your visit with the cult or pilgrimage. Only please be respectful.

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The church's frescoes are the fruit of the creation of Greek masters. Some of the frescoes were made by a unique painting technique on fabric pasted on the walls. The central motif is the images of the twelve apostles, thanks to which the church got its name.

In the church, there are icons of Russian saints: Seraphim of Sarov, Simon Kananit (according to one of the traditions, a native of Capernaum), and Sergius of Radonezh. Above the entrance to the central portal of the church is a phantasmagoria of the end of the world, which is a replica of a sixteenth-century icon kept in a small Greek monastery in the Christian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.

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The tradition of baptism in the waters of the Sea of Gennesaret (Tiberias) (Lake Kinneret) on the feast of the Epiphany (January 18) began to develop in the monastery In recent years. Thus, Father Irinarkh restores the ancient Greek Orthodox tradition of baptism in January, known among the Orthodox of Eastern Europe, thanks to the expression: "Epiphany frosts." This tradition was initially associated with the site of Qasr el Yehud, which reopened permanently in 2011.

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Over the years, brother Irinarch became father Irinarch and gained deep respect from a wide range of people. His special personality, liberalism and unusual openness attracted a large number of parishioners to the church, despite its remoteness and almost isolated location. Russian Orthodox residents of Israel, as well as Orthodox Arabs (a very small denomination) attend church and celebrate important events here: weddings, baptisms, confirmations. Translated with Google Translate

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Park Mei Eden (Water of Heaven) offers trails that run along main streams starting from the spring of Slukija, which is located at an altitude of 445 meters above sea level. The park abounds with various vegetation, many quiet corners, backwaters and places equipped for relaxation. Lighting a fire and having a picnic in the garden is prohibited. Instead, a walk along the source will pleasantly surprise you with thickets of wild raspberries and grapes.

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The source springs up among the gorges of two full-flowing streams of the Golan Heights - Yehudia and Zavitan. In ancient times, the waters of the spring-fed the settlement of Tel Kitsbia, an old trading centre along the most crucial trade artery of the Golan Heights, now highway number 87. At the time of the Jewish revolt, the ancient city fell into the hands of the Romans a few months before the fall of Gamla. The hill was settled in Byzantine times, in the early Muslim period, and there was a Syrian village before the Six-Day War. Today, the spring waters are the primary source of Mei Eden mineral water bottled at the Katzrin plant.

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Mei Eden Spring and Park (Water of Eden) belongs to well-known in Israel, and some European country's brand of mineral water - May Eden concern - "Springs of Eden". In addition to Mei Eden, this brand owns three other mineral water companies outside Israel. As of August 2009, the company employed 776 workers. Mei Eden was founded in 1980 when the ancient spring of Slukija was discovered. In 1983, the company received the right to produce and distribute mineral water, and in 1998 May Eden introduced its products to European markets.

Remains of a Syrian village at the site of the springs of Salukia

The lavender farm is located in the moshav Kanaf, established in 1992. The name Azizo is taken from Dir Aziz - an Arab village that existed on the site of the ruins of the ancient settlement of Kanaf (Mizraat Kanaf or Khirbet Kanaf).

The variety of lavender grown here is akin to lavender in Provence. He does not need irrigation; only natural rains are enough. As in France, lavender blooms from May to July and is harvested in August.

The unique properties of lavender were known to the ancient Romans. This plant is native to the Mediterranean coast of northern Italy and southern France. Lavender was added to water as an antibacterial drug. The flowers and stems of the plant have the most significant effect when at least half of the bush stell blooms. This period is also the time for the harvesting of lavender.

When harvesting, they tend to cut off about fifteen centimetres of the stem with flowers and leaves. As a result, they contain an odorous essential oil, which must then be distilled.

Lavender oil can be used in cooking. One of the most straightforward and delicious lavender products is ice cream.

At each stage of the processing of stalks, the waste remains are used for different purposes. For example, they make fragrant rag pillows with lavender or knitted toys and many other pleasant things.

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Azizi Farm is owned by Dan and Lilah. They were among the first founding group of moshav Kanaf in 1985. It was a group of young idealists who sought to revive a new life on the site of ancient Jewish settlements in the Golan Heights. A couple of years after the village's founding, they learned from the adviser agronomist that these places' natural and climatic conditions are suitable for growing lavender. This is how their family business began to develop.

Once, the winery owners were engaged in cultivating citrus fruits and other crops that required a lot of irrigation. In 2006, they decided to take up viticulture and named it Tera Nova - The new land.

Terranova is a boutique winery producing up to 10,000 bottles of wine. Pure variety - Shiraz from Dalton vineyards and blends of Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz Cabernet and Merlot. According to the good old tradition, the three founders of the winery make a unique wine for the wedding of the children of the founders. This wine gets the name of the child, it is the leading wine at the wedding, and each guest receives it as a gift.

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The clapboard walls of the winery are reminiscent of a pub in the wild west. The sun's rays break through them during the day, and in the evenings, the sounds of music rush outside when the local bar invites guests. The children of the founders, for the most part, left the village life, and only one of the sons of Asher decided to live in Kibbutz Ein Gedi on the Dead Sea. Since 2012, Terranova has been growing olives and producing olive oil. Two varieties of Arbakin and Corignac. One comes from Greece, the other from Spain. And yet, they began to grow raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for self-collection.

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