There are many choices in Safed if you are on a time constraint. Visiting Sheva Chaya's glass blowing demonstration should be on the top of your list. First it's interesting for the whole family. Walking into her courtyard is an experience in and of itself. She painted the walls and even the sidewalk is a piece of art. There's room for both small and large groups. While she does a live glass blowing demonstration Sheva Chaya entertains you with stories of the art of glass blowing and Torah connections. As you can see from the photo she is also a painter. Her work is for sale in the gallery, ranging from mezuza covers to intricate menorahs, pomegranates and her water color paintings.
The gallery is located at the end of the artist row, near where the buses usually park. Rehov Tet Vav 7.
I recommend calling the gallery first to arrange a tour.
at Ein Yehuda, near Beit She'an. This is a natural pool surrounded by natural greenery. Our tzimmer guests had a swim and a picnic. While in Safed they had a tour at the Meiri Cheese factory. On the way out they went to another natural spring/pool to camping at Park Hayarden by the Jordan River.
A short 45 minute drive from the Safed Sugar Suite is Shuk Manara, otherwise known as Manara Cliffs. This is one of my kids' favorite places to go and the sign says it all.
For the kids there is bungee jumping. My 8 year old says she loves to do flips in the air. But don't look up or it will look like they are flying through the roof.
Second favorite in her opinion are the go carts. Personally I kept the brake on the whole time. But they didn't. The carts go to the top of the mountain and then they let loose and you go flying down. Hold on to your kippot and shaitels!
The most relaxing for me was the cable car that takes the whole family at one time to the top of the mountain. Halfway up you think you are there, then you wave shalom to the guard ( what is he guarding? I don't know but it looks like a cushy job!) Then the car takes a steep 45-60 degree angle straight up the mountain for the second half. At the top is a gorgeous view where you can almost see to Lebanon.
Be sure to buy the triple pass to go on all three and ask if there's a discount connected to Kfar Blum, the kayaking place in the valley.
If you only have a few hours in Safed here are some recommendations.
1. Candle Factory. It is like a museum as well as a great place to shop for gifts. You can sometimes see the candle makers at work.
2. Take a walk to the top of the Citadel. You can drive or walk up the set of stairs located across from the City Hall. At the top you can hear the story of the battle of Safed. As well you can see in all four directions and get a feel for the city in case you got lost...
3. The artist row. You can wander around the artist quarter and find some beautiful galleries or if you are short on time then spend some time in the artist row. You can see some of the artisans at work and find Avi's gallery in the middle across from the falafel stand. He's an artist and he makes one of a kind mezuzot from wood and he carries my line of photography as well.
4. The Ari Synagogue is a shul from the 15th century. If you ask the guard at the entrance he can tell you a few stories. Be sure to look for the shrapnel hole near the entrance and ask him to tell you that miracle story.
5. The HaMeiri Cheese factory is a great place to pick up some fancy cheeses that they make on the premises and the grape leaves are my favorite.
When you come to Safed be sure to visit Otzar HaStam.
There are Letters of Adventure, a Trivial Game Show and a Scribe's Workshop. Here you and your family will learn some kabbalistic meaning behind the Hebrew letters, how a scribe writes a sefer Torah with real ink and a quill and kabbalistic meaning behind the Hebrew letters in the garden of letters.
Pictured here is the Hebrew letter "taf", the final letter of the Alef Beis. The word truth is Emmet. Emmet is made up of 3 letters that have a solid footing. Thus spiritually when someone tells the truth they are standing on solid ground. Each letter in the garden has a spiritual painting on it connected to that letter.
As a photographer this place has an amazing view of the Kinneret since it's high up on the mountain of Canaan, one of the hills surrounding Safed. As a Mom I love this place because of the gardens. It's great for the whole family and a pleasure to walk around. Good for the body and the soul.
I'm going to let my daughter finish this blog so you'll see Otzar HaStam from a teenage perspective. Her first introduction was when she came here for a bat mitzvah.
Otzar HaStam is an amazing experience. A bat mitzvah is a really fun thing to do there. Its a meaningful experience. My favorite room is the moving chairs with 3-D. Its also great for a family outings because it is educational and fun for all ages. If you come to Safed you can't miss it.
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As a guest in the Safed Sugar Suite we love to guide you in your stay in Northern Israel. As a photographer I love to explore so on these blog pages I recommend places we've visited, sometimes as a family and sometimes on my own.
When you come to Safed be sure to venture to Hatzor, a short 15 minute drive on Route 89 towards Kiryat Shomonei. There you will find a sweet store called the Moroccan Fantasy. It's off route 89, heading towards the center of Hatzor. After the second gas station you take a right, past Lease4U (my favorite place to rent a car near Safed) and you turn right onto a small road that leads to the Moroccan fantasy warehouse. The first time I went there I truly felt like I had stepped into a time warp. I was greeted by Moroccan Jews, sitting low on their stools, sipping coffee as if they had all the time in the world. There are rows and rows of beautiful rugs, dishes, pots, everything for the home. Clothes that take you back a century, long robes, vases, home furnishings, you name it it's there. There are the most exquisite tables handmade for outdoors with chairs. The only thing missing was the backgammon game. I've never been to Morocco but walking around the Moroccan Fantasy I felt like I took a free trip.
Due to the nature of fragile pieces I wouldn't recommend bringing small children here. If you want to bring home a unique piece of Israel and art I highly recommend the Moroccan fantasy.
04.6800.744 Sunday-Thursday 8-4, Friday 8-2:30 Industrial Zone of Hatzor אזור התעשי- חצור הגלילית
Pnina Sugar has lived in Safed for 8 years. This blog was created from the outlook of a mother, explorer and a photographer to help you make the most of your vacation in Safed and Northern Israel. You can find her photos at www.israelphotoart.com or join her upcoming Kabbalistic photo journey of Safed tour on your next trip to find out where she took all those cool door photos