Amirim Village: Green Galilee getaway

Published on Monday, 25 February 2013 by Webmaster

Amirim Village: Green Galilee getaway
Long before eco-tourism and healthy living came into fashion, a small village in the Upper Galilee region of Israel followed these principles because that’s how the families there saw fit. Today, Moshav Amirim – a vegetarian cooperative community – is considered one of the country’s best holiday getaways.

The craziness of everyday life is quickly forgotten upon driving into this comfy community of bed-and-breakfasts, galleries and spas. Set in a forested area with gorgeous views of the countryside, Amirim – which means “summits” in Hebrew — is known for its relaxed ambience, nature trails and delectable vegetarian cuisine.

Amirim is one of the most welcoming communities in Israel. Nearly all 150 families in the community have a hand in the tourist trade and it's their joint mission to make you fall in love with their locale.

Situated at a height of 600 meters above sea level, overlooking the Lower Galilee and the Sea of Galilee, Amirim is easy to love.

Amirim was founded in 1958 by a group of vegetarians and vegans who wanted a community of their own where no animals would be killed for food and no pesticides would be used in farming. Whereas other farming villages (moshavim) during the early days of the state relied on cowsheds and chicken coops for income, Amirim's members focused on agriculture.

Located just 20 minutes away from Safed (Tzfat), the number one tourist stopover in the 1960s, Amirim built its first guesthouses in 1961. Also not far from Tiberias – where many Christian holy sites are located – the village was soon popular with the foreign crowd as well as domestic travelers.

In 1985, the Tourism Ministry dubbed it the country's first "rural tourist village" and set Amirim on its path to become the country's beacon for rural holidays. As people looked for environmentally friendly vacations, this vegetarian community was immediately a natural choice.

Amirim is a gastronomical adventure for anyone who likes food — and a paradise for vegetarians and vegans especially. Though many omnivores and carnivores may think of vegetarian fare as a mere side dish, Amirim's chefs have a different perspective.

Amirim is a jump-off point for many visitors to the Galilee region and Golan Heights. In addition to nearby Safed and Tiberias, there are also hiking trails leading from the village to nature reserves nearby.

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