Written by Zvika Gasner Koheleth 24-February-2019, Edited 31-March-2021, Photography by Angela Hechtfisch
“Binyamina” – a general background
A 40 minutes trip from Tel Aviv to the north of the country will get you to the town of “Binyamina” and “Ramat-Hanadiv” nature park, only 12 km. from Caeserea, a trip that was described earlier. “Binyamina” is a small town located in the beautiful green countryside of the north of Israel. Historically, Binyamina holds its name for the memory of Baron Benjamin Admond Rothschild. The town was founded in the year 1922 and was also financially funded by the baron like other new Jewish settlements, years prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. Baron Rothschild (the name originated from the German word “Rot” – red and “schild” – thus, a red shield) funded the “Californian’s” group that arrived from America to concentrate on modern agriculture technique. Also, the Baron funded the establishment of the tobacco, perfume, and winery industries in the town. However, only the winery industry had culminated to great success such as the “Binyamina winery” and the “Carmel winery”, with a production of 60 million bottles a year making it the biggest Israeli winery producer (located at the town “Zichron Jaackov” nearby) and the “Tishbi winery”, which are all widely known in Israel and abroad.
Our tour began with a 5-minute drive from “Binyamina” to “Ramat-Hanadiv” park, naming after the Famous “Nadiv” (“Generous”) Baron Rothschild, where 250 acres of beautiful gardens are located on the top of the mountain give it a great look to the east with a green valley view and an amazing sea coast watch to the west. The gardens are diverse from a European style, Mediterranean style, sensual smelling gardens for the blind, and more. All gardens are tremendously kept and stepping on the grass is NOT permitted. Also, a short 20 minutes clip on the contribution of the Baron to the establishment of the state of Israel is available in the auditorium and it is highly recommended, which operates in rounds of 30 minutes with English, French and Russian subtitles. The Rothschild Tomb is closed on Saturday. Also, around the park exits a huge natural reservoir for walking track.
visit time at the park can be between 1 to 2 hours. All park facilities including entry – are FREE.
Our 2nd attraction is located only a 10-minute drive to the north and called “Amphorae” winery (Amphore are the old jars from the ancient time which they kept the wine inside). It is a boutique winery that reproduces only 80 thousand bottles a year, in an old-school French vineyard philosophy. the tour includes 5 rounds of their own white/red make, including plates of cheese, fresh vegetables, and just-baked bread from the taboon (a local stone oven). In between, you join 15 minutes guided tour into the winery cellar with a wine-producing explanatory introduction. You are expected to arrive hungry and thirsty. Before every wine taste round, you receive a throughout explanation in English.
The experience may take up to 2 hours and it cost 140 Shekels a person. It is highly recommended to reserve it in advance because it can be fully booked, especially on the weekends.
Overnight at “Binyamina”
Perfect completion to our journey was to spent the night earlier at a wonderful classy boutique hotel called “Country suite in Binyamina”, a romantic & quiet getaway viewing the open green fields of the valley and with a view at the “Carmel” mountains. Wonderful morning breakfast at the “Cafe Luis” was a good match, at 120 Shekels for a table for 2. This trip is perfectly suited for adults who are seeking a high-quality & relaxing vacation, disconnected from the big city buzz. You can also reach Binyamnina by a 30 minutes train from Tel Aviv, but for the additional activities, a car is handy.
“Paradive” skydiving at “Habonim”
But we saved the best for last…Only with 5 km. distance to the west situated the “Paradive” skydiving facility at “Habonim” village. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This para diving club exists already for more than 19 years without any life-risking event. The view of the northern beautiful sea coast is breathtaking. The prices are NOT cheap, between 800 Shekels for a 9,000 feet “Tandam” (Being strapped to a paratroop master) freefall dive and up to 3,000 Shekels to a 14,500 feet free fall, which camera & video shootout are included. Different packages are also available, so remember our mantra: Living good – cost a little…
So we finally gathered some courage, which was needed, because like you know, it’s NOT natural for people to free fall in the sky…BUT it was nothing short of AMAZING!!!. The first 50 seconds in the air starting at 12,000 feet was, especially in the beginning scared, BUT the experience and the panoramic overview of the coastal line of 1 of Israel’s most beautiful beaches can NOT be summoned in words. The One-Life-Time experience is quickly over, sadly, BUT the photos & videos that have been taken relive the moments time after time.