Nature Awakes – KKL-JNF Recommended Trips

After several days of stormy weather, KKL-JNF invites the Israeli public to experience the amazing blooming at its forests.
KKL-JNF is proud to present the sites with the most beautiful flowers, where you can see cyclamen, anemones, lupines, irises, almond trees and other plants.
Eli Yadid, Public Coordinator at KKL-JNF: "In the past few weeks we have seen blooming that will reach its peak in the coming month. We invite the public to come and enjoy the beautiful forests. KKL-JNF is happy to host Israel's residents in the different forests and provide them with all the information about the special flowers that have already bloomed."

Cyclamen Hill at the Gilad Forest

The common cyclamen can be found at the Cyclamen Hill located in the Gilad forest. Cyclamen is a flower common throughout the eastern Mediterranean Sea in the section between Turkey and Israel. The flower is extraordinarily beautiful. A large sting carries each flower, with its upper part bent downwards. The flower also faces down, but when it opens, its petals fold backwards, which gives the flower its special look. Each flower remains for about three weeks, but one tuber can grow flowers one by one, leading to a long blooming period.
Getting there: At the Eliyakim interchange, turn to road 672 toward Kibbutz Gilad. After another 11 kilometers, you'll reach the Cyclamen Hill recreation area, containing a parking lot and a grove with KKL-JNF tables. Across the road, you can see the hill. Cross the road, pass by a KKL-JNF sign that reads "The Cyclamen Forest", and 200 meters later, you'll reach the hill.

רקפות בגבעת הרקפות. צילום: טליה בקר, קק"לCyclamen at the hill. Photograph: Talia Becker, KKL-JNF

Almond Trees at the Sataf

It is impossible not to notice the blooming almond tree. The tree blossoms before it blooms, wearing a gorgeous white-pink outfit. The almond tree is among the oldest species in Israel. Remains of trees and almond shells were discovered in digs held at Jericho on layers from the Neolithic period (8,000 B.C.), and the tree is mentioned several times in the bible. In the beginning of the 20th century, the tree became popular among both the Jewish and Arab population. Those who nurtured it knew the value of the tree's modest requirement in terms of water and soil.
Getting there: the Sataf can be reached in one of three ways: A) from the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem Road (Road 1) turn south at the Harel interchange and continue through Maoz Zion toward Kibbutz Tzuba (Road 3965). The turning to the Sataf is at the square before the Kibbutz (signs will direct you there). B) from Jerusalem, Road 395, coming out of Ein Karem also leads here. C) From the coastal plain, the Sataf is also reachable from Road 395 through the Eshtaol junction, Kislon road, Ramat Raziel and Tsuba. 

השקד. צילום: מיכאל חורי, ארכיון הצילומים של קק"לAlmond Tree. Photograph: Michael Hori, KKL-JNF Photo Archive

Common Cyclamen at the Yemen Jewry Forest

The cyclamen may be famous for its beauty, but its unique character also deserves a credit. The beloved flower can grow in though conditions – sometime it grows at the edge of the desert, and sometimes it grows in rocky soil. The flower's beauty is rooted in its unique shape – bent down, while folding its petals backwards. The flower is aware that this is a unique phenomenon, which shows the way for insects coming to pollinate it. Another unique aspect of the flower is its long blossoming period. A flower can live up to three weeks, and cyclamen that grow in dry conditions can start blossoming as early as October.
Getting there: take Road 1 (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem) and at the Sha'ar HaGay interchange turn south to Road 38 (Sha'ar HaGay-Beit Shemesh). Just before the Eshtaol junction, there is a left turn to a dirt road leading to the Martyrs Forest. To reach the "Fire Scrolls" monument, drive one and turn left (east) at the Eshtaol junction to Road 395 (to the Ramat Raziel towns).

רקפות. צילום: אילן שחם, ארכיון הצילומים של קק"לCyclamen. Photograph: Ilan Schaham, KKL-JNF Photo Archive

Anemones at the Ruhama Forest

At the Ruhama Forest, you can see the Anemones bloom near white mustards, yellow field chrysanthemum that cover wide areas and groundsels, that are also yellow.
Getting there: Anemone fields at the hills near Kibbutz Ruhama. Turn left (north) before the Kibbutz gate and drive a few hundred meters on the dirt road to discover blooming fields.

כלניות בנגב. צילום: יואב לין, ארכיון הצילומים של קק"לAnemones at the Negev. Photograph: Yoav Lin, KKL-JNF Photo Archive

Iris Atropurpurea at the Ilanot Road

Iris atropurpurea is a plant with a big and gorgeous flower containing six petals – three outer petals and three inner petals, bent outwards. The outer petals have a dark spot in the center with yellow growth. Rarely, flowers with yellowish appearance can also be found. Iris atropurpurea breeds not only through its seeds but also from its roots, and for this reason, it is usually seen in groups.
Getting there: the Ilanot forest is located at the eastern side of the old Tel Aviv-Haifa Road (Road 4), between the Dror and the Sharon (Beit Lid) junctions, and it can be reach from both the north and the south. A parking lot is available, and from this point, travelers will have to walk.

אירוס הארגמן ביער אילנות. צילום: טובית שפירא, קק"לIris atropurpurea at the Ilanot Forest. Photograph: Tuvit Shapira, KKL-JNF