This stop is optional, depending on time. The city is frankly a little run down, and if you stay here, there are three reasons. First, Tsfat (or as it is usually called in English, “Safed”) is the birthplace and heart of Jewish mysticism, called “Kabbalah,” and if that is something that interests you, there is nowhere better to experience it than here. Tsfat is one of Judaism’s four holy cities, and its spiritual atmosphere is palpable. Second, even outside of that specific, religious connection, Tsfat is also one of Israel’s artistic centers with a very extensive Artists’ Quarter in the old Arab section. Finally, Tsfat, perched high in the mountains of the Upper Galilee, is significantly cooler in the summer, and as such is a major holiday destination for Israelis trying to escape the sometimes brutal summer heat.
Many people staying at the Rimonim take their meals at the hotel, and that is an option. There are some places to eat there, but if you want to experience one of the most enjoyable meals I have had in Israel a short drive away, in the city of Rosh Pina, try Auberge Shulamit, or as it is known in Hebrew, Ahuza Shulamit. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Tsfat, and not much further from Tiberias.
They also have a small guesthouse with four rooms, and while I have not stayed there, the charm of the place is as infectious as the food is impeccably delicious! It was here that my partner and I first fell in love with good Israeli wine nearly two decades ago. It’s one of my favorite Israeli restaurants, and several of my friends have ranked it near the top of their lists as well. It is not kosher, however.