Kayaking in one- and two-person kayaks can be arranged at Kibbutz Kfar Blum (tel. 04/683-6611). The cost for 1 hour is NIS 115 ($29/£14) per couple and includes transportation back to Kibbutz Kfar Blum at the end of the run. March to October is kayaking season. White water it is not, but a wet suit could come in handy. Abu Kayak, at Ha-Yarden Park (tel. 04/692-0622), where the Jordan River runs into the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, rents kayaks and tubes at similar prices. Look for its 10% discount ad in area tourist magazines.
Mount Hermon Ski Center -- The moshav of Neve Ativ has developed the Mount Hermon Ski Center (tel. 04/698-1337), high on the slopes of Mount Hermon. The ski center caters to skiers and nonskiers alike. There's even a lift that is exclusively for nonskiers that goes 1 mile to the 1,989m (6,526-ft.) summit, where there's an observation point and cafeteria. The snow season usually begins in December or January and lasts until about mid-April. There are times when there's real snow cover, but often there's just about nothing. Despite Israeli enthusiasm for a ski resort of their own, this is not a must-stop for serious skiers.
Roads up to the site are subject to blockage by heavy snow, so check on conditions in advance by telephone, radio report, or newspaper. On Saturday in ski season, the hotels in this region, the roads, and the parking lot fill up early. Also, on Saturday and holidays a special traffic pattern is in effect for the narrow roads in this region: You must approach the resort via Ma'sada and Majdal Shams only; you exit via Neve Ativ. Those driving should just follow the flow of Saturday traffic. Or take the bus from Kiryat Shmona.
The parking lot is below the ski center. You'll be stopped on the road to pay an entrance fee of NIS 40 ($10/£5) to the site. From the parking lot, shuttle buses run you up to the base station.
As for the slopes, there are four runs from the upper station, the longest of which is about 2.4km (1 1/2 miles), for average to good skiers. Beginners can use the short chairlift, which is a 390m (1,280-ft.) trip to a height of 266m (873 ft.) above the base station. Gentle slopes at the bottom of the hill are good for first runs and for children.
Other facilities include picnic tables and a snack bar at the base, a ski school, and an equipment rental shop. Most Israelis rent equipment, which is yet another reason why you should arrive early if you plan to ski on Saturday. Plan on spending about NIS 480 ($120/£60) per person for a day on the slopes: admission and lift fees, equipment rental, and a snack for lunch.
The ski center is open daily from 8:30am to 3:30pm, weather and security conditions permitting.