The Magical Ein Karem: Romance, Nature and Culinary Delights
On the northern outskirts of Jerusalem, just 10 minutes from the city center, lies the magical village of Ein Karem, one of the top weekend destinations for locals and tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and indulge in gorgeous nature, history and delectable dining experiences.
Indeed, walking around Ein Karem is like stepping into a fairy tale, as you’re surrounded by the green forests of the Jerusalem Hills, the minarets of the ancient monasteries and the quaint allies of the village with their charming guesthouses, boutique shops, art galleries and restaurants. The atmosphere makes it the perfect place for a romantic getaway, anniversary celebration or even a honeymoon.
While Ein Karem is a popular spot on the weekends, we suggest taking a weekday getaway to get a true appreciation for its quiet and peaceful nature.
How to Spend a Romantic Getaway in Ein Karem
Where to stay
Accommodation in Ein Karem mirrors the charm of the village. You won’t find any loud, audacious resort hotels, but rather cozy bed and breakfasts, inns and boutique hotels woven into the fabric of the area, offering the idea ambiance for a weekend getaway.
Alegra Boutique Hotel
If you want the services, facilities and amenities of a 5-star hotel with the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, then look no further than the stunning Alegra Boutique Hotel.
With only 13 rooms, but plenty of public spaces, the Alegra never feels over-crowded, and each and every room is spacious and luxurious. Meanwhile, you’ll have access to first-class spa facilities, a serene garden and rooftop terrace with a picturesque view and one of the best fine dining experiences in the city at the hotel restaurant run by Chef Amir Na’or.
For a true sense of privacy, seclusion and romance, why not rent a house in Ein Karem all to yourselves? The Nest is a beautifully renovated 19th century home fitted with everything you need for a romantic getaway — a picturesque garden, plenty of space, a heavenly bed, luxurious bathroom, a full kitchen for meals in and even meals cooked by a private chef served with your choice of wine from a vast private cellar.
Stop and Smell the Roses
What sets Ein Karem apart from the city the most (besides the obvious differences in the landscape, at least)? There’s no rush. You don’t have to worry about cramming as many sites as possible into a small window of time. Ein Karem is all about appreciating the little things that make the village and the area special.
The daytime is perfect for exploring the historical and religious sites of the city, which are often as beautiful as they are significant. For instance, the Church of St. John the Baptist possesses stunning architecture, murals and a scenic courtyard.
Meanwhile, of all the beautiful places in Ein Karem, the Notre Dame de Sion Monastery is often considered the most stunning. Located on a western hill, the 19th century walled compound is the picture of tranquility with lush grounds full of fruit trees and flowers and a number of vantage points that offer some of the best views in the area.
Strolling and Shopping
The quaint alleys of the village and the boutique shops and art galleries and their proprietors are almost as natural to the area as the forests and hills. No trip to Ein Karem would be complete without seeing some of the unique artistry that has been inspired by the village and it’s surroundings, so don’t be afraid to stop in a local shop to check out some one-of-a-kind jewelry, sculptures or paintings and chat with the local artists that make Ein Karem so magical.
Soak up the Nature
The late afternoon and early evening hours are a magical time in Ein Karem, perfect for an easy hike along the trails that surround the village as the sun begins to set. From Mary’s Spring at the end of Simtat Hama’ayan Street you can either take a walk along the face of the hills or venture into the lush valley and enjoy the peaceful forests before heading back to town for the evening.
Romantic Evenings and Culinary Treasures
After a long day of soaking up the magical atmosphere of Ein Karem, there’s no better way to unwind than an indulgent dinner at one of the village’s top-notch restaurants that seamlessly combine a romantic atmosphere with delectable gastronomy.
Brasserie is the complete package with an amazing menu of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, a rooftop terrace with an unforgettable view of the valley and hills and a charming indoor dining area with a romantic atmosphere housed inside a historical building. It doesn’t get more peaceful and romantic than enjoying a glass of wine on Brasserie’s terrace as the sun sets.
One of the most popular eateries in Ein Karem, Mala Bistro’s menu seamlessly combines exquisite meat and seafood dishes with provincial and international favorites all made from only the freshest local ingredients. The atmosphere in Mala is equally enjoyable with a lively, yet romantic atmosphere and a design that brings the pastoral beauty of the area into the restaurant.
Located atop a hill in a historical building on the main Ein Karem Street, Karma is a castle-like property with a romantic interior, a rooftop terrace, a beautiful courtyard and varied menu.