By: Ayelet Bar Meir, qualified tour guide
The peak of the Galilee Mountains arises as one gets closer to the village of Hurfeish.
Hurfeish is a picturesque village sprawled at the foot of Meron Mountains. It is a centuries-old village, inhabited by a large Druze community and a Christian minority.
In the Wadis surrounding the village of Hurfeish residents grow olive trees, fruit trees and field crops.
To its’ south flows the Habis Stream, which is in fact part of the Kziv River with its many springs; and in its creek stands a stone structure from which springs the fountain of Ein Hotam.
Ein Hotam (Hotam spring) used to be the water source for the village of Hurfeish. Until the 1950s inhabitants would walk or ride camels or donkeys to the spring in the Wadi to draw water and quench their thirst. In order for water drawing and drinking to be more convenient, village residents built a stone structure around the spring and a trough to collect the fountain water under the spring for the sheep flocks and the cattle.
Entering Hurfeish from the direction of Kefar Veradim, travelers drive on the main road crossing Hurfeish and turn right when they reach a street with a blue trail marking on an electric poll. The right turn is near Jubran’s Hummus Restaurant and can be found a few dozen meters after it on the right side. Driving to the end of the street travelers will reach two large none-residential buildings, where they can park their vehicles and head out on foot.
Hikers should follow the trail marking into the Wadi until they reach the spring.
The hike from the outskirts of the village to the spring is about one kilometer (0.621 mile) long in each direction.
The spring flows year round from the southern side of the gorge, where plenty of water drips off the cliffs after the rains. A pretty duct leads the water to a small 60cm (~2 feet) deep pool from which water flows to a trough used by the flock of sheep. Next to the current trough there is an older trough. The spring is surrounded by poplar trees, flowers and rock surfaces where people can sit comfortably. Travelers who are fortunate enough to find the spring clean and with few visitors – will enjoy here a real piece of heaven.
The trail is very easy to walk and is mostly exposed.
After the stay at Ein Hotam, hikers return to the village along the same path.
At the corner of the street where they parked their cars, there is a pastry shop and a coffee house and adjacent to it good Hummus and excellent Sambusak.
Trail Type: Out-and-Back
Trail Length: about 2 km (~1.2 miles) (one km in each direction)
Difficulty Level: very easy
Recommended Season: all year
Suitable for the entire family