Agrotourism has become more popular worldwide, including in Israel, in recent decades. One of the popular activities is sweet cherry-picking.
Note: we visited Odem on 12.06.2021, and there are fewer sweet cherries than in previous years. Therefore, the sweet cherry-picking season will probably be shorter this year.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Sweet Cherry or Sour Cherry?
- 2 Where can I pick sweet cherries?
- 3 Are sweet cherries always available?
- 4 When is the sweet cherry-picking season?
- 5 Which Farm Should I Visit?
- 6 Coupons
- 7 At What Time Should I Visit?
- 8 Sweet Cherry Picking in Odem
- 9 Sweet Cherry-Picking in Bustan Bereshit
- 10 Agrotourism Attractions
- 11 Summary
Sweet Cherry or Sour Cherry?
There are many types of cherries. Prunus cerasus (sour cherry) and sweet cherry (Prunus avium) are the most common. In Israel, you will pick sweet cherries due to the climate.
Where can I pick sweet cherries?
To grow, sweet cherries need cold winters. And currently, the weather in three areas suit for sweet cherries. The most popular area with the biggest number of farms is Golan Heights. And the two other areas are Gush Halav and Jerusalem region (Gush Etzion and Ramat Rachel).
Are sweet cherries always available?
No. If the winter was not cold enough, there might be no fruit crop. For example, there was a moderate winter in 2021, and as a result, Savanna Farm in Gush Halav did not have any sweet cherries.
When is the sweet cherry-picking season?
The exact dates depend on the weather, but the sweet cherry-picking season usually begins towards the end of May and lasts till the end of June. We ordinarily visit in the middle of this period, the first two weeks of June. In any case, check with the farm that you want to visit to know the exact dates.
Which Farm Should I Visit?
Many different farms offer sweet cherry-picking. And I have not visited all of them. Thus in this section, I will mention my favorites and what factors you should consider.
- Driving time – if your kids do not like sitting in a car for long periods, driving time can be crucial. And unless you are living at the Golan Heights, Gush Halav (Savanna Farm) and Jerusalem area (Gush Etzion and Ramat Rachel) will be closer to you.
- Other fruits – sweet cherries are sweet and tasty, but if you can taste other fruits during the same visit, it is a plus. Some places offer almost exclusively sweet cherries, while in others, you can also pick raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, and redcurrants. And we love Odem for its variety of fruits.
- Attractions – some farms offer additional attractions for kids. For example, at Bustan Bereshit, there is a playground, animal corner, pony riding, and other attractions for children.
- Open on Saturday – not all farms are open on Saturday.
- Entrance Fee – if the entrance fee is important, check out the next section.
At What Time Should I Visit?
At this stage, you know about coupons and how to choose a farm. And now, I want to share another important tip, which is: “come early.” If you arrive at 11:00 on a Saturday or a vacation day, you can easily spend an hour in line (starting with the traffic jam by the entrance and ending in a line to the cash register). Hence, I would advise being on location by 9:00.
Odem is a small village located at Golan Heights. Odem has a farm that specializes in growing different types of berries, but mostly sweet cherries. Here are several photos from there, and you can find additional information at Odem.
During 2018, I visited Agronen Raspberries at Gedera and sweet cherry-picking in Odem two following weekends. This video is the result of those visits:
Bustan Bereshit near Ein Zivan at Golan Heights offers self-picking of cherries and additional activities for kids.
Here are several photos from there, and you can find additional information at Bustan Bereshit.
You can find similar attractions in the Agrotourism category. And here are a selected few:
- Picking Strawberries – When, Where, and Comparison of Places
- Bustan Shoshan, Matsliah – Visitor Guide – Exotic Fruit Experience
- Mostly Raspberries
- Picking at Tali Grapes in Moshav Lachish
- Honey tour at Dvorat HaTavor Visitor center
- Harvesting Olives At Galili Olive Oil, Bethlehem Of Galilee
- The Salad Trail – Visitors Guide – Agricultural Tours in Southern Israel
- Ktofoti – Self-Picking Farm
- Sweet Cherry picking in Israel
Sweet Cherry Picking is fun and tasty. We love it and do this activity annually. And at the beginning of this post, you can find answers to the most common questions, including which farm you should visit.
What is your favorite place to pick sweet cherries? Tell us in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.