Rob Roy is a tourist attraction by the Sea of Galilee. And their most popular attraction is Indian canoeing. Let’s begin exploring!
Map of the area:
If you are reaching by car, then enter “Rob Roy” into Waze or Google Maps, and it will take you there. Furthermore, you will find free parking near the entrance.
And if you are using public transport, then you can take bus #28 to get there. Here is the preset link to Moovit. Enter your starting point, and you will get the updated directions.
Open all year round from 10:00 till 13:00. And though these are the opening hours according to the official site, I know that they are open until later hours during summer. During our August visit, they were open 08:00 – 18:00.
When I checked their Facebook page, I saw a recent post stating the winter opening hours are 10:00 – 15:00. Thus, I would suggest checking their Facebook page since it is constantly updated.
In August 2020 the prices were:
- One Canoe for two people – 150 NIS.
- One Canoe for three adults or two adults and two children (at least one of the children must be younger than twelve years old) – 220 NIS.
- Family Canoeing (two canoes tied together) – suitable for 5 – 10 people – 350 NIS for the first five people and 30 NIS for every additional person.
The official website does not list the prices, and you can find them on their Facebook page. Just ask the ChatBot about pricing.
- You are renting the canoe for one and a half hours. And as you start your sail, they will tell you when to return.
- The minimum number of people is two. Meaning, if you rent a canoe alone, it will cost you the same as for a couple.
- The minimum allowed age for sailing is two years old.
There are various coupons online, and some credit cards offer discounts. I purchased tickets through cpnclub.co.il. This allowed me to rent one canoe for three people for the price of 178 NIS (instead of 220 NIS).
When is the best time for a visit?
The short answer is early in the morning during the Summer (and preferably not in August). The longer answer is a bit more complicated. According to Rob Roy, their insurance is not covering the entrance to water. And then they add, we can not prevent you from entering into the water. And according to what I saw, most people spend more time swimming and splashing in the water than canoeing. Thus you want the water to be warm enough for swimming. Moreover, this is a family attraction. And most kids have a vacation in the summer. Thus summer vacation is the time when most people visit Rob Roy.
We visited during August 2020. Not only is it during summer vacation, which is already peak season, but it was during the Coronavirus pandemic. Meaning that most Israelis could not travel abroad, thus explored the country.
When I checked in advance, I was told that reservations are not needed. We arrived at Rob Roy in the afternoon and were told that we would have to wait for at least two hours for a canoe. We left the site and returned early the next day.
If you want to take pictures during the activity, you can either bring a waterproof camera or some other water protective gear. I used a simple zip lock bag on my phone. That is why some photos look a little muddy. And yes, you can buy a bag for your phone at Rob Roy, but I think it is overpriced (AFAIR 50 NIS for a bag).
As I mentioned above, we returned the next day before 9:00 am, and there were few people. Thus, within ten minutes after arriving, we started canoeing.
Since it was summer vacation and there were travel restrictions to other countries, the Jordan river’s banks were packed with people. These are not Rob Roy visitors, but rather people who came here for several days. Mostly youngsters living in tents.
The Downsides of Rob Roy
Everywhere I checked, Rob Roy got positive reviews. Thus I anticipated a great attraction, but in the end, I was disappointed. Here are the main reasons why:
- The place was filthy. Yes, there were more people than usual, and Rob Roy’s staff clean the nearby area, and nonetheless, there was a lot of garbage both in the water and on the banks of the river.
- The water in the northern part of the Jordan river (before it enters the Sea of Galilee) is much cooler and clearer. And in this area, the water is hot and not clear.
- If you are expecting some canoeing action, then this is not the place for it. The water is almost completely still, and there is no action whatsoever.
Moreover, after less than half an hour, we reached the end. And I should mention that it was my first time canoeing. Thus, even though you rent the canoe for one and a half hours, canoeing to the end and back will probably take you less than one hour. Meaning the anticipation is that most people will swim (and their insurance does not cover swimming).
Is Rob Roy worth it? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. I was not looking for a swim in the Jordan river (I do not need to rent a canoe for that). Thus we ended up disappointed. If I had to choose, I would prefer Kayaking and Rafting in Upper Galilee. That is something we actually enjoyed. But many people love this place, so this is individual.
There are many additional attractions in this area, and you can find them at my guide to the Sea of Galilee.
Have you ever been to Rob Roy? Tell us about your experience 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.