Shvil Parot HaChalav is a dairy farm in Bethlehem Of Galilee. They also offer behind the scenes tours, and today we will be joining one of them. Let’s begin!
Shvil Parot HaChalav is located at Bethlehem Of Galilee. As you enter this Moshav, you continue driving straight till the end. And then you will see their sign. You turn left and continue for about half a kilometer. You will see Shvil Parot HaChalav to your left.
Galili Olive Oil is situated near Shvil Parot HaChalav.
Map of the area:
The simplest way to reach this place is by entering Shvil Parot HaChalav to your favorite navigation app.
Once on-site, you will see big parking and a sign (on the right of the following photo) directing you towards the entrance.
Near the parking, you can also find restrooms, and I would suggest using them before the tour since we did not see other toilets in other parts of the farm.
Currently, Shvil Parot HaChalav does not an official site. According to different websites the opening hours are:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 – 16:00 – you must call in advance and register for a tour.
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00
We planned to visit on a Saturday, and I called the owner (his phone is 052-3275682). And he told me to come whenever I want during the mentioned hours.
Note: even if you are visiting during the weekend, I would suggest calling in advance and asking for opening hours.
The entrance fee is 42 NIS per person (as you can see in the next photograph). And everybody above the age of two and a half require a ticket.
Note: currently, I do not see any coupons online. But there are discounts from time to time. So it is worth checking before your planned visit.
Once you enter Shvil Parot HaChalav you will reach the waiting area. Then you purchase tickets and waiting for a tour to start.
They are probably waiting for more people to come. But as the sign says, they try to keep the waiting for less then half an hour. And we waited for about ten minutes until our tour started.
First of all, I want to mention that our tour was in Hebrew. But I know that they offer tours in other languages as well (including English and Arabic). Thus if you want to join a tour that is not in Hebrew, call the phone number mentioned above.
The tour is divided into different stations, and now we will go over them.
Station #1 – Meeting Baby Calves
We started our tour by visiting two baby calves. There our guide told us about the pregnancy and the birth of cows. And why the cow in particular, and the mammal family, in general, have milk.
Station #2 – Feeding Cows
At this station, children depending on their age, got different tools. Some got shovels, others received buckets, and they started feeding the cows. And the toddlers brought hay by hand.
Near the feeding station, we also visited the hens. We discussed various related topics and headed to the next station.
Station #3 – Milking Cows
We entered a small building, the milking parlor, and there each child (who wanted), got to milk a cow by hand. And now, when my older daughter can milk cows, my role as a parent is done 😉
Station #4 – Feeding Baby Calves
At this point, each child got a large bottle of milk and got to feed baby calves.
Note: during our visit, one bottle refill was allowed.
Station #5 – Preparing Chocolate Milk and Butter
Next, each child got to prepare chocolate milk and helped to create buttercream. You can see the guide spreading butter on crackers. And then, of course, we got to eat it all.
Station #6 – Automatic Milking
We headed back towards the car parking, to the last stop, which is Automatic milking.
We got into a dedicated room and our guide explained to us the process.
Cows learned that during milking, the machine offers them tasty fruits and vegetables. Thus they want to come for milking. And when a cow comes, the robot checks the last milking time. If not enough time passed, then the fruits and vegetable bucket is not opened, and she continues on her way.
If a cow was not milked for a long period of time (they are usually milked twice a day), then the automatic milking begins.
First, the robot washes her nipples. Then using lasers assembles the goblets, milks the cow, removes the goblets and reports.
A colleague told me that in some dairy farms each cow has a step counter. And if the number of steps is low, then it means the cow has some health problem. The electronic device automatically notifies a veterinarian to come and check this cow. I asked about similar devices at Shvil Parot HaChalav, but they do not use this technology.
Who is this tour for?
As you probably understood by now, this tour is aimed at families with children. And indeed, during our visit, we saw mostly families with toddlers, preschoolers, and children at the age of elementary school.
How Much Time a Visit to Shvil Parot HaChalav Takes?
I saw many different reviews online, and some even stated that their tour took almost three hours. But that is the exception. Most tours, as well as the one we participated in, last about one and a half hours.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. Children get to participate in a variety of activities, and they love it. But I want to add a small word of caution, this is an active farm. And if you are an animal lover, or “green”, then you might see things which you are not going to like. For example, the baby calves are standing in small compounds.
If you have not been there, then check them out.
Note: if you love agrotourism, then check out the agrotourism category. And if you are looking for additional attractions nearby, then either browse the map at the top of this post or see Bethlehem Of Galilee.
Have you ever harvesting olives? 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.