The Gilboa mountains offer some great views of the valley below and some of the most beautiful wild flowers. This is also where King Saul and son Jonathan were killed fighting the Philistines.
Every spring, in early March I come here to see the beautiful Gilboa Iris which grows nowhere else in the world.
Also, you can come here to do some paragliding. For about 300 NIS you can join an instructor and glide with him.
Located between Afula and Har Tavor you will find the Sahara Restaurant. Over a period of 8 years, taking stones from the surrounding villages to restore and remodel this 150 year old structure. There is a 1,000 year old olive tree near the entrance which gives the feel for this place. All in all a wonderful place to enjoy a good local meal.
Favorite Dish: I opted for the leg of lamb, cooked and served with a platter of spiced rice. The meat was tender enough to literally fall off the bone and it was delicious. Zohara and Hrvojka decided to share a dish of kebab, baked into a dough covered basket.
After you finish dinner you are asked to leave the eating table and enter a relaxed section just for coffee and the sweet cakes that are an Arabic favorite. From this "position", you feel as if you have all the time in the world and are NOT rushed to finish.
As far as I'm aware (and I have a nose for these things) there are NO bars or clubs or Afula. The best night time entertainment I could find was the shoarma stalls on the road leading to the bus station .. especially after Shabbat when the girl-soldiers are going back from their weekend leave :P
For bars and clubs some of the kibbutzim have a pub that is open to the public (usually on specific nights only).
A couple I liked were Vertigo nightclub/disco at Kibbutz Ramat David. It's very big and very popular. There is another nice place at Ramat Yishai. The name escapes me for now and it's quite difficult to find if you don't know where you are going - wow! useful tip Kev! :) The dance floor here is very small but the bar is very big.
From Afula Ilit you can get (by hike or car) to Givat hamore nature reserve. This relatively high mountain (560 m) oversees the entire Izrael valley. In the spring there are plenty of flowers and among them is the rare Nazerth-Iris. Enjoy, but remember not to pick!
Direction - follow jabutinsky street - turns into Connetict street all the way till the road split left to Dahi and then on a dirt path continue straight to the forest.
Time - Jan-Apr is best Iris blooms at March.
Watch the Anemone bloom next to Megido air stripe. The stripe is located 5 minute drive west of Afula on road 65. There is a little turn to the right and there between the Eucalyptus trees is this beautiful blooming. February and March is the time to see it.
Once a year, usually in March, hundreds of Israelis converge in Afula on Saturday for the yearly event of the Giv'at Ha-Moreh hike.
The meeting area is near the Afula municipal park, and buses take the hikers uphill to the starting point in Afula Illit. There is a longer route of 12 km and a shorter one of only 7 km, geared towards families with children.
The trails are easy and take you all around the hill, with beautiful views of the valley underneath and the Tabor and Gilboa mountains in the distance. It is usually possible to see the blossom of the local majestic iris flower, Iris bismarckiana, along the way.
About two thirds of the way a refreshing surprise is waiting for the hikers: a whole container of fresh red grapefruit, just the right thing at the right time. At the end of the hike buses take you down to the Afula municipal park, where a festival of music, food and chidlren's games is held.