This is the perfect place for a promenade: On a wooded hill, beside the road from Birya to the fortress, in the shade of cypresses and pine trees, with a pretty view of Birya and the forests.
If you are in Safed drive to Birya, leave your car there and walk along the promenade.
You are sure to enjoy the scents of the trees, the cool air and the pretty view, as I did.
This fort is of interest to everyone interested in the history of Jewish settkements in the Land of Israel. Its location, on a peak 900m above sea level in the Upper Galilee, surrounded by forest, is scenic.
There was a Jewish village here during the Talmudic period (3rd to 6th centuries AD) and through the Middle Ages. In the 20th century, the Biriya area was purchased by Baron Rothschild, but a few trials to settle the area failed. In 1945 Bnei-Akiva youth (belonging to the Palmach) settled biriya, built a fort with observation towers and planted the forest for the KKL (JNF). The British Mandate authorities evacuated them and sent them to the Acre prison, but in 1946 thousands of youth returned to the fort in a symbolic march, and their struggle to remain on the land was fruitful in the end.
In the fort today there is a small museum.
If you manage to visit Biriya on one of the rare snow days in winter the mountain top is covered in white, and the snow-capped Mt. Hermon and Golan Heiights are very beautiful.
The Biriya Forest covers approx. 20,000 dunams on the slopes of the Upper Galilee mountains near Safed (Tzfat) and Rosh-Pinna. The mountains are about 900m high and the weather is cool. The flora is varied: pine trees, cypresses and cedars, smaller bushes, and many flowers in winter and spring (cyclamens, buttercupsand even orchids).
There are good scenic roads and trails in the forest, leading to picnic sites, observation points, an ancient synagogue and ancient rabbis' tombs.
The Biriya Forest makes a worth while half-day trip from Safed or from Rish-Pinna.