The Golan Heights -
My Top Sightseeing Tips

The Golan Heights are situated in northern Israel to the east of the Galilee Panhandle, the Hula Valley and the Sea of Galilee (see map below) 

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This area has been under Israeli control since it was annexed by the Israeli government in 1981 for security reasons. Whatever your political opinions about it, you can't argue about the rugged beauty of this mountainous area with its waterfalls, fruit orchards and views over the Galilee.

Click to see enlarged map.

Not surprisingly, it has become a popular place for nature-lovers to spend a weekend in a zimmer (B&B) or a country lodging on one of the kibbutzim there. There are also a number of campsites, where you can go camping, and even glamping - glamorous camping - which is becoming a trend in Israel. Click here to read a first-hand account about glamping in the Golan Heights.

Here are some of my recommendations for sites to visit in the area:

Banias (Hermon Stream)

Banias has a long and interesting history and you can still see remnants of it today. As well as beautiful nature trails along the wooded banks of the Hermon River, you can see ancient ruins from the Roman and Crusader periods. Read more ...

Where? On route 99 going east from Kiryat Shmona in the direction of the Northern Golan Heights / Mount Hermon.

When? all year round 

Mount Hermon

In the summer, hike, take a guided tour or take the cable car to the summit. Being so high up, the air is cool and clear and the scenery is amazing. In winter, you can ski or snowboard - if you get there before the snow melts!

TIP! The skiing season is extremely short and if there's a heavy snowfall, half the population of Israel go there at the weekends. So, if its snow you want, ONLY go midweek when it's more sane!

Where? Take route 998 towards Neve Ativ until you get to the Druze village of Majdal Shams. From there, turn left on route 98 and follow this winding road up the mountain until you reach the Hermon site.

When? all year round 

Nimrod Fortress

Nimrod Fortress is the large, impressive castle that you see high up on a hill on the way up to Mount Hermon. The views from the top across the mountains and valleys of the Galilee Panhandle are just amazing! It's claim to fame is that it substitued for Beaufort Castle in the Israeli film "Beaufort". Read more ...

Where? Northern Golan Heights, near the settlement of Nimrod. Take route 989 in the direction of Mount Hermon.

When? all year round

Sa'ar Falls

It's worth a stop to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Sa'ar Falls - and there's no entry fee! There are actually three waterfalls just a short walk from the road. You can see them from a lookout point or a wooden bridge built over the highest and most spectacular of the three waterfalls. Watch video ...

Where? On route 989 near junction with route 99. Look out for the sign and park in the car park outside the restaurant on the right (heading north).

When? winter and early spring

Gamla Nature Reserve

Gamla is situated on a rugged slope in the central Golan Heights, east of the Sea of Galilee. As well as being an important historical site, it has the largest colony of Griffon vultures in the country. Read more ...

Where? From the road around the Sea of Galilee, turn north at the Gamla-Daliyot junction. Continue to drive on route 869 for about two kilometres (just over a mile) and then follow the signs to the nature reserve.

When? all year round

El Al Stream

The El Al Stream is one of Israel’s most scenic routes. Read an account of a hike along the stream passing fruit orchards along the way and the beautiful "Black and White" waterfalls. Read more ...

Where? Start your hike near the entrance to Moshav Eliad.

When? all year round but especially popular in the summer because of its waterfalls and numerous spots for swimming.

Other cool places to visit in Northern Israel can be found at:
Galilee Panhandle (Etzba HaGalil)
Western Galilee (Galil HaMa'aravi)
Lower Galilee (Galil HaTachton)
Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret)


Related Pages

Banias waterfall

Banias (Hermon Stream)

Nimrod Fortress

Nimrod Fortress

Sa'ar Falls

Sa'ar Falls

Gamla


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