Golan Heights

| December 30, 2012 | 1 Comment
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The Golan Heights

The tourist industry thrives in Golan Heights Israel, home of the famous Hamat Gader Hot Springs and more. Its incredible beauty and natural phenomena attract hikers, nature lovers, and anyone who enjoys a break from the city in a delightful climate. Plan to include Golan Israel on your next trip – you won’t be disappointed!

Yoav Dothan  Public Domain Iris Waterfall Near Katzrin in the Golan Heights

Yoav Dothan  Public Domain
Iris Waterfall Near Katzrin

Hamat Gader

The famous 40-acre park featuring Israel’s oldest spa, the Hamat Gader Hot Springs, is a must-see. You can enjoy all the conveniences of a modern spa, thermo mineral pools, jacuzzi beds, and a bubble pool. For children there is a a petting zoo, parrot shows, and the largest crocodile farm in the Middle East.

Golan Activities

The Golan offers something to everyone. Activities include picking your own fruit at the many farms that dot the countryside, winter activities at Israel’s only ski resort located on Mt. Hermon, and historical and archaeological sites such as Gamla and Nimrod’s Castle. There are miles and miles of natural hiking trails and large nature parks such as the Yehudiya Nature Reserve with the amazing Breichat Meshushim (Hexagonal pool).

Unique attractions include Ya’ar HaAyalim (Odem Deer Forest) with its many species of deer, pony rides, bison, and more. For an unusual activity, you can spend time learning how a shofar is made.

Some of the country’s most breathtaking waterfalls are found in the Golan Heights, where children and adults love to cool off with during the height of the summer. The plethora of outdoor activities include canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, jeep tours, and riding on an ATV.

Katzrin

Somewhat surprisingly, there is only one real town in the Golan Heights, Katzrin, named after the ancient settlement which was discovered and excavated. The ancient Talmudic Village has been brought back to life, featuring a reconstructed building from Mishnaic times and a film of a Talmudic debate. In modern Katzrin you can grab a bite to eat, do some shopping, and visit the Golan Archaeological Museum.

Golan Heights Wine

Numerous industries are supported in this beautiful part of Israel. Most famous are the Golan Heights wineries, as well as beef farms, Mei Eden mineral water, olive oil production, and green wind energy from the Golan turbines.  Many of these products have earned Israel international award-winning acclaim.

Golan Heights Map

The most northern part of Golan Heights Israel is Mt. Hermon, bordering on Lebanon and Syria; the southern end of Lake Kinneret borders on Jordan. The Golan Heights is made up primarily of basalt volcanic rock  and covers an area of approximately 500 square miles.

Golan Heights History

The Golan Heights are mentioned several times in the Bible. The Children of Israel conquered the heights from the Amorites and both the tribes of Dan and Menashe inhabited the area when it was known as the Bashan.

This area has been part of Israel since the Six Day War in 1967. Until then many of the kibbutzim inside Israel on the eastern shore of Lake Kinneret came under sporadic fire from the Syrians sitting atop the hills above them. Syrian artillery also regularly shelled the whole of northern Israel from 1948 to 1967 when Syria controlled the Heights.

תמר הירדני  All rights reserved Memorial Stone for Eli Cohen, Mount Herzl

תמר הירדני  All rights reserved
Memorial Stone for Eli Cohen, Mount Herzl

Eli Cohen

Eli Cohen, one of Israel’s most famous spies who worked deep within the Syrian government, once toured the Golan Heights when it was still in Syrian hands. He suggested that the bunkers, from where the Syrian soldiers shelled the Israelis below, should each have a eucalyptus tree planted over it for shade. This information pinpointed the exact spots where the Syrians were hiding and was of great value to the Israelis during the Six Day War.

Did you know?

The Golan contains over 30 kibbutzim and moshavim. Israel gets a third of its water supply from the Golan.

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Category: Golan

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