A brief overview of the tour
Ascend the¬†Golan Heights via Hamat Gader. After a panoramic view of Sea of Galilee ascend
the Golan Heights via Hamat Gader. Stop at Shalom observation point and then
visit both the Katzerin museum and the remains of the Talmudic village. On
mount Bental, opposite Kuneitra, explore former Syrian fortifications.
Overnight at Kibbutz guest-house.
Visit Caesarea Philippi (Banias), Kal‚Äôat Nimrod, Birkat Ram in the
northern Golan and finally Safed, city of the Kabala.
Important and useful notes
Price includes accommodation per person in a double room on B&B basis.
Single supplement $50¬†per person per night (100$ during High season).
High season supplement $25 per person per night.
- The¬† sequence of the days, pick up times and hotel accommodation are subject to change.
- View useful, relevant notes on each route by clicking on the trip details below.
A detailed description of the tour
Leaving Tel Aviv we pass Herzliya and Netanya, as we travel north along the¬†scenic coastal plain and
then turn¬†eastwards through the plain of Armageddon¬†(Rev 16:16), with a view of biblical Megiddo.
Then crossing the Jordan Valley, the hidden river¬†to the east serving as the border¬†between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of¬†Jordan.
At the southern of the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, we ascend to the Golan¬†Heights via Hamat Gader,
site of the Roman spa. At the Shalom observatory we¬†have a panoramic view of the Kinneret and realise
how¬†vulnerable Tiberias was¬†while the Syrians controlled the Heights.
At ancient Katzerin we explore the excavated and partially restored remains of¬†a typical large village of
the¬†Mishnah and Talmud period (first to fifth century),¬†its synagogue, its homes and its olive press.
The black¬†basalt rock is testimony to¬†extinct volcanoes on the heights.
In the nearby museum, in the modern city of Katzerin, finds from the ancient¬†city are displayed alongside
the finds from excavations carried out on the Golan¬†Heights. These include the reconstruction of a
stone-age dolmen, stone carvings¬†from the many synagogues discovered and coins from Gamla,
the Second Temple¬†Jewish city razed by the Romans during the Jewish revolt (67-73 CE).
On Mount Bental we explore the former Syrian fortifications, bunkers and¬†trenches taken by Israel during
the Six Day War in 1967. In the distance is the¬†Syrian city Kuneitra and in the foreground the camp of the
Canadian contingent¬†to the UN forces supervising the cease-fire between Israel and Syria, brokered in
1974 after the Yom Kippur War and never broken.¬†The Syrian capital Damascus is a mere fifty kilometers
away hence Syria‚Äôs¬†reticence to break the cease-fire. The route we travelled today is more than likely¬†the one
used by Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:1ff).¬†Overnight ‚Äď kibbutz guest-house
After a short tour of the kibbutz we continue northwards to the source of the¬†Hermon River, one of the
tributaries of the Jordan River, at Caesarea Philippi also¬†known as Banias.¬†This Roman city,¬†dedicated¬†to
the pagan god Pan, was given by the emperor¬†Augustus to King Herod who built a palace in his honour.
After his death his son¬†Phillip made Panias capital of his kingdom renaming it and further beautifying it,
preserving the many pagan shrines.¬†This was the northernmost point visited by Jesus and his disciples
and the only¬†pagan city mentioned in the gospels. It is here, at the foot of Mt. Hermon, that¬†Jesus gave
the¬†keys to his kingdom to Peter, formerly Simon. (Mat 16:13-19).
As Christianity gained ascendency and finally became the official religion of¬†the Roman Empire the pagan
shrines were replaced by a church. After the Arab¬†conquest in the 7th¬†Arabic alphabet.
century Panias became known as Banias as there is no ‚Äėp‚Äô in the¬†On the way to Mt. Hermon is a striking
fortress straddling the hill. Kal‚Äôat Nimrod¬†is often mistakenly described as a Crusader fortress but the
Crusader fortress¬†was destroyed at the beginning of the thirteenth century. Strategically placed¬†on the
road to Damascus it was rebuilt by the Omayyad rulers of Damascus and¬†completed by the Mameluke
Sultan Beybers.¬†We will explore the towers and buttresses and enjoy the view. With the complete¬†demise
of the Crusader Empire in Lebanon and Kal‚Äôat Nimrod lost its¬†strategic importance and was¬†abandoned.¬†
We make a brief stop at BirkatRam, a large round lake, which gets its water from¬†underground¬†springs,
provides water to the nearby orchards and vineyards. After¬†enjoying lunch at a Druze restaurant we
leave¬†the Golan Heights and make our¬†way to Safed (Z‚Äôfat).
Known as the city of the Kabbalah we will see the synagogues dedicated to Josef¬†Caro and the Ari as we
walk through the narrow alleys of the old city and explore¬†the artists‚Äô quarter before returning to Tel Aviv.