The Shalom Observatory (Mitzpe HaShalom or Shalom Lookout) is perched on the Golan Heights at one of the highest points, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It is surrounded by the Golan’s gorgeous landscape of forests and vineyards. The site’s elevated position on the border between Syria and Israel makes it an important strategic point to ensure the safety of Israeli villages in the Jordan Valley below.
The views from the lookout point are spectacular. You can see the farmlands and vineyards on the slopes of the Golan leading down to Kibbutz Ein Gev on the shore of the sea. Then across the expanse of the Sea of Galilee, to the sea’s western shore, and the city of Tiberias. On days with good visibility, you can see the Carmel range 60km south of here.
Visitors can wander around the paved promenade that stretches about 2km across the cliffs offering views in several directions. The promenade is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. There are benches so you can sit and watch the sunset, and a kiosk for light snacks.
History of the Shalom Observatory
Until 1967, Syria occupied the Golan Heights, and the border between Syria and Israel was at the foot of the Golan, near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Syrians built fortified military bases across the ridge. They used the elevated location to make regular attacks on the Israeli villages in the valley below. The farmers and fishermen were used to bombing, shelling, and sniper shootings from the Golan.
Even the tractors used by Israeli farmers needed to be plated with armor. In the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel was attacked on all sides, the Israeli army pushed back approaching Syrian troops. After two days of heavy fighting, the northern settlements and the Golan were in Israeli hands.
Under Israeli rule, the farms could operate without fear of Syrian attack, and the western slopes of the Golan were cultivated and populated with villages. Today, agriculture, wineries, and settlements thrive on the Golan. With the Golan under Israeli control, members of Kibbutz Kfar Haruv built the Shalom Observatory as a lookout point across the stunning Galilee.
Visiting the Shalom Observatory
A short 1km circular hike trail leads from the observatory promenade to the Ha’on Cliffs Nature Reserve where there are freshwater springs, orchards, and wildflowers. You can stop along the hiking route for a dip in the tranquil Peace Spring. To reach the Shalom Observatory take route 90 towards the Sea of Galilee, then turn right (east) towards the Golan and join route 98 to take the winding road up through the Golan. If you’re using Waze, enter Shalom Observatory or Mitzpe Shalom. If you’re traveling on public transport, take a bus in the direction of Kfar Haruv.