Located on the Northeast corner of Israel, on the border with Syria, the Golan Heights stands tall above the surrounding valleys and plains with its steep, ancient volcanoes.
The Golan Heights is home to historical and beautiful sites, featuring untouched nature and roaring streams.
Gamla was a small Jewish town that revolted against the almighty Roman military. Although it was the site of one of the greatest revolts of the first century, becoming one of the last Jewish strongholds in the region, the town eventually crumbled in the face of the Roman Legions and fell into decay.
Banias is a unique town, sitting on the banks of the Hermon Stream, one of Israel’s mightiest. The town was originally named after the Greek god “Pan,” and has a deep connections to Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim communities, illustrating how history and nature come together.
Umm El Kanatir means “The Mother of Arches” and refers to three arches that were built over this spring, although only one survived. This little slice of heaven is a rarely visited treasure in the Golan. Next to the spring is a 5th-century synagogue that archaeologists painstakingly restored about 30 years ago from the original basalt rocks. The size of the synagogue was unusually large for time, which could highlight the centrality of the site for the Jewish community during the last Byzantine period.
Although the Golan Heights has a fascinating ancient history, the modern history and present are no less remarkable. There are many important and interesting minorities living in the Golan Heights. During the tour, we will talk about the French Mandate in the Middle East, which included the Golan Heights as part of Syria, the events of the 1948 Independence War, the great victory of Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, the ups and downs of 1973 Yom Kippur War and extraordinary story of Israel’s "Greatest Spy" of all time.
In addition, we will (almost) touch the Syrian Border, and understand the Golan Height’s geographic importance for Israel, as well as the geopolitical challenges Israel is facing in the Northern Borders. We will also discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria, and Israel’s interventions during Syrian civil war.
We highly recommend finishing this day with an adventure in the Golan’s stunning nature. You can take a 4X4 Jeep ride through the high plains, raft down the Jordan River, take a dip in a natural cold water spring erupting from the rocks. You can also visit a local winery, as the Golan Heights is hailed as having some of Israel’s best wine grown in the region’s volcanic soil.
If you have more time, we also suggest visiting the Nimrod Fortress, Hamat Gader, Hippos (Susita), Mount Hermon, a traditional olive press or winery, or much more!
All Ground Up tours are customizable according to your needs, interests, walking abilities and schedule. Contact us for more information!