Many tours tend to neglect the amazing Golan Heights, due to an unfortunate lack of time, although it is one of the most incredible areas in Israel, rich in both history and greenery.
Our day will start at Tel Dan, and archeological site preserving the town Laish, which existed here since the biblical days of Abraham and which was later conquered by the tribe of Dan after a long and arduous fight against the Philistines.
It later becomes the city that King Jeroboam decided to turn into the capital of his northern Kingdom of Israel, building there a temple for the Israelites to worship at.
The most important archeological inscribing in Israel was found here and this is also the site of the second most ancient Canaanites gate in the world.
The nature reserve here protects the Dan stream, which is also the main source of water to the Sea of Galilee, providing about 90% of the waters of the upper Jordan River and allowing us to more fully enjoy nature – God’s greatest gift. This gives the opportunity to follow many, different hike routes involving water and it’s even possible to take a dip in a nice, small pond.
From Tel Dan we will continue to the stream known as Caesarea Philippi (or the Banias), where Saint Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Before that, the place was dedicated to Pan, the Greek Lord of shepherds, through a temple that was standing here. It is also where Agrippa the Second chose to build his palace. Yet all this amazing history will feel like just an added bonus when you find yourself in the lush and fantastic nature park reserve that we have here. Though not the biggest of stream, it nurtures the unbelievably green zone around it and there we’ll see its spectacular falls and the hanging bridge which was built across it.
After having lunch at the outstanding restaurant of Dag Al Hadan we will pass through several Druze villages built on the Golan Heights and visit one, learning more about their intriguing culture and way of life as we also get to enjoy the sight of Mount Hermon and the Nimrod Castle.
Arriving at mount Bental will provide us with a panoramic view of the Valley of Tears and Syria. From this viewpoint, we will observe the 1967 ceasefire line and try to comprehend the wars Israel has had to wage, including the most difficult one of all, the Yom Kippur War, delve into the reasons for our being here and finally, touch upon the importance of the Golan Heights being Israeli.
If time allows it, we will have a terrific opportunity in Kazrin, the only city in the Golan and therefore its official ‘capital’, to visit the Golan Heights Winery, the finest in Israel, where we will discover this unusual branch of agriculture which was actually one of the very first to be developed by Jewish settlers in this land.
By leaving the border with Syria, we’ll start heading back to our hotel.