I am a big fan of the Golan – because of the history, the views, a feeling of open space and a (somewhat) more European terrain. It can be very hot here during the summer, but it is often more clement than other parts of the country and can get cooler towards the evening. The Golan is relatively unexplored by many foreign tourists being (relatively) far from the center of the country – even though you can drive from either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in around 2 hours.
Here are a few ideas for a family orientated day out in central and northern Golan Heights.
Our first stop is Gamla – a very easily accessible spot – ancient city that tried to withstand the Romans (The Masada of the North), but it is more than history view the highest waterfall and try and spot the vultures that nest here.
As we drive north enjoy the views over the plain and lookout for the green wind energy farm. Sticking out from the flat surface like upside tubs are two small hills – Avital & Bental. Bental is our next stop – it is a steep climb (even in a car) and then a very short walk. Bental is always a great place to visit the view is more of a vista over Syria and Israel – there is a pleasant coffee shop, you can explore some of the fortifications and the air always seems to be fresh up here. Look north over towards the Hermon.
Travelling north I recommend that you head to Nimrod’s Castle. On the way you will pass through some Druze towns; frequently there are stalls selling delicious fresh fruit produce or fresh pita and labane and this presents an opportunity to chat to them. Nimrod’s is a great castle to explore and to enjoy the views of the Hermon and the terrain towards the Galilee.
As we drive in the general direction of Kiryat Shemona I recommend that we stop at the junction of Roads 99 and 989 for a short stroll to the viewpoint over the impressive Saar Waterfalls. The path is reasonable if you wish to continue and then double back enjoying the views, getting to a “hidden” pool (it is possible to swim but be careful the water is cold and deep) – round trip to here is perhaps an hour or so. There is another waterfall further on (about 1.5Km each way)
Heading off the Golan there are a few options open depending on our mood and the time left – the more adventurous should head for the rafting stations in the area of Horshat Tal. If you want some ancient history and nature then Banias is a good option.
Slightly further afield there ares some other good options If it is hot and you want to wade in water and have a water fight to end all water fights then I recommend Madrasse. On the other hand if you want a relaxing end to the day at one of the prettiest places in Israel (in my opinion) then head for Tel Dan.
Fish lovers will find some good restaurants by the Dan – otherwise Kiryat Shemona and Rosh Pina are a short drive away for dinner.