Towards the northern part of the Golan there are two quite dramatic hills – not incredibly high but very prominent and standing out in the terrain. Mount Avital is closed to the public, however, Mount Bental is accessible.
Drive up the steep access road and then complete the last few meters on foot. You can explore the old trenches and fortifications, look down on Syria – only a few kilometres to Damascus (and considerably closer than Jerusalem). Get a cup of coffee at the small cafe with the interesting name (Coffee in the Clouds or in Hebrew, Cofee Anan.)
Bental is located near the Valley of Tears – scene of one of the largest tank battles (1973) since the Second World War. You can look down from here on the deserted Syrian town of Qunaitra in no man’s land, or drive amongst the orchards and visit some of the memorials and imagine what is was like almost 40 years ago – in one of the most dramatic battles in the history of Israel.
Children will enjoy clambering over the fortifications, whilst adults will prefer the views and the history. There is wheelchair access to some of the viewing areas.
The air here is great and you can see for miles. The view is dominated by the snow capped Mount Hermon, but, you can see most of the northern Golan.
In the car park you will often find a friendly Druze man selling local seasonal produce (cherries, apples, olive oil, honey) – last time I was there he was called Farchani. He was a great guy to chat with, but, as a rule the Druze do not like to be photographed.
Getting To Bental
At Bental Junction (off road 959) take the road south past Merom Golan and then turn up the access road to Bental.