A weekend in Northern Israel

‘The North’ or ‘Ha Safon’ as the locals call it is made up a few distinct and varying regions,

This mountainous and rocky part of the country begins at the southern tip of Mount Carmel and carries on up to the fragile borders with Syria and Lebanon. The Golan Heights, the highest part of Israel, sits in the most north easterly corner, looking down onto the Galilee district, where the town of Tiberius sits pretty on a hill waiting for the religious pilgrims. The Galilee region is well known for all things Jesus (it’s where he walked on water, turned water to wine etc) and of course the Sea of Galilee which sits 200m below sea level. West, toward the jagged cliffs and coves, is the Mediterranean sea and ancient towns such as Nazareth and Akko.

A couple of days here really isn’t enough to see all the north of Israel has to offer, but being the little country that it is, you can still pack quite a lot into a weekend up there.

In this post I will talk about

  • Golan Heights lookout areas
  • Mt Hermon out of season
  • The Syrian border, Israels old and current conflicts with their neighbours
  • Tiberius
  • The Sea of Galilee and the surrounding towns and beaches (Tiberius, Capernaum)
  • The Jordan River
  • Abel Cliff
  • A great secret restaurant recommendation

The Golan Heights
Close to Ein Zivan Kibbutz and just off the main road is a small lookout with a view over apple and cherry orchards and the UN headquarters and Syria. It was very well setup, with speakers and a button that when pressed would start a recording with peaceful music and a woman talking about all the past conflicts that happened in that area between Israel and Syria. It was so peaceful and quiet, made it quite hard to fathom all the terrible things happening just across the border below.
We got even closer to the action at the next viewpoint, Mount Bental. The mountain top is well known for its army base which is no longer in-use, well not by the army anyway. Now it is home to some UN personnel who are keeping an eye on the goings-on in Syria. They seemed pretty happy to talk to us about the current situation, in fact that was the talk of the mountain. We happened upon a tour group, their guide was explaining very brutally and honestly about the situation currently going on in Syria. That particular lookout also had an incredible view over Mt Hermon.

Mt Hermon out of season
We won’t out of season but could still enjoy this goliath of a mountain that stands there silently watching over all three borders.

The Syrian Border
Israel has many neighbours, two of these, Lebanon and Syria can be seen from the North.

Coming back to the city (well Kfar Saba suburb) from the north felt like coming back into the busy hive. Up there was so peaceful and calm. Here, road 6 is so busy, there are so many cars and people and noise!

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