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Attractions

From the Golan hotel Tiberias you can make a visit to the Upper Galilee should certainly include a visit to at least one of the three major tributaries of the Jordan: the Hatzbani (Snir), the Dan and Banias (Hermon) Rivers.

From the Golan hotel South you wiil find the following wonderful sites
 
The Sea of Galilee (Kinneret, in Hebrew) is a deep blue harp-shaped lake, situated in the Jordan valley, surrounded by breath-taking scenery. The setting for many important events in history, this is one of the most fascinating areas to visit, with something to offer for everyone, from water recreation to major historic sites.
 
Israel's largest freshwater lake, some 55 km in circumference, the Sea of Galilee gets most of its water from the Jordan River, although it is also fed by underground springs and many mountain streams running down from the hills of the Galilee and the Golan Heights. It supplies one-third of Israel's annual consumption of fresh water and is the lowest fresh-water lake in the world, at 208 metres below sea level.
 
Our tour around the lake begins by driving south past the old cemeteries of Tiberias. One soon arrives at Tiberias Hot Springs (Hamei Tveria), famous since the time of the Romans. On the right-hand side of the road are the original baths and treatment rooms; opposite is the Young Tiberias Springs, a modern health facility offering three pools, jacuzzis and a sauna, as well as numerous treatments and a restaurant. The blue dome on the slope above is the Tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba'al Haness, a student of Rabbi Akiva, who was celebrated for his wisdom and was considered to have miraculous powers. Popular belief is that a visit here brings relief for illness and other problems, and the colourful throng of visitors, especially in the summer months, adds to the attraction of the site.
 

Tel Dan nature reserve

Driving east from Kiryat Shmona on road 99, we soon reach the Hatzbani River (see tour 13). Carry on driving past Kibbutz Dafna and Kibbutz Dan and take the signposted left turn to the Tel Dan Reserve. This encompasses the area around the sources of the Dan River which was the site of the ancient Canaanite city of Laish, an important centre in Biblical times and host to one of the golden calves set up for worship under King Jeroboam. Lush vegetation and soothing (but cold) water set the scene for an enjoyable visit. After parking your car, you will find walking trails of different distances clearly signposted and described in the leaflet which you will receive at the cash desk. You should allow at least 2 hours to see this compact but multi-faceted reserve.

Resisim falls on the Sa'ar river

Nearby is the Beit Ussishkin Nature Museum which is well worth a visit to learn about the history, flora and fauna of the area. Covering the natural history of the Hula Valley, Mount Hermon, the Golan Heights and the Jordan River, there are multilingual audiovisual presentations, dioramas and a film about the Banias as well as a fascinating exhibition of the finds of 40 seasons of excavation at nearby Tel Dan.
 
Driving eastward on road 99 we soon reach the entrance to the Banias waterfall in the Hermon River Reserve (Banias). The Hermon River is one of the sources of the Jordan; runoff from the Israeli side of Mt. Hermon swells its waters during the spring. The area around the river is thickly forested with a variety of species and was an important spot in ancient times, due primarily to the abundant fresh water. Near the river's source are the remains of the temple of Pan, after which the area is named. Well marked paths make a pleasant walk among ruins of the Roman-era city of Caesarea Philippi with towers, walls, bridges and wells, the country's only water-driven mill still in use, a small pita bakery and, all along the way, the calming rush of the fast-flowing Hermon River.
 
Walk. If you have two cars, leave one at the first car park, drive to the second car park and then take a walk along the river bank from the springs to the waterfall. Another waterfall can be seen a little further east along road 99 at the junction with road 989. These are the “Resisim” Falls on the Sa’ar River which is dry during the summer months. During the spring, the melting snow creates a strong current which crashes dramatically over the basalt rocks.

Nimrod's Fortress

Turning left at this junction, after 3 km you will arrive at the entrance to Nimrod’s Fortress, a large, well preserved castle from the 13th century perched on a steep hill overlooking the Hula Valley. This National Park Site is open to the public and climbing the spiral staircases within the guard towers takes one back to another era.

Tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba'al Haness

Here too is the National Parks Authority site of ancient Hammat. Among the ruins is a beautiful mosaic of the Signs of the Zodiac on the floor of a fourth-century synagogue. This incorporation of popular secular motifs into a Jewish religious building indicates the tolerant attitude of the orthodox rabbis of that period, when Judaism flourished in the Galilee side-by-side with early Christianity and Roman paganism.

Mosaic at Hammat

Continuing south, take the first turn to the right, signposted for the Poriya Youth Hostel and the Swiss Forest. The Jewish National Fund has built a spectacular scenic road high in the hills running through the Swiss Forest area for several kilometres. There are picnic areas with a panoramic view over the lake and far beyond.

The Swiss Forest

Returning to the main road, we reach the Beriniki and Zinabri Beaches, stretching some 2 kilometres along the lakeside and offering extensive camping and beach facilities including showers and snack bars. The beaches extend almost as far as Moshava Kinneret where one can visit the restored site of the original settlement and also the museum of the moshava. The Tamar Bakfar store offers special date and local food products. Continuing through the Founders' Gardens, we come to the Kinneret Cemetery and the grave of the poetess Rachel who lived in this area. Another 500 meters south you will find the baptism place of the Jordan river.

From their you go to the hotsprings of Hamat Gader.