The Golan Heights is an area that is located in the north-eastern part of Israel; a plateau overlooking the northern Valleys in Israel as well as the South western parts of Syria.

Its history dates back to Biblical times;

acting mostly as a buffer zone of the ancient Kingdom of Israel. During the following centuries, the plateau changed many hands including Alexander the Great as well as the Roman Empire.

The area eventually settled under the control of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.

After WW2, the French mandated that ruled Syria- at the time -had annexed the area, including it within its new borders, hence, Syrian territory.

After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, Syria took advantage of the area’s high terrain and began shooting at the Galilee’s valleys of Israel, below. After years of bombardments, Israel seized control of the Golan Heights

during the 6-day War in 1967. Israel has immediately started to build new settlements and made use of the high ground to monitor Syrian activity below.

Syria has repeatedly attempted to regain the Golan Heights. A devastating war – to all parties had taken place in 1973, but all attempts: military as well as politically have proven fruitless.

These days, there are some 20,000 Israeli inhabitants aside some 20,000 Syrians- most of them members of the Druze sect. The Capitol City of the Golan is Katzrin. The Golan is also a key source of water. The area provides a third of Israel’s water supply.

The land is very fertile, based on some former volcanic soil – which is used for vineyards and orchards as well as raising cattle.

Main Attractions in the Golan-worth exploring:

Rafting in the Jordan River –
After buckling up with safety belts, it is a pure pleasure entering the river. You can choose between a kayak or a rafting boat. The sail is mostly independent, passing through some spectacular landscape.

Jeep Tours-
Various Jeep tours are available in the Golan; mostly day tours alongside some extreme tours. This mode of excursion is one of the recommended ones in the Golan as it not only roams through the country but most of the instructors/guides also explain the history, nature, and

Horse Riding-
Various operators offer a variety of Horse riding in the Golan; it could be a 1-2 hours’ ride or a day’s tour.

Fruit self-picking
A variety of Kibuttzim/Moshavim offer a self-service adventure in picking fruit; you can eat it on spot or bring a full basket home.

Biking tours-
Bicycle tours in the mountains, through the tware or on haref terrains, are very popular in the Golan.

The Old Katzrin Park and The Museum of Antiquity The museum is located I the city of Katzrin at the Park of ancient history. Both sites aim at guiding the visitors through the ancient times, in both Jewish and Christina tradition.

Contact Details:
The park: +972-4-6962412
The museum: +972-4-6964664

The Magic of the Golan (“Kesem Hagolan”) – visitor’s center
This new visitor’s center is located in the city of Katzrin, enabling to get a glimpse at the variety of nature, people, landscape and political venues of the Golan Heights.

Main attraction are a movie (in several languages) portraying the Golan’s geography, landscape and sights; a unique and modern Model of the Golan including sound and light explanations and a Brew-house restaurant that offers Israeli means alongside its very own brewed Beer.
Contact Details: +972-4 -6963625

In the vicinity of this site you may also want to visit Mount Hermon; Safed; or Rosh-Pinna….

About the Author

One of the online niche veterans; a Tech savvy professional; lives & breathes Web, globalization and people. In addition, Aaron is an avid traveler, mainly in the south of Israel; being well known as a desert expert.

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