7. From Tel Aviv: Golan Heights Tour
Travel through the plain of Armageddon as mentioned in Revelations, and see the Megiddo site of an ancient Biblical city. Reach the southernmost point of the Sea of Galilee and stop to look down on the sea from above and take in the gorgeous pastoral vista, with the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in the foreground and the undulating Golan Heights forming a dramatic backdrop. Cross the Jordan River at the foot of the Golan Heights and begin the ascent, passing through Hamat Gader, which today is a popular spa destination, just as it was for the Romans almost 2000 years ago. Continue on through the lush green countryside until reaching the Shalom Observatory. Take in a stunning view looking back at the Sea of Galilee beneath, while understanding the strategic importance of the Heights and looking down onto the Israeli city of Tiberias in the distance on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Move on to Katzrin, where excavations have uncovered a village from the Mishnah and Talmud periods, which has been partially restored for visitors to see the archaeological findings, which include a synagogue, houses, and an oil press. See evidence of former volcanic activity in the Golan Heights as black basalt rock forms part of the landscape. Continue on to Katzrin, a city sometimes referred to as the Capital of the Golan, which has been occupied as far back as the Middle Bronze Age, and where later the Romans, Mamluks, Ottomans, and even French ruled this picturesque city. Explore the Golan Antiquities Museum and see findings from the region and the nearby archeological site, artifacts, and audiovisual presentations about the city of Gamla, while learning about Gamla, the historic Second Temple Era Jewish city which has been excavated nearby. Visit Mount Bental and what remains of Syrian fortifications, with Syrian bunkers, base, and trenches that were captured by the Israelis in the Six-Day War of 1967. Marvel at how close the Syrian border is and gaze down on the Syrian city of Kuneitra just beyond.