I think that a tour of the Golan Heights is a must when visiting Israel. This tour is composed of a variety of subjects, such as geopolitics, archeology, agriculture, water, battle history and more.
This region is 5% of the Israel, while the international community does not recognize it as Israeli territory, but as an occupied area. Golan Heights were captured from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. Six years after, during the Yom Kippur War, the Israel Defense Forces suffered heavy losses in bloody battles against the Syrians, and at the end of war, this territory remained in the hands of Israel. During the tour, we will visit several battle sites and will tell the stories of battles and combatants.
Golan Heights were formed as a result of volcanic activity that occurred millions of years ago and hence the basalt rocks in the area. We will climb one of the volcanic hills and observe the adjacent Syrian border. Current situation in Syria is catastrophic. The civil war causes many casualties and leaves many civilians homeless. We will discuss this issue, while observing Syria and the city of Quneitra from Mount Bental.
Golan Heights present the optimum conditions for growing grapes used for wine manufacturing, while this is one of the main and most profitable industries in the region. Many wineries are scattered along the area. The wine made in the Golan Heights is considered of high quality and several wineries even received international awards at various competitions abroad. We will visit one of the se wineries and have a chance to taste a varied of wines.
On our way, we will go through Druze villages located in the northern part of the Golan Heights. The secret religion of the Druze people originated in Egypt in the 11th century AD, while currently, most of them live in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. We will tell about this religion and discuss the situation of the Druze people living in the Golan Heights, who are disconnected from their relatives in Syria.
We will visit the Banias National Park and observe the remains of temples from 2200 years ago that were built in honor of the god Pan, which also gave the name to the city. Banias spring creates a stream that feeds the Jordan River. Banias, also known as “Caesarea Philippi”, is mentioned in the bible as the place where Peter identified Jesus as the Son of God and received from him the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
It is possible to combine other attractions, such as a chocolate workshop, ATV tour, hiking, hot springs, cherry picking (seasonal), etc.