- Qatzrin - the largest town
- Gamla - nature reserve and archaeological site
- Majdal Shams - Druze village and nearby Shouting Hill
- Mount Hermon - Israel's only ski resort
- Kal'at Namrud
The Golan Heights have been under Israeli control since 1967; Hebrew is spoken among the Jewish inhabitants in the cities and kibbutzim. Arabic is also spoken in the region mainly by the Arabs and Druze living there, although many of them can also speak Hebrew and or English.
Public transport: there are a few daily buses from Tiberias and Kiryat Shmona to the Golan Hights. Services are few and far between.
Private transportation: from route 90 there are four "ascends" to the Golan Heights.
This area, due to low population, has one of the worst public transport services in the entire country, with some bus stops receiving only five to six busses daily.
You might try hitch-hiking, but it's not recommended, either here or anywhere in the country. You can rent a car as well, but only from few rental services.
- The Golan Heights is the wettest area in the region. There are many waterfalls including the Gamla, Sa`ar and the Banias waterfalls.
- It is especially recommended to visit in spring, when the ground is covered with wildflowers.
- Mount Hermon (2284m), in the northernmost point of the Golan Heights. There is a cable car going up the mountain - in the summer you can enjoy a breathtaking scenery and in the winter you can ski.
- One of the more morbidly interesting sights is the ghost town of Quneitra, evacuated during the 1967 war and left in the no-man's-land ever since. Thoroughly wrecked not only in 1967 but in the subsequent 1973 conflict as well, from the Israeli side the area can only be viewed from designated viewpoints set up along the border road, as it's just across the de-facto line of control. However, from Syria, the area can be visited with a permit from the relevant military office in Damascus, just above the Maliki garden on Sharia al-Jala (bring your passport). An official guide escorts all visitors (free of charge).
- Banias National park. The well maintained park follows the Banias stream, and includes some easy and fairly short hiking trails that include old watermills and the ruins of a temple to the god Pan. 23 NIS.
Lots of interesting hiking courses. Breichat ha-meshushum (Hexagon pool) is a pool with natural hexagonal volcanic tiling. Yahudia wadi and Ein Zivan wadi are also popular hiking courses.
- The Golan Brewery (http://www.golanbeer.co.il) - located in "Kesem Hagolan", the Golan Visitors Center, close to the Golan Heights Winery. Established in 2006, brewing German Style Beer by a German brewmaster. They offer 4 to 5 types of beer, including an genuine Bavarian "Weizen". Open every day.
The Golan is mostly a rural area, and as such it is pretty much crime free. However, the Golan is also one of the world's largest military barriers, and while it offers many hiking options, several basic safety rules should always be followed:
- A large part of the Golan Heights area is either heavily mined, or is suspected as being mined - this is due to the fact that old mines may drift during heavy rains, which are frequent. You should never walk or drive in open fields, off main roads or dirt roads. While most mine fields are designated by warning signs (as the one shown in the picture), do not go into off-road barb-wired fields, even if they are not marked with signs.
- Some areas of the Golan are used by the Israeli military as training grounds. While marked trails are pretty much safe, when going off-road you should check the local maps to make sure you are not going into a fire ground. If in doubt, check with local police or military authorities. Most training grounds are accessible during weekends (Fridays - Saturdays) and public holidays, and can also be accessed after coordination with military authorities.
This page was last edited at 00:29, on 12 January 2009 by Ian Sergeant. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Sergey Kudryavtsev, David, Todd VerBeek and Shahar Evron, Wikitravel user(s) Govrin and Staieram, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.