- Travel and Places
Jeep Tours North Israel - Tour Galilee Golan Sefat By Jeep
Eged Bus Driver First Jeep Tour Guide North Israel
The first Israeli that took people on jeep tours through North Israels nature, is Hagay Bareket who spends most if not all of his free time in the nature in the Galilee and on the Golan.
People that go on tour with him discover that one of the most exciting things in Israel is touring nature, nature reserves and parks by jeep. Not only do you get to see so much more than when you rent a car and are just driving on regular roads, but with a four wheel drive jeep you can go anywhere in Israeli's nature so you get the most varied experience of nature's wildness, the waterfalls, the animals that live in the wild. There are many nahalim or brooks, small rivers and creeks in North Israel and you can choose to go to anyone of them by Jeep.
Nahal Yehudiya Golan Heights
Nahal Yehudiya is one of them. It is challenging as it takes you into a canyon, down waterfalls, and along flowing water. The canyon is filled with greenery, so there is a lot of shade there. Pink wild oleander flowers are very common here. There is an upper riverbed and lower riverbed. There is a campground for overnight stays. : The reserve is a little south of Katzrin off road 87.
Yehudiya Waterfalls on the Golan
The Snir Stream
Coming from the Nimrod fortress on road 989 follow the 99 towards Kiryath Shmona and you will get to the Snir Stream or Nahal Snir within Israel, ends in the Jordan river. It receives its water from two springs in Lebanon. the Wazzani and Haqzbieh. The Snir stream is called Hasbani inside Lebanon and it is 25 miles long in Lebanon before crossing Israel's border where it joins the Banias and Dan Rivers to form the River Jordan. It is close to HaGoshrim
Banias Nature Reserve Tel Dan National Park
The Banias and Tel Dan Nature reserve are certainly worth a visit, and belong to the most popular sites in Israel. They can be packed with visitors in high season. It is best to go there in February, March and April or in the late fall if you want to see the water falls and streams filled with water.
The Snir Stream
Massade and Majdal Shams Druze Villages Far North East
With the jeep tours you can not only go the upper Galilee to the streams but also vist all of the Golan Heights. where you find the Druse villlages of Massade and Majdal Shams.Going into the center of Majdal Shams you get the feeling that you enter a different world , a closed community that has its own culture and background. The Druze in Majdal Shams do not serve in the Israeli army and have Syrian citizenship. They connect with their families in Syria through loudspeakers on the mountains. Going south on road 989 from Majdal Shams you will find an the amazingly well kept old Nimrod fortress.
The Druze in Israel part 1
The Druze in Israel part 2
The Nimrod Fortress.
You can see the fortress towering high above road 989. This fortress is believed to be built in 1218 by Al-Malik Al Aziz Othman in order to defend the route between Damascus and the Mediterranean against the 6th crusade. The fortress was captured and re inhabited many times. In the course of ages the fortress was either under Muslim or Christian dominion. Then the fortress was destroyed by an earthquake in the seventeen hundreds and rebuilt.
The Nimrod Fortress
The Gamla Nature Reserve
The Gamla Nature reserve on the Golan Heights off road 808 is named after the ancient city of Gamla, a Jewish city destroyed by the Romans in 67 AD as recorded by Flavius Josephus. The Gamla nature reserve is home to the Griffon Vultures that nest on the rocks.
The Meshushim Pool
The Meshushim Pool is an amazing phenomena of nature. Hexagonal in basalt shaped pillars rise up from a pool that nature cut out in black basalt rocks and filled with the water from the Meshushim the biggest river on the Golan. The reserve is off road 888 close to Moshav Had Nes.
The Gamla Nature Reserve
Hula Nature Reserve
The Hula reserve has loads of birds, it is home to otters, turtles, and even water buffalo, and catfish. The Hula Reserve has a very interesting history: Lake Hula was dried up in the 1950ties and then later on in part of the lake water was returned creating the present reserve. This reserve is meant to preserve plants and animal from extinction. The Hula reserve is home to migrating birds-especially cranes. Some of them stay over for the winter. The Hula reserve is on road 90 a little north of Rosh Pina.
Hula Nature Reserve
Sefat, Safed or Tsfat
In the museum close to the Ha Ari Ashkenazy synagogue in Sefat you will find one of the very few places in the world where Sefat's history is well recorded. Even the most recent lonely planet series on Israel seems to have used this museum's information on Sefat. The museum has written out Sefat's history in Hebrew and English on black boards and nothing of that information is printed on paper as far as I know.
The blackboards tell you how Sefat has known earthquakes and wars, turmoil and great wealth. In the midst of this all Sefat has known the greatest Jewish mystics such as Shimon Bar Yochai, Itshak Luria, and scholars like Spinoza. I am convinced that Sefat's unequaled wealth these days had to relate to the great minds of Luria and Spinoza surpassing disunity and unifying the Jewish population of Sefat.
Sefat was a safe haven for European Jews at the time of the inquisition. At the height of its development in the late fifteen hundreds beginning early sixteenhundreds it had a blooming silk industry on the bank of Nahal Amud .
Sefat is a city for artists and also this dates back for quite a few centuries. Nowadays secular artists in Tsfat sometimes feel pressure of the religious part of Sefat's community as their art is too free and not fitting the religious standards of today. It is striking however, how Kabbalist art from the early sixteen hundreds and late fifteen hundreds has a lot of similarity with what European renaissance art looked like in these days. Just have a look at the book of Esther or the Megilat Esther from around that time and see how angels in the style of the European Renaissance were painted all around the writing of the scroll. You can find these scrolls for sale in Tel Aviv's antique fair. Today's religious art in Judaim is much more restricted than it was then at the renaissance of Judaim and the time of the birth of what is called Kabbalism today.
Kabbalah became accessible through Itshak Luria, the founder of modern day Kabbala, also called Ha Ari, the great scholar who translated the Zohar a mystical Jewish writing from Aramaic into Hebrew. The Zohar is believed to be written in Aramaic by Shimon Bar Yochai, a great scholar and wise man. If you are not familiar with the origins of Kabbalah and you walk through Sefat where commercialism, is sold for Kabbalah, know that Kabbalah is different from the Hamsa or the amulet in the shape of a hand supposed to bring you good luck and protect you from the evil eye.
Kabbalism can be divided into the practical Kabbala which involves all kinds of practices to foretell future events, bless or curse and the theoretical Kabbalah which is about the origin of creation and how science in no way contradicts but rather supports the idea of divine creation as taught in the Tenach.
The Light of Tsfat or Sefat
Sefat's Nature and Surroundings
Close by Sefat, going down the road from behind Sefat's hospital you have the Arab village of Aquaba. In the valley down from Aquaba in the direction of the Menachem Begin neighbourhood grow almond trees, fig trees and olive trees. Beduin sheperds take care and watch over their cattle and can run and climb to the top of the surrounding mountains within minutes at remarkable speed.
If you take the road that goes down to the hospital but turns to the right before you get to the hospital you end up at the cliffs and mountain ridges of the Amud stream or Nahal Amud. Snakes, scorpions, foxes and wild swine live in the valley of Nahal Amud. There are many trails, but it is also fun to just go down on the trails the Beduin cows take. Watch out though for rocks that fall down as you walk these narrow trails. It is also recommended not to hold on to plants above you as these can set rocks above you in motion. After three in the afternoon in springtime the wild swine appear with their offspring and can attack you viciously. Most people leave the Nahal Amud valley before that, but in case you didn't make it in time and have no where to run to: stand still and start screaming make gestures and jumps like monkeys do so the swine will get scared and leave you alone.
Going with Hagay the Eged busdriver makes your trip to the wild nature a safe and very enjoyable experience. He is the most experienced jeep tour guide for North Israel. You can get to see not only all of Sefat's environment, but also all of the Galilee and Golan if you take jeep tours with Hagay Bareket. Find more information here or write: "I want more information" to his email address jeeptourshagay at gmail for more information.