January 8th 2015
What the Mini Israel theme park is for the entire State of Israel, the Golan Magic Welcome Center is for the Golan Heights. It’s a massive complex intended both as an orientation to the Golan Heights, Israel’s northern highland region, as well as being a destination and tourist attraction unto itself.
Located in the center of the Golan Heights, about a mile east of Katzrin, the Golan Magic Welcome Center offers visitors a taste of all things Golan. Start with the one-of-a-kind, colorful and to-scale Golan Heights model. Specialized lighting effects enhance the communities, canyons and streams located throughout the Golan Heights. Viewing this three-dimensional map offers an understanding of the geography of the region.
After that, we recommend moving on to the film, displayed on Israel’s only 180-degree panoramic screen. The documentary will introduce you to the geography, geology and history of the Golan Heights, starting with ancient times and bringing us right up to today. It’s a sound and light show that will enable you to really experience the history, sites, scenery and the people of the Golan Heights. All five senses will be engaged, and you’ll walk away with a comfortable familiarity with the Golan, even if it’s your first visit.
Don’t miss a visit to the Golan Brewery, located on the grounds of the Welcome Center. This brewery makes its beer with fresh stream water from the Golan. Visitors can watch the beer-making process and also taste the delicious end results. The adjacent meat restaurant hosts events for up to 140 people. If you prefer a dairy meal, try the Taste of the Galilee and the Golan Coffee Shop, also on the premises. Here you can enjoy both a kosher dairy restaurant and a boutique that sells locally grown produce and locally manufactured cosmetics. Also on the campus of the comprehensive Welcome Center are a playground and a picnic area. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten to bring something with you – there are plenty of stores nearby, including a pharmacy.
Whether or not you’re planning additional hiking and touring in the Golan, after spending some time in the Golan Magic Welcome Center, you’ll understand the region more deeply. And, as is the case at all worthwhile Welcome Centers, information about other tourist attractions throughout the Galilee, the Golan, Tiberias and the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is readily available here.