5 Great Things to See and Do Near Mount Hermon

October 28th 2019

Mountains, snow, and skiing – three words usually associated with countries other than Israel. Yet the Holy Land is blessed with a diverse landscape and in the far north of the country, visitors can climb mountain peaks, go skiing, and see snow nearly every day of the year. The mountain peaks, collectively known as Mount Hermon, afford tourists and Israelis alike with beautiful views and fun activities, for all the family.

Mount Hermon is also a fantastic place to go hiking and birdwatching, especially in summer, with a vast array of flora, fauna, and stunning vistas to explore. On the approach to these northern mountain ranges there are also a variety of fascinating things to see and do. 

When traveling to or from Mount Hermon, you might like to stop-off and explore the following nearby attractions: 

  1. Nimrod Fortress

A few kilometers southwest of the ski resorts is the largest Crusade-era castle in all of Israel. The Nimrod Fortress is a medieval Ayyubid castle located on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon. It was constructed during the 13th century by the son of the famous warrior Saladin to defend Damascus against the Crusaders. 

The fortress is surrounded by beautiful forested valleys. From the top of the fortified tower, you can enjoy incredible views across the Golan, Galilee, and into Lebanon. 

  1. Banias Falls Nature Reserve

Near to the Nimrod Fortress – about a two-kilometer hike away – is the Banias Nature Reserve. The reserve features one of the most impressive waterfalls in Israel and the ruins of an ancient city, associated with the Greek god Pan. The park also contains a number of springs and tributaries which originate on the slopes of Mount Hermon. 

The ruins of what was once known as Panias afford visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past. Together with the thundering waterfall and the stunning landscape, the Banias Falls Nature Reserve is a must-see on your way to the mountains. 

  1. Tel Dan National Park

Just to the west of Banais, is the Tel Dan National Park. This beautiful nature reserve is a hiker’s paradise and an archeologist’s dream. The first settlements in the area date back to the Neolithic period and in amongst the woodland are ruins from many different eras, including from an ancient Canaanite civilization and the Israelite tribe of Dan. 

The park features a number of walking trails as well as the famous Dan River, flowing with melted snow, which has been a source of water for peoples throughout the ages. It goes on to flow into the Jordan River. Tel Dan is a must-visit place for history lovers. 

  1. Odem Mountain Winery Tour

To the south of Nimrod Fortress is the village of Odem which is home to the Odem Mountain Winery Tour. The family-owned wine boutique is Israel’s most northernmost winery, tucked away in oak woodlands thousands of feet above sea level. 

Producing 80,000 bottles each year, the winery has won numerous awards, both in Israel and internationally. It’s open to the public and Alfasi family welcome visitors with formal tours of the vineyards and kosher wine tasting sessions, and more. There are few places in the world where you can tour a winery and see snow in the distance at the same time. 

  1. De Karina Chocolate Factory Tour

A short drive south of Odem is the renowned and popular De Karina Chocolate Factory Tour. It’s a chocoholic’s dream come true. The family-run business was created by Argentine Jews, who brought a new extra special dimension to the thriving gourmet chocolate industry in Israel. 

The chocolate factory welcomes visitors and showcases the history and culture of chocolate-making. You’ll get to see the manufacturing process as well as taste some of the chocolate delicacies. There are also workshops where children and adults can make their own chocolates and sweet desserts. Yum!