Things to See and Do in Israel’s Jordan Valley

November 15th 2018

The Jordan Valley is a beautiful part of Israel that stretches from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the south. Forming part of the larger geographical depression known as the Jordan Rift Valley, the area, and the river itself, forms the boundary between Israel and Jordan.

There are a number of things to see and do in the Jordan Valley. Some of our favorite places to take guests include places of natural beauty and sites of historical significance. Here are a few of the locations we love.

The Sea of Galilee

Known locally as the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee is a large body of fresh water surrounded by stunningly beautiful countryside. The Jordan River enters the lake from the north and flows out again to the south and down the Jordan Valley. There are a number of hiking and biking trails around the lake and areas where you can enjoy a swim and even a Sea of Galilee cruise.

Beit She’an National Park

Beit She’an is one of the oldest cities in Israel and is often missed by tourists. This is a shame because the city has a long and fascinating history. Located where the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley meet, the city’s history is believed to go back more than 5,000 years. The city changed hands many times and saw life under the ownership of the Egyptians, Romans, and Byzantines, to name but a few. Archeological remains chart this fascinating historical tapestry.

When you visit you’ll see the ruins of ancient temples, bath houses, street colonnades, amphitheaters, a Crusader fortress, and so much more. The She’an Nights three-dimensional audiovisual presentation is also a must-see and brings the ancient city to life with light and sound.

Ancient Beit Alfa Synagogue

The Beit Alfa Synagogue dates back to the time of Emperor Justinian and is most well-known for its beautiful mosaic floors. The synagogue was found quite by accident during construction work in 1928. Excavation of the site began soon after, led by the renowned Israeli archaeologist, Eleazar Sukenik.

The diverse range of mosaics include a depiction of a large Zodiac wheel infused with Jewish symbolism. There are also famous biblical scenes such as the Binding of Isaac. An on-site audiovisual presentation provides more information about the ancient synagogue, daily life in an ancient village, and the process of creating mosaics.

Gan HaShlosha National Park

One of the most visually beautiful places in Israel is the Gan HaShlosha National Park, also known by its Arabic name Sachne. The park features stunning waterfalls as well as three pools filled with fresh spring water which remain at a steady 83 degrees (28° C) right throughout the year.

Located between kibbutzim Beit Alfa and Nir David, the national park has been considered by some to be the site of the Garden of Eden, and it’s not hard to see why. There are many activities to be enjoyed in the grounds including swimming in the warm waters of the pools and visiting the Museum of Regional and Mediterranean Archaeology.