Looking for a challenging cliff climbing hike with stunning views?
Then Mount Arbel is just for you!
you can enjoy the stunning views without the cliff climbing too.
Read on to discover more interesting facts about this fascinating site such as:
How tall is Mount Arbel?
How old is the Synagogue whose ruins can be seen there?
And of course,
directions how to get to Mount Arbel.
Mount Arbel is located in the Galilee – Northern Israel.
Just a short drive away from Tiberius, (One of the most suitable places for a family trip)
it towers majestically over the Kinneret Lake with sharp cliffs separating between its peak and the lake.
The mountain which is 1,250 feet above the lake (594 feet above sea level) boasts stunning views of the Kinneret,
the surrounding valley and on a clear day Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights can be seen too.
This impressive mountain has several hiking trails,
of varying lengths and levels which lead to interesting spots to explore.
1. Historical Caves
The mountain side is a cliff which is dotted with caves of historical significance.
There are archeological remains of a fortress used as a defense against the Romans during the second temple period.
The Jews who hid there could see the Romans climbing up the cliff towards them and hurled rocks down the cliff effectively preventing their progress.
eventually they were vanquished and the caves were abandoned.
These caves are accessible to those who can brave the stiff trail leading down the cliff side.
2. Ancient Synagogue
Remnants of an ancient synagogue can be seen on the mountain,
close to the settlement “Arbel”.
According to archeologists this synagogue dates back to the Byzantine period in the fourth century C.E.
(seventeen hundred years ago).
The Synagogue, quite unusually, faces north probably to accommodate the view of the lake and surrounding area,
the niche for the Torah Ark can be seen on the southern side facing Jerusalem as is the custom in all synagogues in Northern Israel till today.
3. Panoramic view of the Kinneret Lake
The beautiful, breath taking view of the lake and surrounding area can best be seen from the top of the mountain towards the steep cliff that drops down to the lake.
This can be reached easily from the sloping Southern side of the mountain.
This area is part of a natural reserve which is open every day from 8am- 4pm in the winter and till 5pm in the summer and carries an entrance fee.
The reserve includes several trails.
Some of them are simple 30 minute walks which bring you to the observatory terrace where the view stretches as far as Mount Hermon.
Other more complicated trails will lead you down the cliffs allowing you to explore the caves along the way.
An extremely challenging trail involves using hand and foot holds embedded into the rock.
This leads down the steep cliff to the cave fortress mentioned above.
To get to Mount Arbel by car, on the Tzomet Golani – Tiberius road (Road 77), turn at the Kfar Hittim junction to Road 7717.
Turn right at Moshav Arbel and just before entering the moshav, take a left and follow the road until you get to the park entrance.