Guide to nature reserves and N.P.
The Galilee region of Israel is home to several national parks that offer visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area. Some of the most popular national parks in the Upper Galilee include:
Banias Nature Reserve: This reserve is located at the foot of Mount Hermon and is home to the Banias River, one of the main sources of the Jordan River. The reserve offers a variety of hiking trails that lead visitors through the forested area and along the Banias River. Visitors can also explore the ancient ruins of the city of Caesarea Philippi, which was built by King Herod and later named by the Romans.
Meron Nature Reserve: This reserve is located on the slopes of Mount Meron, the highest peak in the Upper Galilee. The reserve offers a variety of hiking trails, including the "Mount Meron trail" to the peak of the mountain at 1208m, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The reserve is also home to a rich variety of plant and animal life, including the rare Syrian Woodpecker.
Mount Tabor National Park: This park is located at the foot of Mount Tabor, which is believed to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. The park offers hiking trails that lead visitors to the summit of the mountain, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The park also features a church and a visitors center with information about the history and significance of the site.
Tel Dan Nature Reserve: This reserve is located on the banks of the Dan River and is home to the ancient city of Dan, one of the most important biblical cities in the region. The reserve offers hiking trails that lead visitors through the ruins of the city, including the impressive city gate and the remains of a temple. The reserve is also home to a variety of plant and animal life, including the protected Syrian serin bird.
All these national parks offer visitors an opportunity to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Upper Galilee region. It's important to note that all of these national parks require good physical condition, appropriate shoes and enough water and snacks. Some trails require permits or reservations in advance and it's always recommended to check the weather forecast and trail conditions before heading out. Additionally, many of the historical sites within these national parks are also protected by the National Parks Authority and have specific regulations and opening hours.