Banias is the source of the Holy Jordan River. Last summer we took two of our grandchildren, one Israeli and one American, on a tour of the Galilee and we visited the Golan Heights. They were a bit disappointed because you are not allowed to enter the water of the springs. By the way we had enough places where to swim on that two-day tour to the north.
The Springs on the slopes of Mount Hermon
We visited the ruins of the Temple of Pan
In Hebrew Nahal Hermon Reserve emerge from the bottom of Mt Hermon in the Golan Heights. It falls about 190 meters in the course of 3 Km forming the Banias Waterfall one of the most beautiful in Israel.
The Hermon River, together with a few tributaries, the Nahal Saar, Nahal Sion and Nahal Govta, meet the Dan River a few kilometers further down and together form the Jordan River the most important river in Israel and the most scared to Christianity.
Caesarea Philippi and the Temple of Pan
Where the Jordan River is born
These rivers flow year-round and in winter they are overflowed by waters coming down from the mountains. The when the snow of the Hermon melts it falls down with force from such an altitude.
The Caves located nearby show some remnants of the Temple of Pan which gave the place the ancient name of Paneas pronounced Banias in Arabic. The temple stands in front of the cave. It was built by King Herod who left it to his son Philip. Later Philip founded his capital near the site of Banias and called it Caesarea Philippi.
Hermon River Springs flowing in the Jordan River
If you are coming from Tel Aviv of Jerusalem or even Haifa, I assume you are staying in one of the Kibbutz Guest Houses in the area. This area is called “Etzba Hagalil” or the “Galilee’s finger” because of the form it shows in the map.
To the springs: Drive about 3 Km east of Kibbutz Snir on road 99 from Kiryat Shmona to Masadeh
To the waterfall: Drive about 2 Km east of Kibbutz Snir on road 99
From here there are two options:
Continue to the waterfall, about a 45-minute walk. You should leave a car at the waterfall parking lot.
Backtrack 150 m to the loop trail toward Agrippa’s’ Palace and the Springs parking lot. You can also use your entry ticket and drive to the waterfall, where a loop trail takes about 30 minutes.
The cashier must open a gate for visitors who wish to continue from the waterfall area southward, along the trail marked in black.
Nahal Snir is one of the tributaries of the Jordan River
When to visit: Year-round
Length of Tour: 1.5 to 2 hours
Hours of operation:
April – September: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
October – March: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
On Fridays and Holidays eves the site closes one hour earlier.
Arrive to site at least one hour before closing.
Important Rule: Do not enter the water in any of the pools.
Hagoshrim Guest House is one of the best places to stay in the area
Visit the amazing Upper Galilee
The area of Upper Galilee is full with attractions like the Banias. You can dedicate a day or two to visit the area because the sites are near one another. We visited Tel Dan, we kayaked in Kibbutz Hagoshrim, and we hiked and had a great time.
You may stay in one of the Kibbutz Hotels in the area that are highly recommended. We stayed with our grandchildren in Kfar Blum Pastoral Hotel and it couldn’t be better. We even left time at the end of the day to enjoy their Olympic Swimming Pool.
Copyright Tuchman Israel Guide
2015 - 2018