Nimrod Fortress

Top choice in Golan Heights

Built by Muslims in the 13th century to protect the road from Tyre to Damascus, Nimrod Fortress rises fairy-tale-like on a long, narrow ridge (altitude 815m) on the southwestern slopes of Mt Hermon. The work that went into building such a massive fortification – 420m long and up to 150m wide – on the top of a remote mountain ridge boggles the mind. If you’re going to visit just one Crusader-era fortress during your trip, this should be it.

Background on the fortress’ colourful medieval history, including its destruction by the Mongols, can be found in the excellent English map-brochure given out at the ticket booth. Highlights include an intact 13th-century hall, complete with angled archers' slits, in the Northern Tower.

The castle, visible from all over the Hula Valley, is protected by near-vertical cliffs and vertiginous canyons on all sides but one. South of Nimrod is Wadi Sa’ar, which divides the Golan’s basalt plateau (to the south) from the limestone flanks of Mt Hermon (to the north).

The fortress is served by Rama bus 58 from Kiryat Shmona to Majdal Shams.