View from the top of Arbel Cliff, Arbel National park.

© Protasov AN/Shutterstock

Arbel National Park

Sea of Galilee

Towering over the Sea of Galilee and offering breathtaking views of the Golan Heights and Mt Hermon, Arbel Cliff is 181m above sea level, which makes it 390m above the vast blue lake below. Great rambling territory, it is on both the Israel National Trail and the Jesus Trail (yes, hikers have to pay the entry fee).

The park is 11.5km northwest of Tiberias; take Rte 77, Rte 7717 and then the Moshav Arbel access road, whence a side road leads northeast for 3.5km.

For great views, you can walk to the Carob Tree Lookout (30 minutes return) and, a few minutes further along the ridge, the Kinneret Lookout. A moderately difficult, three-hour circuit (minimum age seven) that requires some cliff clambering with cables and hand-holds takes you past the Cave Fortress (restored in 2017), apparently built by a Druze chieftain in the 1600s. It’s also possible to do a circuit (five to six hours) that heads down to the Arbel Spring and then back up to park HQ via Wadi Arbel and the ruins of a 6th-century synagogue (wheelchair accessible) – the latter is 800m towards Moshav Arbel along the park’s sole access road.

In 1187 Saladin inflicted a definitive defeat on the Crusaders at the Horns of Hattin, the ridge a few kilometres west of Arbel Cliff. As you look west from park HQ, the ridge is directly behind Moshav Arbel.

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