Banias Israel is the source of the Holy Jordan River, that is coming from mt Hermon snow melting, Banias nature reserve is a wonderful nature park but also a main archeological – religious site known as Cesarea Phillipi. You can visit Banias nature reserve on a private tour to the Galilee and Golan Heights
The Banias Springs in Hebrew Nahal Hermon Reserve emerges 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 sacred to Christianity. 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 is the Banias waterfall in it full power
Caesarea Philippi was a 2000 years old roman city that was built by the son of Herod, Philip, in honor of the Caesar the city was built And based on important cultic site that was there from Hellenistic times and was dedicated to the god Pan
The Banias 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 remnants of the temple stand 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.
Banias nature reserve
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.
Banias nature reserve has 2 main parts
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 3 options:
1: A loop trail through Pan’s temple and Caesarea Philippi ruins takes about 45min marked as Agrippa’s palace, ends at the parking lot
2. walk along the trail from Pans Temple to the waterfall, about 1.5 h- 2h
3. Banias waterfall
drive to the Banias waterfall Parking lot, the trail is about a 45-minute walk. You should leave a car at the waterfall parking lot.
At the waterfall do not miss the suspended trail loop that was built above the turbulent water of the Banias stream
If you choose walking south you can enjoy the wilder area of Banias nature reserve, 5 minutes walk after the spinning exit gate (can’t return after the gate)you will find overturned Syrian tank in the water stream evidence to the 6-day war battles that took a place at the site after 10 minutes you will have a trail going to the right and up through kibbutz Snir that will bring you close to the Banis parking lot, and you can cross through the gate of the kibbutz to the parking lot
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 at the site at least one hour before closing.
Important Rule: Do not enter the water in any of the pools.(strong current)
Visit the amazing Upper Galilee
The area of Upper Galilee is full of 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.