Arbel Cliff (צוק הארבל) Nature Reserve | Mount Arbel
Majestic is one word that describes Mount Arbel. Other ways to give description of the Arbel cliffs is breath taking, and inspiring, but all of these terms just come close to what you see, and feel when you are actually standing on Mount Arbel, which is 594 feet above sea level. This great Mount was the result of a geological fault that split and made two valleys. Today the Mount is a place that many visitors flock to, and are transfixed back through history as they see the great sights that this area has to offer in abundance.
The mount is embedded with ancient cliff dwellings dating back to the 17th century. A cave-fortress is now simply pieces, but was once quite mighty and impressive. There is also a fourth century synagogue, which is now ruins, that is stationed in the area. The documented historical facts and places show the history and importance of this area, and what it meant back in the days when it was strong and busy with many people dwelling there. The trails that follow through the mount are also said to be part of the “Jesus Walk,” referring to the trail that Jesus took when preaching and moving about the lands. Many visitors are inspired by references made to this area and the work that Jesus was said to have done, while he was alive.
Today there are four villages that reside in the area and more development continues on the Mount of Arbel. Much of the area surrounding the cliff of Mount Arbel is a nature reserve and national park. Here the beauty of mount is reserved so that people from all over will be able to enjoy the area for many years. An interesting fact is that the south side of the mount has a 400-meter drop and is the only known place in Israel where Base-jumping is performed. Some of the best hiking trails are included in this area and are walked daily by visitors.
The cliff also overlooks the great Sea of Galilee. The way the past generations lived within the Mount of Arbel, is educational and interesting as you learn about the life of the people who lived there in the far past. Because of the height and dominance of Mount Arbel, onlookers tend to never forget the majesty of the enormous site they see when they first approach the area. Few other parts of Israel leave such a stamp on people’s minds as this area does. Below the Mount of Arbel is the valley of the doves, which is a natural route into the area region, and is thought to also be a place where Jesus passed through on his way to Galilee. Scriptures make references concerning the Mount of Arbel, the shadow it casts, and the turmoil that once happened there so many years ago.
Hikers find Mount Arbel and the Arbel cliffs a challenging presence that they want to take on and defeat. Many do not understand the degree of difficulty until they are actually on the mount and in the middle of their climb. It is a good thing that the Israel park authority placed handholds and other things to aid the climber in his challenge.
The amazing history of the mount of Arbel keeps curious people going there to see the beauty, hear the history, and try the challenges. What many come back with is the feeling of accomplishment, a better understanding of the history and an absolute “awe” of what they have seen, on and around Mount Arbel. The cliffs, the views, and the area should not be missed by anyone visiting because it is breathtaking and unique. For some the attraction will be the challenges of the hiking, others it will be the beauty and the views, and for many it will be the connection it has to the history of Israel and the life of Jesus. Whichever it is for visitors it should not be missed by anyone.