Banias Nature Reserve (בניאס) | Banias Waterfall
Beautiful natural made scenery in Northern Israel around the Golan Heights area, sits the Banias nature reserve and Banias waterfalls. A place that once was dedicated to Panias (Pan) a Greek God in mythology. At one time, the city of Paneas stood there, later the name of the city was changed to Banias, meaning shepherd God, and Herod knew it as Caesarea. As in many parts of Israel, this area has vast biblical connections, which span into many other areas around Israel.
The Banias stream merges at the bottom of Mount Hermon and moves through a canyon, which together runs through Banias falls giving it a high-powered rush over the top of the falls and creating a very dramatic dump of water that eventually, after meeting at the Dan ends up going into Jordan River.
Within the nature preserve, you are able to follow the round trails that move inside themselves and visit Roman and Crusader sites that are marked and explained. Other places of interest in the nature reserve are the
- Officers pool
- Reconstructed water powered flour mill
- And a hydraulic station
All which date back to ancient time and have interesting histories. The entire nature reserve has many types of birds and foliage that visitors and the people of Israel alike enjoy. The plentiful water that flows and feeds the land fuels the lush greens of the area. Hiking, camping and enjoying the scenery are top reasons that visitors come to this area, along with their quest to follow the biblical aspects of knowledge they have about the land. With the summer months being quite busy with tourists, it is often suggested that you plan for your adventure and book your accommodations, camping sites, and tours ahead.
The trails that run through the nature preserve have different levels of degrees’, there is hiking for enthusiasts and for beginners alike to enjoy with many picnic areas that can be used for rest stops.
Nearby is the Nimrod Fortress that is also a very popular site to visit and both places can be seen in a day with an early start.
Many visitors say that the views over the falls and in the Banias Nature reserve are beautiful and memorable compared to the large barren areas in other parts of Israel. The temperatures that spike in Israel often decide when visitors plan their trip, as the temperature in October can reach or exceed 90 degrees at times. Many hiking and strolling trips happen way before ten a.m. When traveling with children the adults tend to choose the early hours so that the children do not suffer from the extreme heat. A handy ice-cream spot is situated near the parking lots, which often helps a lot to hot and tired visitors.
Though the nature reserve does not look like much, at first, it quickly grows into one of the most beautiful and interesting places in all of Israel right before your eyes. The stairs to the falls are steep and long but the result is breath taking and something no one visiting the area should miss. Bringing a lunch and sitting among the cool mist is a good way to gather back your energy. The beauty of Banias reserve and Banias waterfall show that Israel is not simply a vast desert, but sprouts of beauty, history and highlights that are enjoyable and fun.