Hiking the Golan Trail down Mt. Herman, Nimrod’s Fortress in the background

The Golan Heights has a reputation as one of the most beautiful areas in the region, and the Golan Tourism Association created this trail to let hikers traverse it. The Golan Trail begins on Mt. Hermon and ends just above the Sea of Galilee.

The Golan is full of streams, rugged landscapes and wildlife, and is especially beautiful in spring when wildflowers and tree blossoms are at their height. Several mountains provide long-distance views into Syria, and ruins both ancient and modern (including many disused army bases) give a sense of its history. Hikers will pass through kibbutzim, pleasant Druze villages, and national parks and nature reserves like Gamla.

The Golan Heights are claimed by both Israel and Syria and although they were annexed by Israel in 1981, the annexation is unrecognized by other nations. Due to this contested nature, much of the area is taken up by military zones and minefields left over from previous wars. In the Golan, hikers should never deviate from marked trails, due to the danger of stumbling into minefields or firing areas, and a map is absolutely essential. The trail, like Israel’s other long distance trails, is clearly shown on the SPNI topographical hiking map for the area (SPNI map 1, “Hermon, The Golan and the Galilee Panhandle).

Trail Facts:

  • 125 km
  • 6-8 days to through-hike
  • Marked with white, blue and green blazes, but a map is essential due to minefields in the Golan. A GPS track is available from www.golantrail.com
  • Supplies available at least once a day (generally requiring a short detour off the trail); plan on camping since accommodations may be nonexistent or expensive
  • If hiked north-to-south, as intended, the trail will be of moderate difficulty (heading north would make it an entirely uphill climb of over 1000 meters!)
  • Hikers should bring warm clothing and sleeping gear, as the high altitude makes for very cold nights