The Gamla Nature Reserve
The Gamla Nature Reserve is located in the center of the Golan Heights, approximately 20 km south of Katzrin and 2 km north of the Daliyot junction, near road 808. The reserve contains a powerful waterfall – at 51 m high, it is the highest in Israel. It also contains archaeological l sites including the remains of ancient Gamla and dolmens, and the largest Griffon vulture nesting colony in the country. Visitors can easily spend from one hour to a whole day in the reserve. A path in the reserve is paved and wheelchair-accessible. This place was filmed for you in VR 360 by the team of 360HolyPlaces™.
The streams of the reserve
The Gamla Stream. Gamla Stream begins at the Peham and Tanuriya sp rings north of Mount Peres and flows southwest. It joins the Daliyot Stream, which originates in the eastern part of the Golan Heights. At its source the water flows into a wide, shallow, natural canal called a masil. This part of the stream ends at the 51 m high Gamla Waterfall. Approximately 300 m farther south along the stream is another waterfall that is 21 m high. From the waterfall the Gamla Stream forms a deep, winding canyon surrounded by very steep cliffs.
The Daliyot Stream
The sources of the Daliyot Stream the springs of Bardela, Um-a-Dananir, Sha’abaniya and Mantsura – are located at the foot of Mount Peres. From there, the stream flows westward, creating a deep, meandering canyon. The difference in the consistency of the basalt layers creates the Waterfalls in the streambed. You can also see white limestone at the bottom of the cliffs in the deepest part of the canyon.
Layers of reddish so il, which can be seen between the layers of basalt, accumulated there millions of years ago. They were baked by the intense heat of the lava that flowed over them and became water-resistant, forming small springs as a result. These springs give away the ir location by the presence of common reed (Phragmites australis) and purple loostrife (Lythrum salicaria) growing in the water. Approximately 5 km west of the confluence of the Daliyot and Gamla streams, the Daliyot widens and becomes shallower as it flows into the Sea of Galilee. Most of the water of the Daliyot Stream is impounded upstream for agriculture. The streambed receives only a minimum amount of water to preserve its ecosystem.
Trails in the Gamla Reserve The Daliyot Falls Trail (1504) length – 3.5 km (approximately 4 hours round-trip or 2 hours in each direction). If you want to walk only in one direction, you should begin at the Daliyot parking lot. Degree of difficulty – easy; mostly level. The trail, which is lined with beautiful flowers in the spring, begins at the Daliyot parking lot, crosses the Daliyot and Bazelet streams and continues to the lookout above the Bazelet Falls. The trail continues along the banks of the Daliyot Stream and then crosses a paved road (do not walk on the road !) and descends toward ancient Gamla. Near the end of this tra il you will pass a memorial to victims of terror and fallen soldiers. The memorial is located on an impressive cliff above ancient Gamla. The trail ends near the parking lot. We recommend that from there you take another of the reserve’s trails.
The Dolmen Trail leading to the Gamla Falls
Length – 1.5 km (approximately 1.5 hours round trip) Degree of difficulty – easy; level. From the parking lot, the trail leads northward and passes through the dolmen field. About 1 km farther on, the trail crosses the Gamla Stream above the high waterfall and continues for another 400 m until it reaches a lookout. From there you can enjoy a splend id view of the waterfall and raptors nesting in the cliffs. Take the same path to return to your starting point.
The Vulture Trail – Gamla lookout point, vulture observatory and Deir Qeruh
Length – 600 m round trip on a loop trail (approximately 30 minutes). Degree of difficulty – easy; paved path suitable for wheelchairs. The trail leads westward from the parking lot. After 200 m it reaches a lookout from which you can see the hill of Gamla, shaped like a camel’s hump (gamal in Hebrew means camel, giving the site its name, Gamla) and a splendid view in the distance. From there you can also see the tower, the wall and the synagogue of the ancient city of Gamla built on the southern slope of the hill. (You can continue from there to the antiquities using an ancient trail that is recommended for fit walkers only.) The path continues to the vulture observatory overlooking the Gamla Stream canyon and nesting colonies of raptors. A video system (camera and screen) have been placed in the observatory so visitors can view the raptors close up. An olive press dating to the Byzantine period is located east of the observatory near the path. The press contains a beam used for crushing the, olives ,and a base for the press. From there the path continues to the remains of the village of Deir Qeruh, including remains of an impressive Byzantine-era church. From there the path leads back to the parking lot.
The Ancient Trail to Gamla
Length – approximately 1 km (approximately 2 hours round trip). Degree of difficulty – for fit walkers only; steep path. The path leads westward from the parking lot. After approximately 200 m it reaches the lookout on the hill of Gamla (This part of the trail is the same as the Vulture Trail). From there, an ancient switchback trail leads down steeply toward the remnants of Gamla that were uncovered in archaeological excavations. Metal plaques along the trail contain quotations from the book of Josephus Flavius describing the battles that took place at Gamla. In front of the city wall are models of two types of catapult used by the Romans who besieged the city. One was used to shoot arrows and the other to hurl ballista balls. The entrance to the city today is located at the point where the Romans originally breached the city wall. The trail continues alongside dwellings and reaches the famous synagogue and the ritual bath (miqveh) that was built nearby. From there the trail continues to the residential quarter that dates back to the Hasmonean period and to the round tower that rises from the Upper corner of the city wall. On the western side of the city are remnants of a large and splendid olive press equipped with two pressing installations and a ritual bath (miqveh). The olive-oil press was located in an industrial district near a, luxurious residential quarter.
Discover this place in Virtual Reality 360° by clicking on the image below.