Waterfalls, birdwatching, deep canyons, and plenty of history, in the unique Gamla National Park, offering a great experience for everyone.
Gamla nature reserve

Gamla: nature and history all in one place.

As a site of both the tallest waterfall in Israel, and the oldest synagogue in the world, alongside impressive cliffs and diverse birdlife, Gamla National Park is truly a must-see site in the Golan Heights. With a combination of history and impressive nature, there really is something for everyone in Gamla.

Gamla National Park, which is located in the central Golan Heights , is truly one of the most unique and diverse sites in Israel. Featuring numerous natural attractions and captivating history in one small place. Here’s everything you should know before you visit Gamla National Park.

The History of Gamla

The city of Gamla was built at the beginning of the 1st century, during the Second Temple period. At the time, it was one of the biggest and most prosperous cities in the land. It was surrounded by a wall and was a major center of trade and religion, known for its olive oil. At the time, the first synagogue in the world was built there, while keeping a close connection to the Temple In Jerusalem as well.  However, the city was destroyed after a mere few decades, during the Great Revolt, in 66. During the battle over Gamla, which lasted 7 months and included two sieges, 9,000 people were killed at the hands of the Romans, including all of the residents of Gamla.  Gamla was never rebuilt again and was discovered by archeologists in 1967, right when Israel had taken control over the Golan Heights.

Gamla nature reserve
Gamla nature reserve

Best hikes in Gamla

The Dolmen Trail and Gamla Waterfall

A flat and spectacular route that is considered to be the highlight of the reserve. About 1.5 km/ 1 mile long on each way, it is easy to walk and suitable for families and young children. The first part of the trail goes through a field of dolmens – prehistoric stone structures built of large stones stacked on top of each other, which some believe were used as burial structures. After about 1 kilometer/0.6 miles, you will cross the bridge that passes over the Gamla stream, and get a great look at the Gamla waterfall. At a height of 51 meters/167 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in Israel.

From here we will continue for a few more minutes until you reach a spectacular observation deck, from which you can see the waterfall at a much better angle. The waterfall flows all year round, but during the rainy season, the amount of water increases and the waterfall is even more impressive. This is the endpoint of the trail, and from here, you can go back in the same way.

The trail starts and ends in the main parking lot of Gamla Nature Reserve.

Gamla waterfall
Gamla waterfall

The Vultures Observation Point

A short route of a few hundred meters each way, along which there is a wonderful view of the Sea of ​​Galilee and the ancient city of Gamla. At the end of the route, you will reach the Vultures Observation Point, a structure that provides a beautiful observation of the population of vultures and other birds of prey that live here in Gamla. The birdlife here is one of the most diverse and rich in Israel, and from here you will have a great chance to see plenty of impressive birds of various kinds.

Visiting the old city

The hike from the main parking lot in Gamla Reserve to the old city is very steep, as it includes an elevation gain of 700 meters/2,300 feet. For that reason, most visitors skip the challenging hike and only view the old city from above. Lately, a short road that is leading up to the ruins has been built, but it’s not considered to be safe enough for driving and is currently closed. If you decide to take up the challenge and hike to the ruins, you are in for an impressive tour. In the old city of Gamla, you’ll see the remains of the oldest synagogue in the world, the impressive bathhouses, the renowned oil mill of Gamla, and more.


Gamla nature reserve
Gamla nature reserve

Opening hours

Summer – every day except Friday: 8:00-17:00. Fridays and holidays: 8:00-16:00.

Winter – every day except Friday: 8:00-16:00. Fridays and holidays: 8:00-15:00.

Parking and transportation

There is a spacious parking lot at the entrance to Gamla National Park.

Accessibility arrangements

  • The trail leading up to the vultures observation point is wheelchair-accessible.

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