Hamat Gader hot springs

Bathe in the historical hot springs of Hamat Gader, the most beloved hot springs in Israel, offering a unique, peaceful experience, a rich history, and plenty of health properties.
Hamat Gader

The best hot springs in Israel

As a unique site with 4 different hot springs, Hamat Gader, which was a luxurious bath house going back all the way to the Roman period, Hamat Gader is undoubtedly the best and most highly recommended hot spring in Israel. The great combination of the host springs, the views, the history, the wildlife, and the other great activities in the site, creates just a perfect winter activity.

Although Israel has an abundance of cold springs, which are scattered throughout the country and offer great bathing experiences, it doesn’t have the same reputation when it comes to hot springs, which are much less common and harder to find. However, if you are looking for the ultimate spring for wintertime, one hot spring stands above all, in the form of Hamat Gader, a series of 4 beloved hot springs located just below the Golan Heights, which offer numerous great activities in this beautiful region.

Get to know Hamat Gader

History and architecture

The construction of the Roman baths of Hamat Gader began during the Roman rule in the Land of Israel (63 BC – 313). The hot springs were used as a healing site, as it was believed that they had major healing properties. A large bathing site was built here, which includes luxurious bath buildings decorated with statues, marble walls, and fountains.

Since the visitors stayed there for several days, guest houses, theater buildings, and even religious buildings, such as idol temples and a synagogue, were built alongside the baths. In the third century, even a Roman theater was built here with 2,000 seats, showing the place’s importance at the time.

The complex of the Roman baths, with an area of ​​about 500 square meters, was centered around Ein El Maqla, which originates near the source of the Yarmuch stream. The spring water reaches an upper pool, from which it flowed into a series of seven pools, each of which was located in a separate hall.

It is assumed that each of the seven pools was at a different typical temperature, with the aim of allowing the bathers to gradually adapt to the water temperature, by passing from one pool to another. Alternatively, other historians assume that each hall was dedicated to patients with a specific disease.

The site was damaged due to an earthquake in the 7th century and was rebuilt soon later by the Byzantines. Finally, it was completely abandoned in the tenth century, after being destroyed by another earthquake, only to be rebuilt as a Hamam in the 20th century by the Ottomans.

Hamat Gader
Hamat Gader


The flow of the hot water from the ground in Hamat Gader is a result of the Great Rift Valley, at the meeting of the two tectonic plates: the Arab plate and the Levantine plate, which is part of the African plate. The movement of the tectonic plates in these areas has caused many phenomena through the years, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the emergence of hot water from the depths of the earth, just like here and in sites like Ein Jones, and others.

Most hot springs in the world are the result of groundwater that comes into contact with hot layers deep in the earth. However, the unusual mineral composition of the spring water in the Jordan Rift Valley in general and in Hamat Gader in particular, has led researchers to hypothesize that the source of the water is different than usual.

Researchers claim that the hot water here in fact entered the Jordan Rift Valley through the Jezreel Valley in an ancient geological period when the sea level was higher than today. This water seeped into the ground, encountered a warm layer, and rose to the surface as hot spring water.

The springs are a type of fault-controlled springs, emerging from the ground along the secondary fault of the Yarmukh River. Such springs also exist in several other sites in the region, such as Tiberias Hot Springs and Gan Hashlosha National Park. The source of the high temperature of the water is not related to volcanic activity, but to the great depth from which it originates in the bowels of the earth, where high temperatures prevail.

The hot springs of Hamat Gader

There are five springs at the Hamat Gader site, four of which spring mineral water, rich in sulfur (4.7%), and one of fresh water. Those include Ein El Maqla, the hottest spring of them all (52 Celsius/125 Fahrenheit), which was the main source of the ancient Roman baths. Today, the main source of the baths of Hamat Gader is Ein Balzam (Perfume Spring), with a temperature of about 42 Celsius/107 Fahrenheit.

Among the health benefits that can be derived from bathing here, are joint pain relief, renewal of skin cells, speeding up of the body’s metabolism, dilation of blood vessels that contribute to lowering blood pressure and raising heart rate, and more. In addition, traditionally, the springs were believed to help conditions like asthma, skin diseases, and more.

Other great things to do in Hamat Gader

See the Hamat Gader Zoo

After you have pampered yourself in the hot springs and enjoyed the magnificent views that surround Hamat Gader from all directions, it is highly recommended to also visit the small and charming animal zoo. Among other animals, you can find here parrots, monkeys, snakes, goats, and more, with the highlight of the place being pools with no less than 120 crocodiles of different breeds and sizes.

The crocodiles were brought from different parts of the world, such as Florida, India, South America, and Africa, and this is the largest crocodile farm in the Middle East. The green pools where the crocodiles live are separated by bridges, which will allow you to watch the giant crocodiles up close.

Visit the water park

If you arrived here on a relatively hot day, it is highly recommended to cool off in the mini water park of Hamat Gader. The complex adjacent to the hot water baths, includes great slides and a cold swimming pool. Also, you will find here a spacious and comfortable seating area that includes a nice buffet that serves pizzas, coffee, and cold drinks.

In the background, you can see the volcanic-basalt landscapes of the southern edge of the Golan Heights, and the Sea of Galilee, which give the feeling of swimming in the crater of an ancient volcano.

Water park, Hamat Gader
Water park, Hamat Gader

Spend the night in Hamat Gader

If you want to spend the night in this charming area, you have two excellent accommodation options.
The first is the tent complex, which is considered one of the best overnight campgrounds in Israel. This neat campground will suit the need of every average family, as it includes a huge shared refrigerator, a barbecue area, a trash can near each tent, toilets on both sides of the complex, external lighting, and showers.

In addition, for a more luxurious stay, we would recommend the Hamat Gader Spa Village Hotel, offering a great spa, thermo mineral pools, and fancy suites, each featuring a private jacuzzi filled with water that comes straight from the hot spring, just like a Japanese ryokan.

Hamat Gader springs
Hamat Gader springs

Opening hours

Monday-Wednesday, Saturday: 9:00-16:30
Thursday-Friday: 9:00-21:30

Parking and transportation

There is a large parking lot at the entrance to Hamat Gader.

Accessibility arrangements

  • Hamat Gader is not wheelchair-accessible.

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