Monday, August 25, 2008

Recommended: Touring in the Golan Heights

The Jerusalem Post has an article about tourism in the Golan Heights, including Mount Hermon, Druze villages, B&Bs in Ramot, wineries and Hammat Gader.

A budding tourist industry, which boasts a ski resort, boutique wineries and posh inns, has sprouted on the unlikely brush and volcanic rock terrain of the Golan Heights, where memories of bloody battles are still fresh.

The Mount Hermon Ski Resort, which peaks at about 2,225 meters above sea level, has some 50 days of good skiing a year, says General Manager Menahem Baruch. The resort draws about 280,000 visitors a year.

Mount Hermon ski area, tb020506986 
Mount Hermon ski resort

An intelligence-collecting radar station sits on the mountain's summit, where, on a good day, a naked eye can see all the way to Damascus. The land is dotted with trenches, foxholes, and a now-empty army base captured by the Syrians in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and later retaken by Israeli troops, at the cost of the lives of more than 100 soldiers.

"The Hermon is not just a ski resort," Baruch says.

"Since Yom Kippur [War], it has become the eyes of the nation and has taken on the significance and importance of a national site."

In 1983, there were 6,800 Jews living on the Golan. In 2005, that number had almost tripled to 17,000, who live alongside 20,000 Druse and 2,000 Muslims, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In the past three years, the government has invested NIS 26 million in improving the tourist infrastructure on the Golan. At the end of last year, there were 17 hotels in the Golan and nearby Upper Galilee, with 1,340 rooms available. More than 48,000 people stayed in the area in 2007, according to the Tourism Ministry.

 Ramot chalet area, tb022107016
 Ramot Resort Hotel

I love the Golan and this article gives only a few of the reasons why.

The rest of the story is here.

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1 Comments:

  • Wonderful to see this. I was in Israel in May, rented a car and drove around the Galilee and Golan. The Golan was beautiful and evocative, some of the same kind of beauty as the low hills of, say, Wyoming, but with the added emotional pull of being part of Israel, the Land

    By Anonymous Maurice, at Mon Aug 25, 09:13:00 PM  

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