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Arbel - A River, A Fortress and a settlement

almond leaf

We started our trip in Moshav Arbel (Arbel settlement), next to Tiberias, on road number 7717.

We parked our car close to the Moshav gate, and started walking towards Arbel mountain on an asphalt road (passable by cars to those who are not interested in walking), the road goes north-west from the gate and surrounds the Moshav.

The way up to the mountain is set with almonds which are covered with white flowers on this time of year, on the other hand, on both sides of the road, thousands of blue lupines defy the cows "Do not eat me! I'm poisonous!".

We reject the lifts offered by nice drivers to the head of the Arbel, the blooming is much better than any car sits.

The way to the Arbel on this season, is a colorful experience which gives a nice view on the Arbel mountain from the right, the Nitai mountain from the left, and between them flows the Arbel river towards the Kinnereth.

a blooming carpet

The paved way ends at a parking area on Arbel mountain, and a short tour on the peak reveals a panoramic view of the Kinnereth, the surroundings of Arbel valley which we came from, and the village "Hamam" placed to the feet of the Arbel north of us. We chose the red path, which led us to the northern cliff of the mountain, and goes down steeply in a way with lots of metal stairs for the safety of the tourists.


view from the Arbel

The way down the steep cliff challenges our adrenaline glands, but the view of Nitai mountain in front of us relieves the soul. The mountain in front of us is grooved by caves which looked like they were mined by human. I wonder what stories are hidden there...

Nitai mountain

The red path continues about 100 meters east to the feet of the cliff. There, we see remnants of a fortress which by the stories of Josephus Flavius, was fortified by the last followers of Hashmonai house. Herod's armies attacked it by lowering soldiers in metal cages from the peak of the cliff, and they pulled the followers to the chasm with hooked poles. 

Hashmonai fortress

Sadly, the fortress is under renovation, and we can't enter. The red path continues easily downwards, towards Hamam village. At the end of the path we meet the Arbel river which flows strongly, and continue along the river on the blue path.

Arbel river

The way along the river is set with nice resting spots, but also with some pits made by field cards, which are filled with water, and forces the tourists to walk through the river, while the water reach our knees.

The way up from the river

After two kilometers we leave the river on the green path, which climbs steeply but easily, back to the road we came from. A little bit before the road, we walk by the remnants of the old Arbel cemetery. We can see some old burial caves that look to the amazing view of Arbel river. We cross the road, and continue through a small parking area on the side of the road, to the remaining of the old synagogue of Arbel, which was preserved pretty well, even some support poles are still standing.

View from the burial caves

The synagogue

We go back to our car, on the road we came from, and sadly say goodbye to the white almonds, heading back home.

Trip Summary - From the Arbel settlement to Arbel mountain, down to Hamam village and back through Arbel river and Arbel ruins.
Difficulty level
- easy, except for the way down from the Arbel which is a little challenging.
Month of travel
- February
- A trip in the heart of an amazing blooming, with a lot of interesting spots.
- Arbel in wikipedia
Key words
- Arbel river, Arbel, Arbel mountain, Hamam, Arbel synagogue



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