You'll find a lot of Judas trees and almond trees along the path and the slopes of the hills here. There are also a lot of animals such as foxes and boars, porcupines and gazelles - but what it may most be known for (besides the tragic history and highest waterfall in Israel) is for its birds of prey living here.
If you're lucky, you can catch a glimpse of the Griffon Vulture either leaving in the morning, or returning in the afternoon. If you're an avid birdwatcher, it's a good idea to head over to the special birdwatching point along the north bank of Nahal Gamla (Gamla River).
Most people enjoy hiking along the "Ancient Trail" which is about a half a mile, and not all that difficult. There's a special observation point overlooking Gamla Hill (see photo), and then the path goes beyond it for approximately 20 minutes, toward the ancient town of Gamla.
Gamla was a major city during the end of the Second Temple period. It rose to fame because of the rebellious inhabitants during the time of the Great Revolt (around 67 AD) - documented by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus.
As in the story of Masada (near the Dead Sea), the Jews of Gamla fought the Romans until the point at which they realized there simply was no way to win. Instead of permitting themselves to be captured by the Romans, they committed mass suicide by jumping off the cliff. Hence, Gamla is known by some as the "Little Masada" of the Galilee area.
Hours of Operation:
Apr-Sep : 8:00a - 5:00p
Oct-Mar: 8:00a - 4:00p
Admission: Adult: NIS 23, child: NIS 12
This 50meteres high waterfall is (unfortunately) the tallest waterfall in Israel. Its definitely a pretty one and the hike towards it is a real lovely, easy and not a long one.
While arriving to the view point over the waterfall you can just stop there relax enjoy the clean air and the great tranquility.
There is no going down to the waterfall and please follow the signs and dont try anything which is forbiddne.
Gamla Preserve is known for the eagles which are nesting there and flying there all day, There's a bird's-eye lookout where you can sit and watch them and of course You can photograph them but its better to have a real good cameras with great lenses. Another thing that will help and i think is a must is a binoculars.
This experience of watching this animals is amazing, They are so royal... their flying and landing and they are so big and impressing...
This place is so relaxing and without noticing you can be stuck there for hours.
So.... to manage to see all that you better arrive pretty early and not in the middle of the day.
Best seasons to visit is October till May, although during Dec' - Feb' better get there when its a sunny days and not in the rainy days.
Gamla was an ancient settlement around the end of the 2nd Temple period and some says that there's a possibility that Jesus visited This very ancient city !
The story of this city os actually very onteresting and i recommend you to read about it here: http://www.parks.org.il/ParksENG/company_card.php3?NewNameMade=0&from=116&CNumber=508481
Hiking to the old city of Gamla which you can see on the cliff in the photo, is a bit difficult and can take 1.5 hour or more depends on your shape, however i do Not recommend you to do it during June - August when its horribly hot.
This nature preserve is very close to Tiberia and its not more then half an hour drive from the city.
Regarding Admission (not expensive) to the nature preserve and all the rest of the details please check the above link.
One of the main attractions of the Gamla nature reserve is the vulture lookout. From the top of the cliff, you can watch the elegant vultures, eagles and falcons soaring effortlessly in the gorge.
See more in the travelogue.
The word Gamal is Hebrew for Camel. The old city is located on a hill which looks like a Camel's hump, whence the name Gamla. This city was quite important around 2000 years ago, and might have been visited by Jesus. The city got famous during the great anti-Roman revolt of 67 AD. Josephus Flavius, the famous Jewish historian, who was one of the rebels in this revolt, tells the history of this place and describe the fight with the Romans. He was the one to give the description which lead to the discovery of this site. No one thought to even look here for a fortified city, until one archeologist looked for a place consistent with Jusefus writings.
The synagogue found in Gamla was already operative when the Temple in Jerusaelm was still standing. This defied the belief that synagogues were only built after the destruction of the temple by the Romans.
The path leading down to the ruins is quite steep. You can either admire the ruins from the viewpoint or take this path down.
The Gamla nature reserve has some attractions making it appealing to everyone. Beautiful flowers and butterflies, Israel's highest waterfall, the oldest synagogue remains and the birds of prey. See the other tips for specific inofrmation on the different sites.
Right next to the entrance to the reserve there is the old Byzantine church of Dayr Quruh, more than 1000 years old. The ruins are quite impressive, built with the local volcanic black stone.
See more in the travelogue.
At more than 50 metres, this is the highest waterfall in Israel. Getting there is quite easy. There is a trail leading from the entrance right to the waterfall and there are viewpoints of the waterfall from the top of the cliff. There is also a great view of the gorge leading from the waterfall to the west.
See more in the travelogue.