Cool off in the springs of the southern Golan

The Golan is blessed with about 160 springs, most of which have been used for generations for various purposes: irrigation, bathing, and more. (Later in the article - an introduction to the Golan springs). Some of the springs are today being renewed and renovated by teenagers who also like to spend time outdoors near a spring, and it is better to be accompanied by a pool.

Background to the Golan Heights Courtesy of the Golan field school.

In the Golan, there are about 160 springs that are a result of groundwater stored between the huge basalt rocks typical to the area.

Like typical seep springs, water seeps through the basalt cracks that tend to allow this due to its formation in rapid solidification. As a result, a lot of water seeps deep into the earth until it encounters an opaque layer. The opaque layer is either calcareous or clayey. Since clay is formed from the weathering of basalt, many clay layers are found in the depths of the basaltic soil of the Golan Heights. The water does what it tends to do to and flows down with the force of gravity through cracks until it cannot go further down.

We can find most of the Golan springs in two places:

The first is the basalt meeting with the limestone at the point of the Syrian-African rift. Or, along the primary fracture line in the western Golan above the low valleys (Hula and the Sea of Galilee). These springs are formed because the water "locates" the "weak spot" in the ground, as we mentioned above.

The second type of spring is called a "Lava tip Spring" meaning a kind that is formed in the basalt flow tip. As is well known, basalt emerges as a liquid substance from the earth's crust. From the moment the fluid exits, it begins to solidify as it cools in the air temperature outside the earth, which is why the liquid stops at a particular spot and solidified. This point is the tip of the lava flow. Similar to the fracture line, the end of the flow is also a weak point because, at this point, the basalt is the thinnest, and therefore the underground water over the surface breaks through the basaltic soil at this point.

It should be noted that the springs located in a certain area are networked between them so that pumping of the upper spring will decrease the water level also in the adjacent spring. This fact was discovered late for the residents of the Golan Heights who came after the Six-Day War and had to recalculate the size of the agricultural areas and the number of cattle herds that could be grown in the Golan Heights.

The heat of the Golan Heights and small agricultural areas, caused men to store the water of the springs in pools for bathing, drinking, and irrigation. Many ponds were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the Circassians in the center of the Golan Heights.

Others were made by soldiers of the Syrian army (Therefore nicknamed in Hebrew "officers' pools").

Today, the teenagers of the Golan Heights are building new pools, clean existing pools, and prepare them for wading. An entire leisure culture is based around these pools, and many tents can be seen scattered around the pools.


In the Golan, most of the springs and pools are not signposted because everyone knows everyone - so ask the locals for guidance.

Most of the spring and the pools, as mentioned, were renovated by youths from the Golan. Some of them are in memory of friends that died in an accident or during their army service- the details below.

Do you want to get to know the Golan Height deeper? If so, embark on a seven days journey along the Golan Trail

The Springs

Spring #1: Haon Lookout, also called the "Peace Lookout" (Near Kfar Haruv)
The view from the observatory on the Sea of Galilee is fantastic. Descending the comfortable but steep stairs will bring you to two hidden "officers" pools.

One is on the path that descends directly towards the "Sea of Galilee" and the other on the path that leads north.

Several different springs feed the water into the pools that are suitable for bathing.

Around of the pools, you can find many Fig trees, Holy Bramble, Horse Mint, huge Eucalyptus trees and more

Spring #2: Ein Pick.
Continue on road #98 until the sign.

The place is identified with one of Ahab's battles against the king of Sidon.
The place was conquered in the Six-Day War.  It was a small Syrian village called Pick that stood on the ruins of an ancient town.

To the right of an old building with romantic windows, walk down steep stairs to the spring that has been renovated and equipped for recreation. Even a two-seater sofa had been brought to the place.

Here we can see the "mouth of the spring" - around which Southern Maidenhair fern grows, in the air the smell of fig trees, if fruit is  already ripe, enjoy eating it. 

Dipping in the pool on a hot day is a great delight!!!

Spring #3: Ein Aya
Drive towards Meitzar. Don't turn into Meitzar, but continue along the fence until an orange ribbon where you turn towards an Avenue of Cypress trees (Or ask a local).

The pool commemorates the late Elon Yaakov Horowitz, who was killed in the Golan in an accident during IDF training.

This pool is deep and well maintained by folks that take care of cleaning it and its surroundings, it was built as an irrigation pool probably by the Syrians, and had a cover.

The view is fantastic! You can stay in the shade of the enormous Christ's Thorn Jujube tree nearby and enjoy it.

Spring #4: Orcha Pool
Situated on the "Oil Road" in the area of a deserted Syrian army camp. The spring feeds water to a long and deep officers' pool, around which the members from Moshav Ramat Magshimim planted orchard trees. The place is dedicated to the memory of the late Raziel Nagar. Here grow: Great Willow-herb, Horse Mint, and other water plants. You can find here also a picnic table benches for resting.

Spring #5: Yedidya Spring
We turned back and headed towards Moshav Yonatan. Before entering the moshav, there is a left turn on a bumpy road. Drive slowly and carefully or take a short walk.

The road leads to a cute pool and picnic tables and is located in the water-rich Gamla Stream. We picked and ate raspberry and looked at the Fat Duckweed in the standing water.

Read the dedication plaque to Yedidya - a place full of inspiration.

Spring #6: Ein Aniam
Enter the small village of Aniam. Drive around the peripheral fence until you reach a group of fig trees and a small gate. From the gate, you go down and reach two beautiful pools (so we heard) located in the "Ayit Stream". The descent is steep, and so is the ascent. Don't disturb the birds nesting.

In front of the fig tree, there is a small spring. We met there a guy named Daniel playing his guitar, and he greeted us with a song.

We ended the day hungry and exhausted at the meat a restaurant in Aniam and overnight at the Golan Golan field school

The next day, we turned south to drive home, and on the way, we also visited:

Salukya Springs:

A clean and well-kept and non-commercial site, with small pools on an arched route, suitable for children, and with no entrance fee.

When there is not a large crowd in the place, you can find spots to be alone and relax from the hustle and bustle of the world. And the water feel from heaven.

Hexagon Pool:
The entrance is near "Had Nes". Although the place is quite crowded, and one has to make an effort to get down a steep path to the amazing pool, there is enough room for everyone.

The pool, whose walls are made of hexagonal pillars, is located in the Meshushim gorge.

The area is populated by hundreds of evergreen oak trees (Palestine Oak), some of which survived the fire that raged in the area several years ago.

It is recommended for the whole family.