Welcome to My Mountain

I am happily back in northern Israel after four great months in the southern Sinai town of Dahab, Egypt. While it may seem questionable to move back and forth between these two countries, it’s really not. They’re not currently on the best of terms, but they do still have a peace treaty with one another. Traveling between Egypt and Israel by land or by air perfectly safe, easy and acceptable.

One of my favorite activities where I’m living in Tiberias is hiking on the mountain right outside my front door. It’s great exercise, has from its peak beautiful views of surrounding areas like the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights and, best of all, it is almost completely deserted and totally peaceful.

Mountain in springtime in northern Israel

I never get tired of hiking this mountain, but this time of year it’s extra special. Springtime is really the only time that Israel is full of greenery, as summers are too hot and dry to sustain it. Right now the mountain is in full bloom and just gorgeous. Here’s a tour of what I’ve come to call my mountain in Israel.

Much of the mountain is farmland, with orange and grapefruit orchards, gardens full of vegetables and fields of wheat.

Springtime greenery at the base of a mountain in Tveria, Israel

Some of the very few people I’ve seen while hiking this mountain are farmers tending the land.

Tractor coming down a trail on the mountain

I’ve seen many animals on the mountain, from wild gazelles leaping around and cattle grazing to a dead wild boar, feet up, being driven down the mountain in the back of a truck.

Cattle on the mountain

The trails consist of loose dirt and rocks, making the climb up easy but the trip down a little treacherous. On one descent, in a split second my feet slipped out from under me on the rocks and I crashed to the ground, landing on my face and smashing it into yet more rocks. It only bled for a couple of days.

Hiking trail leading to the top of a mountain in northern Israel

Minor injuries are worth it, though, for when you reach the top this is your view.

View of the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee

Also at the top is a massive fence encircling a small body of water, with Danger – No Swimming – Treated Waste Water signs posted in Hebrew, Arabic and English. In any other country I would think nothing of this huge off-limits area. But since this is Israel, I think a little something more than water lies behind the fence.

Sign on fenced-in area on top of a mountain in northern Israel

12 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Steve says:

    What a beautiful countryside. I can see why hiking this area is one of your favorite pasttimes. I wonder what could really be behind that fence. You could always climb it and see what’s on the other side. It might make a good post! ;)

    I’m glad that you write on how easy travel is between Egypt and Israel. It seems as if some people seem to think that travel between the two would be difficult. It’s good that you’re dispelling that.

  2. Cherszy says:

    Wow! This is definitely breathtaking!

    I’m traveling to Israel next week, and you make me more excited with these photos. I’m just not too sure whether we’ll get to hike up any mountain such as this to get a better view of the countryside. I hope we do though. I don’t want to miss out on what seems to be a wonderful experience. :)

    And oh, I’m glad you actually said that traveling between Egypt and Israel is easy. A lot of people think otherwise because of the ongoing wars and all that. Glad to know that someone is breaking that kind of impression.

  3. Sabina says:

    Hi Steve, thanks a lot for your words. It’s so easy to travel between Israel and Egypt. You should try it some time ;)

    As far as climbing the fence, I’m sure it would indeed make a great blog post, but I don’t think I’m going to do it…

  4. Sabina says:

    Hi Cheryl – thanks for commenting! If you travel to northern Israel, which I hope you do, you should take two or three hours to visit Bet She’an, an ancient city just south of the Sea of Galilee which was felled by an earthquake hundreds of years ago. Not only is this area full of goregous ruins but there is a trail leading to the top of a mountain which will give you amazing views of the surrounding area. This would be kind of a mini hike which most tourists to Israel don’t take.

    As far as the ease of travel between Israel and Egypt, there aren’t any wars in these two countries now and haven’t been for years, but you’re right – that’s the impression most people are probably under. There is currently bombing going on in the Gaza Strip and the Jewish towns outside of Gaza, but that is far north of the border crossing. Traveling between the two countries is still safe!

  5. Cherszy says:

    Hi Sabina!

    Thanks for the suggestion! I shall keep Bet She’an in mind when we get to Israel. If we have enough time, I hope to hike up the mountain that you mentioned and maybe get a chance to take some beautiful photos such as the ones you have here. Wee!

    I can’t wait for next week to come and to take that flight to Israel and then travel to Jordan afterwards.

    Oh, by the way, how is the weather there? Should I bring any special clothing, like jackets and stuff?

  6. Becca says:

    Living in this beautiful place is very memorable experience. I love nature like this, its very quite,fresh air and fresh foods. Can’twait for our trekking this coming smmer.

  7. Sabina says:

    Hi Cheryl – the temperature is just about perfect at this time of year – nicely, comfortably warm, at least in Tiberias. This town is below sea level, so it’s a little warmer than Jerusalem or Haifa, but I think they’ll still be really comfortable. You might want to bring a very light jacket for nighttime, but I’m not sure you’ll need it. It’s a good thing you’re not coming till next week because the past few days we’ve had so much fog here right where I live you can barely see the water or the mountain. I think it’s probably not as bad in the rest of the country, though.

  8. Sabina says:

    Hi, Becca – it really is very memorable. I wish you happy trekking :)

  9. Gili says:


    I am happy that you are enjoying our amazing country. I like the fact that you are providing a balanced view over the current situation.

    The off-limits fenced area near mount Arbel (if that’s what you are referring to) is far away from the 67′ border and has nothing to do with anything else than wasted water.

    Keep enjoying,

  10. Love-love-love Northern Israel! Your post brought back great memories :)

  11. Sabina says:

    Hi Gili, thank you so much for commenting. This is indeed the mountain near Mt. Arbel. But why do they have such a huge fence with so many danger signs if it’s just water?

  12. Sabina says:

    Hi Ayelet – I love it so much! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. :)

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