Search
Close this search box.

Mount Gilboa

Exploring Israel

Mount Gilboa is a ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley In the Galilee and one of Israel’s most beautiful spots. At Mount Gilboa you can find springs that bubble from the rock and feed vast tracts of colorful wildflowers that grow on the mountainside. Furthermore, this spectacular area is best experienced from February to April when the flowers bloom into a riot of color and fragrance. It’s also a popular destination for visitors who come to picnic; hikes; biking and soak up the scenery.  


Mount Gilboa (2)

Mount Gilboa Historical and Religious Significance

According to the Old Testament; Mount Gilboa is a place of tragedy and triumph. For example, Israel’s King Saul battled the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, lost his life; along with his three sons. On hearing about the tragedy; King David cursed the mountains.  

Beit Shean National Park
In This Photo: Beit Shean National Park Near Mount Gilboa

Also, several other battles took place on and around Mount Gilboa. For example, a minor battle between Sultan Saladin and the army of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1183. And the Battle of Ain Jalut was fought at the foot of Mount Gilboa in 1260 and saw the Muslim Mamluks conquering the Mongols. In fact, this battle is marking the end of the Asian push into the west. 

Exploring Mount Gilboa 

Furthermore, the best way to experience the area is by driving the Gilboa Scenic Road; which follows the ridges of the mountain and has many lovely lookout points with incredible scenic views. The road begins near the town of Afula and climbs into the Gilboa Mountains with amazing views of the surrounding Syrian African Rift Valley; which is part of the Great Rift Valley.


In This Photo: The Purple Gilboa Iris

Also, the Gilboa Scenic Road passes several peaks which are named after famous Biblical characters and historical events, including Mount Shaul (Saul) and Givat Hamoreh; where the Philistines camped before going into battle with Saul; Mount Tabor; the Heights of Issachar; and the Upper Jezreel Valley (also known by Christians as the Valley of the Armageddon).

Recreation

Mount Gilboa’s beautiful landscapes offer a wealth of recreational pursuits to enjoy from hiking and mountain biking to paragliding off the cliffs of Mount Shaul. The main recreation area in Mount Gilboa is Kefef Shaul (Saul’s Shoulder) which has playgrounds, plenty of shady picnic spots; and trails leading to lookouts with unfettered views. This is a wonderful place to stop for a lunch break on a guided tour of Mount Gilboa. 

Furthermore, the Vinya Overlook is a must-visit for the incredible views of the valley; and the Ein Harod kibbutz and if you are feeling energetic; a hiking trail for advanced hikers leads to a spring called Ein Hasamal and a picturesque hidden valley. 

Flora and Fauna

Set on the Gilboa Scenic Road; the Gilboa Iris Nature Reserve is well worth visiting to see the awe-inspiring array of wildflowers and blooms; including the purple Gilboa iris. In fact, the reserve is home to more than 170 other species of plants; shrubs; and trees; as well as a diverse range of animal species. In the cooler months; the reserve bursts into bloom and is simply spectacular. 


arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Beit Shean National Park

RELATED POSTS

Monastery of Saint John In The Wilderness

The Monastery of Saint John in the Wilderness is next to a spring on a wooded hillside. It's the place where John went into the ...

Machaerus

Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan. According to Flavius Josephus, it is the location of the execution of John.

Jabotinsky Institute

The Jabotinsky Institute is an important cultural and historical center dedicated to the life and legacy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

Alexander Stream National Park

The Alexander Stream is one of the most important and beautiful waterways in the Sharon region. A genuine nature reserve you should visit!

The Cardo

The Cardo was the main street in Old Jerusalem during the Roman and Byzantine periods, passing from the Damascus Gate to the Dung Gate.

Saint Etienne Church

Saint Etienne Church is dedicated to Saint Stephen, a deacon and the Church's first martyr. It commemorates faith and sacrifice.

Goren Park

Goren Park is a stunning nature reserve offering various activities and attractions. One of the attractions is the view of Montfort Castle.

Beit Hadassah Hebron

The Beit Hadassah Hebron’s Visitors Center is a museum that tells the storied history of Hebron as a Jewish ancient city.

Bethsaida National Park

Bethsaida is an archaeological site on the Sea of Galilee. An ancient city where it told Peter and Andrew came from. Don't miss it!

Mea Shearim

Mea Shearim is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Home today to the ultra-orthodox Haredim Jews, let's visit them!

Need help?

Skip to content