Hamat Gader is one of the jewels of Israel’s north. Situated in a valley beneath the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), right on the border with Jordan, this tropical playground is famous for its natural hot springs that stay 42 degrees celsius all year round. However, that’s not all you’ll find here; nestled in this unique spot lies quirky and fascinating features that are sure to leave you surprised.
The thermal waters of Hamat Gader are renowned for their therapeutic properties, which are the result of the water’s high concentration of sulphur and other natural minerals. Its health benefits include the relief of joint pains and general aches, rejuvenation of skin cells, boosting of your metabolism, and reduction of blood pressure. Mother Nature at her finest!
Hamat Gader is the largest and oldest spa resort in the country, and offers large swimming areas with different temperatures, jacuzzi chairs and powerful hot waterfalls that can help muscle ailments and offer their very own natural deep tissue massage.
Hamat Gader is a microcosm of Israel’s diverse population, enjoyed by Arabs and Jews, secular and religious, tourists and immigrants.
Aside from its thermal waters, Hamat Gader also offers visitors a campsite and picnic area, in addition to hammocks with scenic views of the surrounding mountains – perfect for an afternoon read or nap.
The idea to build around these thermal springs was initiated long before the state of Israel existed. Some 1,800 years ago, the Romans built structures to make the most out of the wonderful natural resources here, the remnants of which can be seen to this day. Not only is Hamat Gader a dreamy place to relax, it is also fascinating from a historical point of view with its two ancient Roman archaeological sites!
Hamat Gader also has a boutique spa hotel, where you can pamper yourself with their range of massage and spa treatments, as well as chill out in the jacuzzis found in all 29 of their rooms, which are fed by the natural waters from the area’s thermal springs. Dreamy spa areas like the one below make this one of the most beautiful spots in Israel.
If you’re not already mesmerised, then you will be when you learn that Hamat Gader is also home to the largest crocodile farm in the Middle East. Here, you can get up close to its 200 crocodiles, with species from all over the world including caimans, gavials, and alligators. In addition to this, there is also a ‘mini safari’ where you’ll find kangaroos, giant python snakes, baboons, iguanas and more.
Thermal springs, ancient archaeological sites, and crocs – what more could you want?!
Hamat Gader opening hours: Sun-Wed 8:30-17:00; Thu-Fri 8:30-22:00; Sat 8:30-19:00. Adult entrance fee is NIS 90. It is advisable to check in advance the hours of the different attractions within Hamat Gader, as they often differ to the main site.