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In the northern Golan heights
, at just over one-thousand meters above sea level, one can find Mount Bental, one of a series of hills and mountains in the region that are remnants of long extinct volcanoes which caused the grey basalt stone that the area is known for. The mountain is situated next to Merom Golan which was the first Kibbutz established in the Golan, mere weeks after the Six Day War and now hosts a disused army out-post where visitors can walk along trenches and descend into underground living quarters, getting a first-hand experience of life in the front lines.
Visitors to Mount Bental can enjoy some incredible views; Mount Avital to the south from where the army keeps track of Syrian military activity, Syria a mere four kilometers to the east with a view of the ruined town of Kuneitra that was captured during the Six Day War, returned to Syria in 1974 but never rebuilt and perhaps the most poignant view of all is the Valley of Tears, to the north of Kuneitra. It was here that one of the fiercest tank battles of the Yom Kippur War took place, when the hugely outnumbered Israeli troops miraculously blocked the advances of the attacking Syrian forces.
On the summit of the mountain one can enjoy coffee, snacks and toilet facilities in Coffee Anan- the highest café in Israel
How to get there: From the Mahanaim Junction (near Rosh pina
) on the main Tiberias-Kiryat Shmona road, take the eastbound Route 91. After Kibbutz Ein Zivan make a left onto Route 98, passing the Kuneitra lookout until reaching the junction with Route 959. Turn left to Marom Golan and the road to Mount Bental is just past the entrance to the Kibbutz.
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