Mitzpe Shalom – מצפה השלום, also known as Peace Lookout or Peace Vista, offers what is hands-down the most spectacular view you’ll find in Israel’s Southern Golan. The Hebrew name seems to be undecided since some signs on the site read “Mitzpe LeShalom” and others read “Mitzpe HaShalom, while “Mitzpe Shalom will also get you there in Google Search.
The Peace Vista is situated on the high basalt cliffs of the Southern Golan Heights above the untamed gardens of a beautiful nature reserve with spectacular views of the Sea of Galilee spread out in its entire length and width, Mt. Hermon, hills of the Galilee, Mt. Tabor and the fields of the Jordan Valley.
The neighboring settlement of Kfar Charuv or “carob village, was founded in 1973, and took its name from an Arab village that had been located there, Kafr Hareb which was apparently named for the village Haruva that existed during the Talmudic era. Kfar Haruv’s main lines of business are industry (ARI-hydraulic equipment), agriculture, and tourism (Peace Vista). The Kibbutz is a co-owner of Hamat Gader. To the north are the Susita nature preserve and Nahal Pik. The kibbutz was founded by English speakers and is economically strong. The weather is comfortable, compared with the Jordan Valley, and it isn’t as chilly as the Golan.
Since the visibility was very bad on the day I visited this week, I am providing a personal video of another visit on a day with much better visibility.
Consider taking a short, 10-minute nature hike down from the lookout promenade, through the wildflowers to one of the springs (Maayan Mitzpe Hashalom) that feed the Kinneret. Steps with railings have been installed to make the short but steep walk downhill a bit easier. The springs can be located by looking for the bamboo reeds that grow up from the water source. Keep your eyes open for figs growing near the springs. A small, square, man-made pool traps the spring water. This pool was originally built by the Syrian army so their sergeants would have a place to refresh themselves. Today, the man-made stone pool is a great place for hikers to rest.
In the Mitzpe HaShalom complex one can also find audio information stations for those who would like to learn more about the local geography. A few sets of steps near the observation point will lead you to several short circular trails, some of which pass by orchards.
Near Mitzpe Hashalom you may be interested in the Kibbutz Tel Katzir Museum, a small museum in the kibbutz about its history and the period between 1948 and 1967. Contact Devorah 050-8890237 or 04-6756809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How to arrive:
By way of Coursi Junction – moderate ascent.
From Tzemach Junction go eastward on Road 98. After approximately 3 km turn left towards Ein-Gev and Katzarin. Keep going till Coursi Junction, and go up in the direction of Ramat Ha’golan until Pick Junction. Turn right and travel straight on until passing kibbutz Kfar Charuv. About 200 meters southward is the right turn to Mitzpeh Ha’shalom.
By way of Chamat Gader – steep and twisted ascent.
From Tzemach Junction go eastward on Road 98 in the direction of Chamat Gader. Before the entrance to Chamat Gader, turn left towards Ramat Ha’golan, the continuation of Road 98. The road goes up and twists until you reach the Golan Heights, and then it becomes straighter. After passing kibbutz Mevoh Chama, the entrance to Mitzpeh Ha’shalom will be your left.