Location: On the border with Jordan, southern Golan.
Price Point: 112 NIS entrance (70 NIS if you order through their website, as we were told there.)
Hamat Gader is a natural hot spring in the south of the Galilee/ Golan. It’s a very isolated place and must be accessed by a car (there are bus options but I would not recommend in the slightest if you want a stress-free experience). The resort advertises itself as a spa with hot springs, pools, historical attractions, and a small petting zoo and crocodile attraction. However, not everything about what they advertise is worth it. Here is the breakdown:
The sulphate pool was at a staggering 42-44 degrees Celsius and has been the same temperature and untouched by humans for 2000 years (as the brochure claims). It is pretty extraordinary in terms of the benefits for your body and health.The pool is big with half of it in the sun and the other half in the shade. There are great water fountains as well with the same hot sulphate water. Overall it’s clean and well kept. It was not very crowed as well and very spacious. This pool I recommend 100%.
The regular pool has a toboggan and a small area of water fountains with jets for children to run through. This is a regular pool that is quite nice. The only problem was that it was filled to the brim, every corner was occupied by children. I didn’t get to go in because of it but if someone has children, this is a good option for them.
The rest of the attractions were, closed, because of Covid or just “because” as the workers told us there, the petting zoo, the crocodile experience, the amphitheatre, the Roman ruins, and the restaurant were all closed. This was pretty disappointing considering the 112NIS entrance fee. In the end we only experienced the hot spring and nothing else. There seemed to be some camping grounds as well for camp programs but that was unclear. We also stumbled on an abandoned restaurant with an abandoned pool on it that look incredible. There were toboggans taken over by leaves and trees. A complete shame because there is so much potential there. Please that the food option are NOT kosher for those observing.
Overall I’d say I was let down by the experience except for the hot spring. Everything was closed with no real knowledge of when it would open again. There is so much potential there and I can tell that once upon a time it was an incredible place but a lot of it has been left on it’s own and it’s a really big shame. I also recommend ONLY going in the winter. It was extremely hot outside and the pool was at 44 degrees, it’s not worth it in the summer but in the winter I’d sure it would be a great experience. Overall, it’s something you have to try once, at least for the sulphate pool.
Cleanliness : 7.5/10
Overall: 5/10 (Because everything was closed)