Are the Golan Heights Part of Israel?

What is the status of the Golan Heights - who owns it and can I visit? Is Palestine or Syria part of it? Where is the border? Our guide to visiting from Israel.

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Published January 26, 2022.

The Golan Heights (also known as Ramat HaGolan in Israel) is a small Middle-Eastern area intersecting Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and eastern Israel. A place with so many beautiful attractions is worth visiting, so keep reading to find out how you can travel to the Golan Heights easily.

Where Are the Golan Heights?

The Israeli part of the Golan Heights can be visited from eastern Israel and is situated in the Levant (a historical region of Syria; the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia). Several rivers and the Sea of Galilee provide (somewhat disputed) borders. It fringes the Upper Jordan River Valley, offering captivating views over the hills and the Sea of Galilee.

Which Country Owns the Golan Heights?

Although the area is currently classified in encyclopedias as Southwestern Syria, a part of it was annexed by Israel in 1981 and is therefore easy to enter while travelling in Israel.

Can You Visit the Golan Heights From Israel?

Yes! Visitors can drive there privately, which we recommend if you are looking for more flexibility. Once you arrive, you can sign up for various guided tours at the tourism office. You can also take one of the buses that depart from Tel Aviv (stopping at Golan Beach and Ramot), Jerusalem (stopping at Gamla Reserve and other points), or Tiberias - a four-hour drive that will take you to Katzrin.

Why should I go to the Golan Heights?

The Israeli part of the Golan Heights is famous for its wild beauty. It encompasses renowned Israeli attractions such as the enthralling Golan Heights Mountains, the Yehudiya Nature Reserve (known for its gorgeous freshwater pools), and the Golan Archaeological Museum, filled with ancient artifacts from the region. The area is also home to exquisite winelands, which produce many highly-acclaimed wines and provide guided tours and tastings.