Banias Waterfall: What You Need to Know Before Visiting Israel's Largest Waterfall

By Alice Bassett
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Published January 24, 2022.

Banias Waterfall

The Banias Waterfall can be found inside Israel's Banias Nature Reserve (Hermon Stream Nature Reserve). The reserve is located in the Golan, at the bottom of Mount Hermon. The Banias Waterfall is a beautiful, tall waterfall that stands at 33 feet (10 meters). This fantastic attraction is a must-see for both tourists and locals alike. There are several things to know before planning your trip, and for your convenience, we have compiled all the relevant information into this quick guide.

When to Visit Banias Waterfall

While the Banias Waterfall is attractive all year round, it's recommended to go during winter and spring when the water flows more. During these two seasons, the vegetation is green and in full bloom.

How to Access Banias Waterfall

There are two entrances to the Banias reserve, and depending on which you take, you will end up either by the waterfall or the spring. The entrance to the falls is a short walk from the suspended path. This path allows you to walk just inches away from the rushing water.

The spring entrance will take you past the ruins of an old temple. The temple was a sanctuary of the god Pan, signifying Roman and Greek rule in Israel. The word Banias derives from the Arabic interpretation of the word Panias/ Paneas.

The prices to enter the Banias Reserve are:

Adult: 27 NIS Child: 14 NIS

The Hanging Trail

The hanging trail was introduced so that visitors could walk over the gorge and past the waterfall. There is no additional cost to use the hanging trail, and visitors can access it from two different hikes. The first is the shorter of the two and is 40 minutes long. You will start at the parking lot and walk down a winding path that will lead you directly to the trail. The second is much longer and takes about an hour and a half. For this hike, you will need to park two separate cars in the beginning and end parking lots so that you won't have to walk the same distance back. This longer hike branches off to the springs as well.

The Springs

At the base of Mount Hermon is a body of water known as the Banias Springs. It is surrounded by a beautiful, lush expanse of trees and vegetation, making it the perfect spot to sit down, relax, and perhaps have a picnic. This section of the Banias National Park is close to the aforementioned 'Temple of Pan.'

How Big Is the Banias Waterfall?

The Banias Waterfall is the tallest in Israel and is 33 feet tall. It is not too far from the springs, around 1.6-2.2 miles away.

Where Does the Banias Waterfall Flow To?

The Banias Waterfall flows into the Banias Stream, one of three rivers that feed into the Jordan River (along with the Dan and Hasbani rivers. The river Jordan is not only a beautiful site in nature in and of itself but also carries religious significance, as it is the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. If you drove from Banias Falls to the Jordan River, it would take around one and a half hours (71 miles).

Points of Interest on the Specific Paths

Aside from the waterfall itself, there are many attractions to see along the different paths at the reserve. The vegetation and animal life in the park is exquisite, boasting an array of butterflies, flowers, birds, and small animals like foxes and robins.

The Matruf Mill is a fully operational water-powered mill that can be seen while hiking along the path of the springs. Together with the Matruf, there are ruins of a larger (but now decayed) mill, of which only the floors and the wheel remains.

Caesarea Philippi is about 90 minutes away from the waterfall and is an attraction rich in history. It is a popular Christian pilgrimage site, as this is where Simon Peter proclaimed to the Lord, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”(Matthew 16:16, NKJV)

Why You Should Visit the Banias Waterfall

The Banias falls at the base of the Golan Heights is a must-see attraction in Israel. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, extraordinary waterfall, and tranquil springs, there are many historical sites which you may find interesting. Whether you would like the thrill of the hanging trail close to the falls, or the serenity of the springs, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Banias Nature Reserve. We highly recommend visiting and taking in all of these beautiful sights.