Modern elegant, equipped with all the benefits of civilization, the popular recreation complex Hamat Gader is like a result of the past millennia: the resting place can also evolve!
The name is associated with the presence of five hot springs with healing properties due to the high concentration of mineral salts.
Hamat Gader: A generous gift from the past
On the map of Israel, Hamat Gader can be found in the valley of the border river Yarmuk. In the VII century. It survived the great battle of the Muslims with the Byzantines, on the south-western slopes of the Golan Heights.
Hamat Gader is like one of it’s existence, and it is older more than 2000 years old.
The five hot springs of Hamat Gadera were beating here already when the settlement of Gadara was on a hill. This is one of the ten cities of the Decapolis, a Greek colony in ancient Syria. The Greeks, like the local population, were well aware of the benefits of hot, heavy-smelling water spurting from the ground.
The Roman conquerors made Syria their province and became masters of natural wealth. The construction of the Roman baths in Hamat Gader is attributed to the Roman legion. In Judea and Syria lodged the famous X Legion, Keeper of the Strait. When the Roman soldiers did not fight – the commanders did not allow them to idle. Perhaps the terms in Hamat Gader are really their job. Roman soldiers created second by size bathing complex throughout the Roman Empire. And so, of course, rich and influential officials of the Roman Empire rushed here to rinse the gouty bodies in the useful water. Or maybe the procurator Judea himself was.
But the Jews did not forget this place. Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi himself brought his disciples to the holy ablutions in Hamat Gader. Of course, not in Roman terms, where in imperial times it was happening, which the Orthodox Jews certainly should not have observed.
It would seem that a beautiful place for recreation is not a platform for wars. But in the 20th century, so rich in war, Hamat Gader, Israel is a war zone. Passing from hand to hand – from the Syrians to the Israelis, from the Israelis – to the troops of Jordan. In 1951, he transferred Hamat Gader to Syria again. The Syrians turned out to be as practical as the Roman conquerors used to be: they built a rest house for senior officers here, and at the same time a mosque.
The victory of the Army of Israel in the Six Day War returned Hamat Gader to the Country. But only a suicide would have dared to live in this place. The area was not left alone by the militants from the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Jordanian army. What a vacation under the bullets! Only in September 1970, the Israeli Army finally managed to expel the warriors of Islam from these places.
Since then, Hamat-Gader in Israel leads a normal, peaceful existence. And the world is only for his benefit. If it were not for the Israeli Army’s stubborn struggle against the terrorists, there would be no recreational complex here. Neither the family would have a rest, nor the children would laugh.
Hamat Gader today: everything for the health of the body and spirit.
Swimming in thermomineral pools with a temperature of 42-57 ° C contributes to the acceleration of metabolism and cell renewal. It assists in the treatment of diseased joints. People feel reborn, having sat for a very short time (no more than 10 minutes!) In hot water – and flopping after it in the cool. Here is the whole range of water treatments: Jacuzzi, hydromassage of all parts of the body, hot waterfall, bubbling pool. The water in the pools, thanks to the activity of the sources, is updated every 4 hours.
If you suffer from cardiovascular diseases and you feel uncomfortable with one type and smell of sulfuric water, it is better to consult a medical professional of the complex. But even if the categorical ban to dive into the sources does not upset you! In Hamat Gader impossible to get bored. Here the principle of unity of the body and spirit operates. A person who has a sour mood cannot benefit from health procedures!
Body care significantly improves well-being. Behind the positive attitude is to go to the spa center, it is located in the center of the Hamat Gader hotel at the Spa Village. Spa Village consists not of rooms, but of cozy houses. There are 17 treatment rooms. You can visit them all if you really like it.
And if all these relaxing massages and body wraps are too relaxed and you want to flush yourself – visit the Splash attraction! The name fits completely. Overall adult citizens emit a particularly good surge when, with shrieks of delight, they fly into the pool from a 10-meter spiral-shaped slide. It is also fun to dance on the “mined” dance floor, from which powerful jets of water are pulled out in the most unexpected places.
Before visiting the hot pools, remove jewelry, gold and silver can darken and stones become dull from the water.
Zoo of Hamat Gader.
It has long been observed that communicating with smaller brothers is beneficial for people.
The most popular among tourists “brothers” are not so “smaller”, 4 meters long and with teeth.
Here is the largest crocodile nursery in the Middle East, which contains about 200 toothy individuals of different ages – from half-meter touching children to hefty handsome men in their prime – caimans, alligators and gavials. The feeding is done at 1:30 pm – and the “logs” lazily rolling around come to life and very actively try to eat their own food at the maximum speed, and what else they will get. And then fall asleep with an open mouth – for ventilation.
Particularly desperate viewers can take a photo with a crocodile. Of course, the zoo employee will keep it.
On Friday at 13.00 and on Saturday at 13.00 and 15.00 we recommend to watch a 20-minute, but very impressive show with unusual artists: parrots. Participants – from small wavy to large – macaw, macau and cockatoo. You have not yet seen parrots that ski and scooter!
Mini-zoo “Safari” is also worthy of attention. Of course, it is curious to look at ostriches of emu, baboons, deer and raccoons, but the real stars of “Safari” are the eight-meter pitons Monica and her friend Sarochka.
Children are invariably delighted with the “touching” living corner, where, under the guidance of the staff of the complex, it is allowed to pet various animals and play with them – and not just ordinary ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits. There are goats, deer, raccoons, and even very business meerkats who may try to stroke you in return – they are just like people!
On weekends, a fishing park is open, where everyone can fish with a fishing rod from a kayak.
Recommended to Know.
1. Unfortunately, now you can’t walk in the Roman baths. Once it was allowed, but now their territory is fenced. Now only peacocks are walking there – the only living creatures reminiscent of the Roman Empire (the Romans kept peacocks as decorative birds). But you can see the ruins through the fence and take a picture.
2. In the park surrounding the complex, it will be interesting to find the remains of stone benches on the slope – it was a Roman theater. He is not fenced. Why not take a picture directly on these ancient shops and feel like the ancient Romans. It is true, “watch” will have some trees. But in general, in Hamat Gader there is something to see – in addition to health treatments, there are plenty of entertainment. That is why the complex is a great place for a family holiday. It is interesting for both adults and children.
3. If you get hungry, great restaurants are located here to your service:
- Ha-Mahbat (Pan) – Israeli cuisine.
- Siam is Asian cuisine.
- Hotel Spa Village has a vegetarian restaurant for residents.
4. It is better to go to Hamat Gader on weekdays – not because the entrance is cheaper, but because there are fewer people. On weekends, the Israelis themselves come here for family holidays.
The weather in Hamat Gader is usually hot – it is below sea level. And the sun, according to those who have been there, is “bad” – use a cream to protect the skin, even if you are sitting in the shade.
Do not bring camping gas burners, barbecues, hookahs, glassware and mattresses with you – it is forbidden to bring all this into the territory.
Hamat Gader online:
Day tour to Hamat Gader.
Group excursion to Hamat Gader on Saturdays from the cities of the center of Israel: Bat Yam, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Rishon Le Zion.
How to get Hamat Gader yourself.
By car – on the highway number 98, which departs from the highway number 90. If you drive from Tiberius along the shores of Lake Kinneret, you need to ignore the turn to the left and go straight – the signs will continue.
From October to May:
Monday – Friday: from 7.00 to 23.00;
Saturday and Sunday: from 7.00 to 17.00.
May to September:
Monday – Wednesday: from 9.30 to 17.00;
Thursday – Friday: from 9.30 to 22.30;
Saturday: from 9.30 to 17.00.
Price on Friday, Saturday and holidays – 107 NIS.
Price weekdays (from Sunday to Thursday) – 99 NIS.
For children shorter than 100 cm, admission is free.