Caesarea Philippi is a Hellenistic city where Herod the Great erected a temple in honour of his patron Augustus Caesar. In 3 BCE, Philip II (Herod’s son, also known as Philip the Tetrarch) founded a city which became his administrative capital. The same ancient city is also mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew 16:13 and Mark 8:27 where according to Christian tradition is the site where Yeshua named Simon bar Yonah as Petros, (the rock) and gave him the Key to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Hermon or Banias is a name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the Greek god Pan located at the foot of Mt. Hermon. Hermon River is one of the main tributaries of the Jordan River. Archaeologists uncovered a shrine dedicated to Pan and related deities, and the remains of an ancient city founded sometime after the conquest by Alexander the Great.
The first mention of the ancient city during the Hellenistic period was in the context of the Battle of Panium, fought around 200-198 BCE, when the name of the place was given as Panion or Paneas. Both names derived from the god of the wild and companion of the nymphs, Pan.
The spring at Paneas initially gushed out from a large cave on a cliff which gradually became a site with several holy shrines.
Nahal Hermon (Banias) Nature Reserve has the most powerful waterfall in Israel. It falls 10 meters with enormous force and noise into a beautiful pool surrounded by lush vegetation. To see the waterfall you are required to descend into the Hermon River Canyon and view the waterfall from the well-built wooden boardwalk.
The Hanging Trail – the Nature and Parks Authority made part of the stream accessible by means of a “hanging trail”, surrounded by lush vegetation, where you can walk above and enjoy the sound of rushing waters.
The best time to visit these parks is during early spring.
By bus, taxi or guided tour