Hamat Gader (“hot springs of Gadara”) is a popular medical resort in the Yarmuk River valley near Lake Tiberias, at the junction of the borders of Israel, Jordan and Syria. Modern Gadara is located 4.5 km from the reserve, in Jordan. This resort was well known even in the times of the Roman Empire: in the second century, the construction of baths for the Roman legions began here.
In the vicinity of the resort and now you can see the ruins of buildings of the Roman-Byzantine period (4-15 centuries).
The thermal mineral baths of Hamat Gader include spacious pools of healing water, as well as a variety of whirlpools, water massage (relieves neck, shoulder and back tension), a fun and skin-toning bubbling pool and a hot waterfall. See Bridgat for climate and weather information of Israel.
The spa water has two important healing properties: warming and enriching with minerals. The water flow of 500-700 cubic meters per hour maintains a constant temperature of +42 °C. In addition, the source of Hamat Gader contains sulfur at a concentration of 4.7% and other important substances. Thanks to this, water, combined with high-quality procedures, accelerates metabolism and cell renewal, and has an analgesic effect. The pressure of the local thermal mineral spring is so great that the water is completely renewed every 4 hours.
The resort offers a wide range of water treatments and a variety of massages, as well as a spa and 17 treatment rooms staffed by professional massage therapists.
Restaurants and bars
The Blue Bar, a vegetarian restaurant for hotel guests, is open on the territory of the complex. Siam Restaurant is an exotic Thai restaurant with original Asian cuisine and a view of the central baths. Restaurant “A-mahbat” (“Frying Pan”) with national cuisine, offering a wide range of lunch dishes – from fresh fish to selected meats, salads and soups.
Entertainment and attractions of Hamat Gader
The main attraction of the resort is the thermal baths. They are an entire tropical park that stretches over 16 hectares and includes indoor and outdoor spaces, antique Roman baths, a hotel, restaurants and a thermal mineral pool. The cost of entering the reserve is about 100 ILS (this amount includes a visit to the crocodile nursery and hot springs).
The crocodile nursery was established here in order to save the crocodile population – the intensive hunting of these animals for the valuable crocodile skin has threatened the survival of the species. Today, about 200 crocodiles of different ages and different species live in the nursery – Nile, alligators, caimans and gharials, the conditions in the reserve are as close to natural as possible. Every day at 13:30 you can watch the process of feeding predators, and the bravest ones can take a picture with a crocodile (of course, under the supervision of the park staff).
At the end of the 19th century, the famous artist Polenov visited Hamat Gader. His painting depicting the ruins of the Roman-Byzantine period hangs today in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
Complex working hours:
- May and August: Sunday to Thursday 09:00-17:00, Friday 08:30-22:30, Saturday 08:30-17:30;
- June, July and September: Sunday and Monday – closed, Tuesday and Wednesday – 9:00-17:30, Thursday and Friday – 8:30-22:30, Saturday – 8:30-17:30.
In Hamat Gader, the ruins of a Roman theater with 2000 seats (behind the Makhvat restaurant), built in the 2nd century AD, have been preserved. e., as well as the ruins of the synagogue of the 5th century AD. e. The ruins of the synagogue cannot be seen, but the luxurious mosaic floor was removed from here, and today it is on display in the building of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
Here you can also see the ruins of the world’s largest Roman baths outside of Rome. The baths are more than 1700 years old, but high arches, marble coverings, mosaic floors have survived to this day – all this testifies to the great importance the Romans attached to the baths. You can admire the excavations from the observation deck.