The Gaaton River is one of the rivers of the Western Galilee that cross Nahariya and continue eastwards towards a beautiful ravine with orchards and gardens where you will find the Gaaton ruins, remains of a Crusader ruin where the Lebanese landowner Sursock built a magnificent estate surrounded by a farm and its ruins can be seen to this day. The route leads on an easy and mainly shaded path by foot along the quiet and tranquil ravine – part of the tour is an easy descent and the last part an easy ascent.
Many of us know the name Gaaton from that same river that flows (sometimes….) along the main street of Nahariya. However Gaaton is a river the source of which is found not far from Nahariya, on the site of the ruins of an ancient settlement. The Gaaton ruins, located close to the Gaaton settlement, was built in the 19th century by the Effendi Sursock, who purchase it would seem the lands in the region. In the area ruins have been found testifying to a much more ancient settlement, during the time of the Mandate in Israel.
The ruins are located on the banks of the Gaaton River and it is possible to hike the area on a circular route. After a short visit to the ruins, leave from the southern exit and continue on the path eastwards along the river ravine. After a short walk on the path we will reach Ein Merav, a round and calm pool, with a small rivulet draining into it. We continue along the path marked black that leads west, through the beautiful Mediterranean woodlands, under the path of the Gaaton river ravine. After a thirty minute walk on this path we will arrive back at the Gaaton ruins at the end of the route.
How to get there?
Drive on Road 89 (Nahariya Maalot road) eastwards. Several km after Kabri junction, turn right towards Gaaton and Yehiam (Road 8833). Just before the entrance to Gaaton there is a signpost to the left to Einot Gaaton. Turn left on a wide sandstone path, and before you reach a small bridge over the river park the car. The Gaaton ruin is just next the bridge.