1 Day – Crusader Sites in Galilee

Montfort Fortress


In 1095, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos, appealed to the west, for help against the Turks.

Pope Urban II accepted the challenge and called for Christians to rescue the Holy Land. By so doing, the pope started a saga that extended for 200 years.

Eight waves of crusades stormed through Europe to free the Holy Land from the ‘infidels’. The story ends in 1291 , when the last of the Crusades sails away from the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The magnificent fortresses that the crusaders established during their years of occupation of the Holy Land remain as landmarks till today. 



The crusaders suffered their worst defeat by the Muslims, led by Salah El Din, at the Horns of Hattin, above Tiberias, which eventually led to the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem at the end of the First Crusader Kingdom. In 1189 , the Third Crusade, led by Frederick Barbarossa from Germany, Philip Augustus of France, and Richard the Lionheart from England, managed to establish a Second Crusader Kingdom along the shores of the Mediterranean, with Akko as its capital. On this journey, you will visit some of the crusader strongholds in the Galilee.  

Tour Itinerary

  • Drive east from Haifa, across the Lower Galilee to the HORNS OF HATTIN, an extinct volcano, strategically positioned (326M above sea level) on the road to Tiberias. The story of the battle will be recounted as we try to understand what led to the collapse of the Crusader Kingdom.
  • Drive to the Upper Galillee to SAFED or TSFAT originating from the word “Tsofeh”, (meaning overlooking). It’s strategic location, over 3000 ft high, was one of the reasons it’s highest point was used by the Templar Order of the Crusaders, as a building site with citadel and surrounding moat. Safed’s position helped in marking the Jewish Calendar according to the lunar cycle, as fires were built at the highest point and people far away would see the smoke and know the new month had arrived.
  •  Journey west, crossing the Upper Galilee to MONTFORT. Like an eagle’s nest, isolated at the peak of a cliff , the Montfort Fortress served as the center for the German Teutonic Knights, where they kept their archives . The region with its greenery and running water at Nachal Kziv, attracts backpackers and nature lovers.
  • Final stop is AKKO, capital of the Second Crusader Kingdom, that played a key role as a gateway to the Holyland during this period.


Optional Sites

Sites on the same route and close in themes and therefore can be exchanged or added, depending on personal preferences and time constraints.

Belvoir (Kochav HaYarden): a crusader fortress, located some 20 km. south of the Sea of Galilee and about 500 meters above the Jordan Valley overlooking the winding Jordan River below and facing the hills of Gilead in what is today the Kingdom of Jordan.
Yehi’am Fortress: the construction-date of the Yehi’am Fortress is unknown, but apparently it was originally part of the Ma’iliyah estate and was later sold to the Crusader Teutonic knights, who also purchased nearby Montfort Fortress.