Sprawling across northern Israel, Galilee is a rugged, mountainous region surrounding the Sea of Galilee. It extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan Rift Valley and from Mount Carmel to the border with Lebanon. According to the New Testament, it’s here that Jesus is said to have performed several of his miracles.
Things to do in Galilee
With its ancient settlements, therapeutic hot springs and religious pilgrimage sites, Galilee is one of Israel’s most fascinating regions.
Make a pilgrimage to the Sea of Galilee. One of the lowest lakes in the world, the Sea of Galilee is where Jesus is said to have walked on water and calmed the storm. Hike the 60-kilometre-long Jesus Trail, which takes in landmarks and paths linked to Christ’s life, such as the Mount of Beatitudes where he delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Ending at the Sea of Galilee is the Yam lYam Hike, which passes through Tabor, Neria and Meron.
Sightsee in Tiberias. Perched on the Sea of Galilee’s western shore is Tiberias, an ancient city named after the second emperor of the Roman Empire. It’s home to one of Israel’s most important Jewish pilgrimage sites, the Tomb of Maimonides, which is topped by a large metal structure inspired by a crown. Also not to miss is the 18th-century Etz Chaim Synagogue established by Rabbi Chaim Abulafia.
Soak in the hot springs of Hamat Tiberias. Known since antiquity, the hot springs of Hamat Tiberias have long been revered for their curative properties and are protected within a national park overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Marvel at the mosaic floor of the site’s ancient synagogue and see the beautifully preserved Turkish hammam before relaxing in one of the thermal pools.
Getting around Galilee
Haifa Airport is the closest aviation gateway to Galilee and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion International Airport are just over an hour away. Buses connect towns and villages throughout Galilee while renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around the region.