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The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River feature prominently in the Bible, but these days you are more likely to see a bus load of tourists than prophets walking on water. For Christian travelers, the main attraction to the Galilee (Kinneret in Hebrew) is the chance to visit places associated with Jesus' ministry, including Capernaum where he preached and healed the sick. For the lay person, the Galilee offers the promise of quiet beachfront property and attractive Kibbutz hotels. The main city on the lake is Tiberias, a laid-back tourist town inhabited mainly by Jews of Moroccan descent. There are hot springs and a number of ancient tombs in ...

The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River feature prominently in the Bible, but these days you are more likely to see a bus load of tourists than prophets walking on water. For Christian travelers, the main attraction to the Galilee (Kinneret in Hebrew) is the chance to visit places associated with Jesus' ministry, including Capernaum where he preached and healed the sick. For the lay person, the Galilee offers the promise of quiet beachfront property and attractive Kibbutz hotels. The main city on the lake is Tiberias, a laid-back tourist town inhabited mainly by Jews of Moroccan descent. There are hot springs and a number of ancient tombs in the area. Having made your way around the lake, veer north toward the magnificent Golan Heights, the much disputed range of hills captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Wine tasting in the vineyards is a popular activity among locals, as are hikes into the spectacular forests and mountain tops which overlook Syria. The most interesting site in the area is the enormous Nimrod Castle, an ancient fortress that looms over the plains below. Nearby, the city of Tsfat is the home base of Kaballah, Jewish mysticism.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A strategic plateau and mountainous region at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. The geographic area lies within, or borders, the countries of Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
  • Language: Hebrew; Arabic; English
  • Currency: Israeli shekel
  • Research: Golan Heights | Galilee | Golan Heights | Galilee
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    March to May and September to October