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Sea of Galilee

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Middle East : Israel : Galilee : Sea of Galilee
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The Sea of Galilee as seen from the Upper Galilee mountain range

The Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: Yam Kinneret) is the largest freshwater lake of Israel. It is a picturesque lake located in the east of the Galilee region, (at the other side of the lake is the Golan Heights). The area is, of course, best known for its Gospel associations with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. As such, it forms a natural destination for pilgrimage amongst all varieties of Christians. Its beaches are also a prime recreational spot for Israelis and foreigners alike.


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See[edit][add listing]

The courtyard of the complex at Nabi Shu'ayb
  • Tiberias - with its various archaeological remains

The following sites are listed roughly from north to south.

  • Korazim - a Talmudic town with the remains of a beautiful basalt synagogue
  • Capernaum - the house of Peter as well as a marvelous ancient Roman synagogue, there is also Greek Orthodox church near the Catholic compound.
  • Mount of Beatitudes - the site of the Sermon on the Mount with the Church of the Beatitudes which is Sea of Galilee's biggest church.
  • Tabgha - the Primacy Church and a church documenting the Feeding the Multitude miracle
  • Hurvat Minnim - an Umayyad palace remains, north of Genossar
  • Genossar - the site of Jesus Boat Museum
  • the mountain of Arbel forms a magnificent viewpoint over the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding areas. A steep trail leads from the peak to the Sea of Galilee. A castle dating to the Roman period is nestled in the cliff, partway down the trail. Beautiful, but not for those scared of heights. there is a ruins of ancient Synagogue short before the per-paid area the synagogue was active between Byzantine period to the 8th century.
  • Horns of Hittin - where the crucial battle over the Holy Land took place between the Mameluks and the Crusaders.
  • Nabi Shu'ayb - Tomb of Jethro according to Druze tradition, Jethro's tomb is the holiest shrine of the Druze religion.
  • Magdala - Ancient Jewish village, now a Christian center, the site include a rare 1th century Jewish synagogue and it was also Mary Magdalene's town, in 2013 a Christian center about Mary Magdalene was opened there. the location is nearby Migdal junction nearby the shores of the Sea of Galilee and the modern day Jewish village of Migdal.
  • Kinnarot Cemetery overlooking the See of Galilee
  • Kursi - a remains of 5th century Christian Monastery that had two Basilicas significant mosaics. The site is significant to Christians because it has been identified by tradition as the site where Jesus healed two men possessed by demons (Matthew 8: 28–33), today Kursi is a national park and located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee
  • Susita (Hippos) - Hippos was a decapolis which are collection of Roman cities that located in Middle East. this is one of the only two decapolis that located in Israel and unlike Beit She'an (Scythopolis) its location is on the eastern side of the Jordan (Transjordan). Hippos has many archaeological finds of Roman streets, Temples and Byzantine Churches. the site is located on the Israeli side of the former Israeli-Syrian border of 1949-1967 and it is having a panoramic view of Sea of Galilee area, since Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, Israel built a road access to the national park.
  • Degania - the first Kibbutz. It houses Gordon House which is a regional museum of nature and prehistory.
  • Museum of Yarmukan Culture - a small museum documenting the Levant's most prominent Neolithic culture. Located in Kibbutz Sha`ar Hagolan.
  • The Jordan River Baptismal Site A holy Christian site not to be missed. It is to be remembered though that the baptismal site described in the Gospels is situated a few miles away in Jordan. Bring swim wear and a robe for the baptismal. An excellent restaurant is on premises: "Tmarim" palms fusing French cooking techniques with local Canaanite ingredients. Wonderful!
  • Go kayaking on the Jordan river (further down the road from the Baptismal site)
  • Bethsaida is an ancient city from Bronze Age to Roman period, the remains are of a village, it is also include a special gate with a pagan sign on it. Bethsaida is also the birthplace of three of Jesus's apostles, Philip, Andrew and Peter.
  • Tel Yareah and Tel Kinnarot - two ancient tels
  • Tomb of Prophet Habakuk - the Jewish shrine of the Propet Habakuk from the Hebrew Bible


Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

The church in Kursi

Walk in the city of Tiberias and its restaurants, there is a lot of fish dishes which came from the Sea of Galilee like St. Peter's fish. Hike the Arbel cliff and visit Arbel's ancient synagogue in the outskirts of the hiking area, according to the tradition the Messiah will visit here. Visit the Druze shrine of al-Nabi Shu'ayb (Prophet Jethro, the shrine is the holiest for the Druze religion, which a non-regocnized Muslim sect, the building is a perfect example of Middle Eastern archtecture, near the site lays Horns of Hattin which is the spot of the famous Islamic battle of Saladin against the Crusaders, the abandoned Hattin Mosque is linked by some people to Saladin. Visit the holy sites of Judaism and Christianity such as Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Tomb of Habakuk, Tomb of Rabbi Akiva and many more. Archaeological sites are lays between east and western coasts of the Sea of Galilee such as Hamat Tiberias, Kursi, Horvat Minim, Magdala, Hippos (Susita) and many other archaeological sites. there are a many swimming "beaches" at the lake. visit the nearby stream of Sea of Galilee in the Galilee and Golan Heights regions. the nearby Hamat Gader attraction includes hot springs, parrot shows, restaurants, water slides, archaeological sites of Roman Baths and more.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Avi's Restaurant, Ha kishon street (in front of Leonardo Club Hotel). 11:00-23:00. A very well known and famous restaurant in Tiberias. The place known for it's delicious meats and it's fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee. Highly recommended  edit

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