Asia > Middle East > Israel > Galilee > Kinarot Valley and the Sea of Galilee
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 (the Golan Heights are on the other side of the lake). The area is best known for its Gospel associations with the life and ministry of Jesus. As such, it forms a natural destination for pilgrimage among all varieties of Christians. Its beaches are also a prime recreational spot for Israelis and foreigners alike.
The following sites are listed roughly from north to south.
- 1 Korazim. A Talmudic town overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It features the remains of a lovely basalt synagogue.
- 2 Capernaum. the house of Peter as well as a marvelous ancient Roman synagogue
- Mount of Beatitudes.
- Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha. Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat 9AM-3PM. The Primacy Church and a church retelling the Gospel account of the miracle of Jesus Feeding the Multitude.
- 3 Hurvat Minnim (Khirbat al-Minya). Remains of a palace from the Umayyad period (8th century). North of Genossar.
- 4 Genossar. Site of Jesus Boat Museum
- 5 Arbel mountain. 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.
- 6 Horns of Hittin (Karnei Hittin). Where the crucial battle over the Holy Land took place between the Mameluks and the Crusaders. Now it is just a barren hill though.
- 7 Kinneret Cemetery. Overlooking the See of Galilee. A number of early Zionist leaders and pioneers are buried here, including Berl Katznelson.
- 8 Degania. The first Kibbutz. It houses Gordon House which is a regional museum of nature and prehistory.
- 9 Museum of Yarmukan Culture. A small museum documenting the Levant's most prominent Neolithic culture. Located in Kibbutz Sha`ar Hagolan.
- Jordan River Baptismal Site. 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 if you plan on having a baptism in the river. An excellent restaurant is on premises: "Tmarim" palms fusing French cooking techniques with local Canaanite ingredients.
- 10 Rob Roy - Jordan river kayaking (Down the road from the Baptismal site). Kayaking and other water activities on the Jordan River
- Tel Yareah. Ancient tel
- Tel Kinnarot. Ancient tel
- 11 Hamat Gader (Gadara hot springs). The hot springs here have been a tourist magnet since Roman times. Current attractions include Israel's largest spa complex, Roman ruins, a large crocodile and alligator farm, and a water park. Hamat Gader very close to the Jordan border (but is perfectly safe). The Roman city of Gadara is located in Jordan (see Irbid), in the hills above Hamat Gader; there is currently no access between the two. As a mnemonic, Hamat Gader is where you can see 'gators.
The Sea of Galilee itself is an interesting destination for water activities - leisure cruises, Christian holy site cruises, water sports, kayaking, SUP (standup paddleboarding), and more. Companies offering these attractions include Ein Gev Kinneret Sailing Company, Sail on the Sea of Galilee, and Halom Olami.
- Tulip Inn Sea of Galilee Hotel (Tulip Inn Sea of Galilee Hotel), ☎ . Check-in: 3:00PM, check-out: 11:00AM. Tulip Inn Sea of Galilee is a pastoral resort village boasting the most tranquil of surroundings, the highest standards of hospitality, and service characterized by warmth and love.
- Ein Gev Holiday Resort (Ein Gev, on the shores of the lake), ☎ . One of the largest resorts in the area with 166 rooms.