Galilee

Mountains, valleys, lakes, and great hiking trails, in the historical Galilee. Experience the mix of cultures, the laid-back atmosphere, and the beautiful landscapes of the green, mountainous part of Israel.

The Galilee: peaceful mountains and renowned historical sites.

The stunning Galilee region, with numerous mountains and rivers, great views and unique peacefulness, is a terrific destination for nature lovers, with great hiking options all around. When combined with the tremendous religious and historical sites of the region, there really is something for everyone in the Galilee.
Sea of Galilee, Northern Israel
Capernaum, Galilee, Northern Israel
Mount Tabor, Galilee, Northern Israel

Occupying a large portion of Northern Israel, the stunning Galilee region is one of the most beautiful and diverse of Israel. With a beautiful coastline in the west, mountains in the center, and the famous Sea Of Galilee in the east, The Galilee is as diverse, impressive, and peaceful as it gets. Here’s everything you should know to plan your visit here.

The Galilee’s most important religious sites

Mount of Beatitudes and Tabgha

As the location where Jesus chose his twelve apostles and delivered the Sermon on the Mount, Mount Of Beatitudes is one of the most important sites in the world for Christianity. The church is built in the shape of an octagon, where every side has a verse from Jesus’ sermon written on it. The Franciscan church, which lies on the mountain, was established in 1937 by the renowned Italian architect Antonio Berluzzi.

From the Mount Of Beatitudes, you can reach Tabgha via a 2 km/1.25-mile trail, connecting both sites. The trail is well-maintained and is very popular among Christian pilgrims.

In Tabgha stands the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, telling the story of the miracle performed by Jesus when he fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. According to the Christian tradition, this is also where Jesus revealed himself to his believers after his death. Adjacent to the modern church is a beautiful courtyard with a fountain and in the central hall there is a reconstruction of the original mosaic from the fourth century with a Greek inscription and decoration.  Under the glass panels, you can also see the remains of an old Byzantine church.

Capernaum

Capernaum is believed to have been the seat of Christ after he was expelled from Nazareth. Excavations conducted at the site revealed the remains of an ancient fishing village on its piers, residences, and a magnificent synagogue that served as an important Jewish town during the Greek and Roman periods. Today you can see impressive archaeological remains from that period in the courtyard of the site: buildings, columns, and lintels. Near the residential quarters stands the impressive synagogue building, built mostly of marble and limestone.

To the east of the synagogue were found the remains of the Capernaum church, which dates back to the Roman period. Through a glass ceiling, you can see what is believed to be the house of Saint Peter, later the first pope according to the Catholic current.

Nazareth

In the center of the old city of Nazareth, you can visit the Church Of Annunciation. It is considered one of the largest, most impressive, and most important churches for Christians in the whole world. According to Christian tradition, in this place the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was pregnant and carrying Jesus in her womb – hence it has been named the Church of Annunciation.
In the churchyard, you can see mosaic pictures that were donated by Christian countries from around the world, especially for this church. You can take a tour inside the impressive church and reach the Holy Caves of Nazareth.

Best hikes in The Galilee

Mount Meron Summit Trail

The Summit Trail on Mount Meron is a 1.5-kilometer-long circular route, suitable for the whole family and in any season. The path overlooks the Upper Galilee, along the way there are balconies where it is convenient to enjoy the wide view of the mountains of the Upper Galilee and Lebanon, the Golan Heights and the Hermon, the coastal plain, and parts of the Lower Galilee.
Throughout the months of the year, the path is filled with colorful and impressive blooms.

Mount Arbel Hike

Mount Arbel Reserve is in the Lower Galilee near the town of Arbel. From the mighty mountain cliff, you can see a view of the Sea of ​​Galilee and on days of good visibility, you can also see Mount Hermon. Mount Arbel Nature Reserve has several hiking options, from short trails to viewpoints, and up to challenging and adventurous hikes on one of the most beautiful mountains in Israel.

Sea To Sea Trek (Yam El Yam)

A challenging trek that crosses the entire Galilee, and is considered to be the most beautiful and popular multi-day trek of Northern Israel. As a 70 km/43.5-mile trek, which takes 3-4 days, it’s by no means an easy hike but is one of the best experiences you can have in Israel. The trek starts from the Mediterranean Sea, and goes all the way to the Sea Of Galilee, through numerous popular sites such as Mount Meron, Amud River, and more.

Best towns to visit in The Galilee

Klil

Very few places in Israel provide the feeling of a wild rural village, with open spaces, scenery, and individual houses scattered randomly in the area. But this is exactly the feeling you get when you arrive at the ecological village of Klil in the Western Galilee. Klil is known for its isolated and unfenced houses, which are scattered on hills covered with olive groves and an open view of the sea without any building in sight. The fact that the village is ecological and not connected to the electricity grid (the electricity here is solar) contributes to the beauty of the place, without power lines to injure the landscape. The houses here are very unique as well, since in the absence of an outline plan, everyone designed the house as they wished, with a lot of imagination and courage. Klil is a very popular retreat location, with several yoga, meditation, and art classes being held here daily.

Amirim

Amirim is located in one of the most beautiful locations in the Galilee – in the heart of a natural forest at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. This unique place, which was established in 1958 and has become a vegetarian town long before it became a well-known lifestyle, enjoys a combination of green forest landscapes alongside a breathtaking view of the Sea of ​​Galilee, the Golan, and the Lower Galilee. The well-kept town has two great lookout points, Mitzpe Menachem and Mitzpe Kinneret, from which you can look out over the national lake. At the heart of the town is a sculpture garden in the natural forest with sculptures donated by the Israel Museum.

Bethlehem of Galilee

Green hills covered with seasonal carpets of blossoms, and an oak forest surrounding a picturesque town with ancient stone houses and spacious courtyards with shade trees. Bethlehem of Galilee was established in 1906 by the Templars, who built it with typical stone buildings. The beautiful buildings remain to this day and some have been converted into cafes, restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops.

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