Constantly mentioned in the world's bestseller, the Bible, the Sea of Galilee is more than just a beauty of nature but also an oasis overflowing with history and culture. Fed by the Jordan River, it is the largest fresh water lake in Israel and is visited by more than one million local and foreign tourists annually.
If you're planning a trip to see the lake and its surrounding towns, here are five things you must see and do upon your visit to the historic Sea of Galilee.
Adventures in the water
Most of the time, "sacred" does not coincide with "adventure," but that's not the case for the Sea of Galilee. In fact, it houses three water amusement parks and offers various facilities, from serene activities like lake cruises to adrenaline-pumping activities like kite-surfing and windsurfing.
Cruises can be arranged through local sailing companies. You can go by canoe, a yacht, a simple fishing boat, or a floating restaurant. There are even options to party via a floating nightclub.
Cycle around the Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee can also offer adventures out of the water. You can rent a bike and explore the rim of the Sea of Galilee, pass through the Jesus Trail in Tiberias, visit the Hippos and Harbors, and admire the greenery.
If you are not that adept in cycling, you can rent a jeep or an ATV to take you around the lake. You can also come in Renaissance-style with Jordan carriages drawn by horses. If you want it simple but modern, there are also buses available to give you a tour from the Tiberias to the Kinneret beaches.
Grub down on local fish
If you're famished after your adventures, why not feast on the Sea of Galilee's own fish—the St. Peter's Fish? This fish can reach up to 1.5 feet long and weigh up to 3.3 pounds. Natives refer to this fish as "musht," and it is exclusively found in the Sea of Galilee.
There are also two other types of fish you can choose from—sardines and barbs. Usually, fish is eaten with bread, similar to the famous biblical story.
Dip into the Tiberias hot springs
After an energy-filled adventure of touring around the Sea of Galilee, take a moment to relax by dipping into the Tiberias hot springs. Tiberias, the largest city around the Sea of Galilee, is filled with ancient pools supplied by 17 natural springs.
You can find numerous companies offering massages, mud treatments, and Turkish baths. For conservative visitors, private beaches are available to rent.
Admire the sunset
The best end to your day is watching the panoramic scene offered by the Sea of Galilee. You can stay on Kibbutz Kinneret, south of Galilee, while sitting on a Bedouin rug, listening to good music as the sun sets.
After the sunset, take to the Tiberias lakeside and witness the entertaining sound-and-light show for free at 8:30, 9:30, or 10:00 p.m. every night of the week.
Jonnalyn Pascual is a Marketing Consultant for AbsolutelyIsrael, a Taglit-Birthright Israel licensed tour operator. Taglit-Birthright Israel is a project between the Government of Israel and Jewish federations/communities around the world and private philanthropists. Their mission is to offer Jewish people a free first-time visit to the country of Israel.
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