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Sea of Galilee in Hebrew Kineret
The Sea of Galilee is known by many names. In Hebrew is called Lake Kineret due to its form as a harp. It is also called Lake of Gennesaret and Sea of Tiberias.
It is located in northern Israel in the area called Galil or the Galilee in English. It is near the Golan Heights and the Hula Valley.
Besides Jerusalem it is the second most important area for Christian Pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Jesus walked all these paths, reached to the crowds and performed some of his miracles here.
Aerial view of the Sea of Galilee
It measures approximately 22 Km or 14 miles long by 14 Km of 8 miles wide. The total area of the lake is 166 km².
It is 212 meters below sea level and considered to be the lowest fresh water lake on Earth. The Dead Sea is the lowest point in the world but it is a salt water lake.
The Kineret is located on the Syria African rift, a valley caused by the separation of the Arabian and African plates.
The area has experienced volcanic activities and earthquakes during centuries.
The Sea of Galilee has been in the center of Christianity for two thousand years. Many important sites to Judaism and Christianity surround the lake:
• The Mount of Beatitudes
Looking down to the lake from where Jesus preached the Sermon of the Mount. You may imagine the disciples seated on the slopes of the mount while they hear the Teacher speak.
It is called Kfar Nahum in Hebrew is known as the home of some of Jesus’ disciples and the ruins of an ancient Synagogue.
It is believed to be the site where Jesus fed 5,000 followers from five loaves of bread and two fishes. It is called now the Church of Multiplication.
Mount of Beatitudes is the site of the "Sermon of the Mount"
It is also called Magdala and believed to be the home of Mary Magdalene.
• Jesus Boat
Around 1985-86 when the waters of the Kinneret came to a frightening low a fishing boat was discovered on the shores of kibbutz Ginnosar.
Archaeologists like famous Israeli Yigal Allon fixed the date of the boat around 100BC to 100 EC. This is the reason many called it Jesus Boat because that was the time of his life on Earth.
It can be seen today at Yigal Allon Center among many discoveries of the Prehistoric times of the Galilee.
The Baptism area is located south of Tiberias where the Jordan River exits from the Sea of Galilee.
Many Christians come here to commemorate Jesus of Nazareth’s Baptism and go into the waters to be sprinkled with Holy Water of the Jordan.
The open amphitheater is used for worshiping and a very nice gift shop will be waiting for you full of souvenirs of the area.
The ancient city of Tiberias
The city of Tiberias lies on the western shore of the lake. It was named after Emperor Tiberius in 20 BC. It is an ancient city that has kept its small town feeling.
It hosts most of the hotels in the area and it is full all year round with pilgrims and locals alike. It looks peaceful and quiet during the day and in the evening it shows an active nightlife of bars and restaurants, dinners on boats and many souvenir stores appealing to all tourists.
Beaches around the Kineret
The beaches that surround the lake in its whole circumference are varied in their style. Some have white sand and some rocks; some are wide and some are narrow.
But no matter which one of them, they attract tourists and locals alike year round. You should see the Kineret on a holiday like Passover. If you drop a pin it will fall on somebody’s head.
The Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias showing the spectacular water park
Recommended Hotels and Guest Houses around the Sea of Galilee
Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel Tiberias
The center of Tiberias' tourism may be enjoyed while staying at the private beach location of the Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel Tiberias. A visit to the Tiberias Hot Springs makes for a relaxing day trip as it is the largest mineral spring site in Israel.
The Ben Gurion Airport is 160 km from the Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel Tiberias.
The Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel Tiberias is outfitted with 120 air conditioned guest rooms. The décor is colorfully patterned with wood furnishings and built with a private balcony.
There are treatment rooms and pampering services of a wide variety of needs. The spa measures 700 square meters and is loaded with saunas, a thermal mineral pool, and massage, reflexology, and mud therapy rooms.
The outdoor pool is decorated with lavish lawns and a quaint sun terrace. Kids can splash around in their own separate pool.
Buffet style breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotel restaurant. A perfect way to end the day is a trip to the cocktail lounge to unwind.
Gai Beach Hotel Tiberias
Guests visiting the Gai Beach Hotel Tiberias will have convenient access to all of the Tiberias attractions. The city center is a 5 minute walk from this Tiberias hotel and there are a number of culturally significant areas to visit in the city and surrounding area.
The Sea of Galilee is situated in the forefront with sandy beaches and glistening clear water. Guests may enjoy the scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, and water skiing activities offered near the lake. There are a number of historically significant locations nearby, including Nazareth and the Jordan River.
There is an airport near the Gai Beach Hotel Tiberias for the convenience of the guests.
The rooms feature a scenic view of the mountains and the coast. The rooms are air conditioned and spaciously furnished.
The hotel has its own private beach for the comfort of the guest. The construction of the building is set in concrete and painted white.
Some of the recreational facilities on the premises include a large swimming pool and an adjacent water park. The Gai Beach Hotel Tiberias spa provides an ideal escape for relaxation and quality alone time.
Ein Gev Holiday Resort
The Ein Gev Kibbutz Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests to En Gev. All hotel's guestrooms have all the conveniences expected in a hotel in its class to suit guests' utmost comforts.
Each guestroom is tastefully appointed with air conditioning, desk, shower, kitchenette, balcony/terrace, satellite/cable TV, coffee/tea maker. To unwind, guests can enjoy the leisure facilities provided on the hotel's property, including massage, garden. The hotel provides a warm and welcoming service of international standard.
Jesus Boat - A first century boat found on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
From these shores one can take many nature excursions bordering the lake and climbing to the Golan Heights or following the Jordan River upstream all the way to:
Magnificent fresh water spring where the Jordan River is born,
• Bethsaida nature reserve
Located northeast of the Sea of Galilee, it features natural streams and pools flooded by the waters of the Jordan River.
• Khamat Gader
It lies on the Eastern shore near Syria and Jordan and it is part of the Roman ruins of one of the ten Decapolis. The main ruins are in Jordan of today in the area of Jerash. The springs of Khamat Gader are the hottest in the area. The waters are so hot, around 51°C, the in Hebrew it was called Maayan Hagehenom ( Hell’s Spring) and in Arab Ayin Magla (Frying Spring)
• Mount Arbel National Park
It is located on the northwest of the lake and features good hiking and climbing
• Nakhal Amud
This is a stream that flows from Mount Meron directly into the lake. The whole trail of the stream is a nature reserve with beautiful flowers in the spring months. Ideal for hiking.
• Kibbutz Degania
The first Kibbutz founded in 1910 was Degania Aleph is located on the south of the lake there the Jordan River continues its course going south towards the desert and finally the Dead Sea.
Capernaum - Ancient Synagogue on the shores of Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is the main provider of fresh water to the whole country, therefore during winter everybody in the country prays for rains and the counting of millimeters of rain on a daily basis is common practice.