Tiberias Travel Guide
The Sea of Galilee occupies a central place in Christian and Judean lore. During the first century AD, Jesus preached to the masses here.
Before then, many Judean towns existed here for eons. Tiberias was a new city during Biblical times, as officials built it to honour the Roman emperor.
Today, it is an excellent base for those seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Come check out our Tiberias City travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Tiberias, Israel.
Tiberias is best known for the body of water it sits on, the Sea of Galilee. This massive freshwater lake is the lowest body of fresh water in the world. Overall, it is the second lowest body of water – only the Dead Sea, a saline lake, is lower.
Locals and tourists engage in a wide variety of recreative activities on its shores. Its beaches, while mostly rocky, offer visitors a refreshing dip during hot summers Tiberias is famous for. In September, a cross-lake swimming race called the Kinneret Crossing takes place.
This geographical feature is well-known throughout the world, thanks to the Christian Bible. Jesus carried out his ministry here, lived in its villages, and reputedly, calmed a storm on its waters. Unsurprisingly, this place has attracted throngs of Christian pilgrims from around the globe.
To assist them, the Israeli government created the Jesus Trail. 64 kilometres from end-to-end, it links key sites from Jesus’ life together. This path ends in Capernaum, a town associated with some of the most profound sermons and miracles of Jesus Christ.
Historians claim is was the home of Saint Peter. According to locals, the Byzantines converted his house into a church in the 5th century AD. In modern times, authorities constructed a memorial over its excavated remains to allow future generations to enjoy it.
Capernaum’s ancient synagogue is also worth a visit. Archaeologists date it to the 5th century, which makes it one of the oldest in the world. Beneath this synagogue is the foundation of another. Dating from the 1st century, historians suggest that Jesus likely preached here during his ministry.
Make Tabgha your next stop in the Tiberias area. This place was little more than a humble Arab village in the 1940s. Soon after, though, scholars proclaimed it to be where Jesus performed the Loaves and Fishes miracle.
In the 5th century AD, Martyrius of Jerusalem built the Church of the Multiplication where Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes. Visitors will find a mosaic like those found in the Nile River Valley – a tribute to his Egyptian heritage.
Nearby, you’ll also find the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. Its creators located this Christian hall of worship where historians believe Jesus appeared for the fourth time post-Resurrection. It was here where Jesus named Simon Peter to be the de facto leader of the church on Earth.
Enjoy epic views of the Sea of Galilee by visiting Arbel National Park. It affords these vistas by standing 380 metres, or more than 1,000 feet above the surrounding area. After taking pictures, check out the ruins of a synagogue, or watch BASE jumpers throw themselves off cliffs.
In the mood to check out more ancient sites? Spend part of a day exploring Tel Hazor National Park. Today, little more than foundations and broken pillars remain, but the 18th century BC, Tel Hazor was a thriving Bronze Age city. It created bronze implements of all kinds, making it a key customer of tin trading centres like Babylon.
However, the Bronze Age collapse rolled over the Fertile Crescent like a wave. It didn’t spare Tel Hazor, as raiders overwhelmed a city already enthralled in civil unrest. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site bears witness to a place where human civilization thrived almost 4,000 years ago.
If your sightseeing schedule has begun to wear you down, go for a well-deserved soak in the Tiberias Hot Springs. At this site, geothermically-heated water bubbles out of the ground at 52 degrees Celsius. Used since antiquity, it remains popular with locals today.
The owners cool the spring water before piping it to the pools. As a result, the main spring is suitable for patrons of all ages. In addition, a wet and dry sauna are available, as are masseuses skilled in Swedish massage.
Sample some of the best vino in Tiberias at Berenice Winery. The quality here surpasses other vineyards in the area, as this is a family operation. A bed and breakfast is on site, giving those who love wine an excuse to stay longer.
Summers in Tiberias can get fiendishly hot. Have fun and cool off at the same time by spending a day at Aqua Kef. This water park is home to dozens of inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and volleyball courts.