Things to do in Galilee, Israel
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 freshwater lake in Israel and is visited by more than one million local and foreign tourists annually.
Exploring Galilee is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the beauty of Israel. With its stunning views, fascinating history, and an array of activities, there’s something for everyone here! Whether you’re looking for an adventurous day outdoors or some relaxing downtime, here are five suggestions for what to do in Galilee.
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
Spend some time on the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s largest freshwater lake. Enjoy a variety of water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, cruising, and more. Or take a dip into the crystal clear waters of the Sea of Tiberias and the nearby hot springs for a unique experience.
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
Bask in the breathtaking view of biblical scenery while cycling around the Sea of Galilee. This circular route covers 33km of path, beginning and ending at Kibbutz Ein Gev. Marvel at the picturesque scenery and enjoy the easy descent all the way around.
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 at 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
Finish off your Galilee trip with a bite to eat. Sample some locally caught fish like St. Peter’s fish straight out of the Sea of Galilee. Dig into freshly prepared dishes served by local restaurants or take away from street vendors.
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
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a dip into the hot springs. Located next to The Sea of Galilee, enjoy a relaxing dip in the natural hot mineral baths which are said to have healing properties.
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
Catch one of nature’s greatest shows as you admire the glorious sunset over the Sea of Galilee. Take in the peaceful atmosphere as you watch this magnificent sight.
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.