Thinking to visit the Sea of Galilee? Such a great idea!
More a lake than a sea, the Sea of Galilee is a frequent place for weekend breaks and holidays. It has lots to offer, from trekking and cycling around the lake, to religious sites and natural spas for relaxation.
If you’re planning to go for religious purposes you’ll need to prepare a bit in advance. The Christians point of interest are spread around the sea, so you need to take this into account.
A good option to start your visit around the Sea of Galilee is from Tiberias, the biggest city in the area. The city itself doesn’t have much to offer, but you can still fill a day if you want to.
You can have a walk near the sea front, visit St Peter’s Church and the tombs of the Jewish Sages. But, the best part of the city are the good connections with the other places you’d like to see around the Sea of Galilee (buses going around the Sea, bike rentals offices, tours and taxis).
St Peter Church, Tiberias
While in Tiberias, ring the bell to enter this church. Pray inside the chapel and have a walk around the beautiful garden. It looks like a remote place of paradise in the middle of the city.
Monastery of the Twelve Apostles
Your first or last stop, depending how you’re planning your visit, should be the Greek Orthodox church located in the vicinity of Capernaum. You can walk the approx. 2 km between the places and enjoy the silence on the road. It is quite peaceful there, not much traffic excepting for the tourist buses moving the people from a place to another.
The church is beautiful with many paintings inside, but if I may, I would say the place itself and view are even more beautiful. The terrace has some incredible trees, with some green covered areas and the piece of resistance, an ‘exit’ to the sea. It looks like a dream place!
What was once a village now is purely history. Enter the place and walk around the archaeological proofs demonstrating what once used to be a prosperous town. Here was the synagogue Jesus preached and chose his firsts disciples.
A glass modern church stands above the historical ruins, showing the discrepancy of time. Take a break in the garden nearby and watch the sea, shouldn’t had changed much since 2000 years ago.
Church of the Multiplication
The place where Jesus multiplied the five looves and the two fishes to feed the entire amount of people is located today in Tabgna. The exact place of the miracle is marked by the rock below the altar.
Church of the Primacy of St Peter
This Church is located near the Church of the Multiplication, so commute by foot – are only a few minutes away.
Inside the church, near the altar, it’s a rock supposed to be used by Jesus and his disciples to eat on it. Outside the church, walk near the water and enjoy the view, then continue through the garden on your way out.
Mount of the Beatitudes
Easier and faster to climb it on foot comparing to Mount Tabor, the Mount of the Beatitudes offers a breath-taking view over the Sea of Galilee. On your way up you’ll have the chance to see a banana plantation. We had an extra bonus, a cute lizard enjoying the sun heat.
Apart from the view, the true importance of this place is the religious one. On this mount, Jesus delivered the Beatitudes. A church was built to mark the importance of the event.
This beautiful church displays the Beatitudes and the virtues all around the dome, while the visitors voice is filling the space by singing the eight Beatitudes in different languages. Allocate enough time to walk around the garden, to enjoy the view and the peace from above.
Yigal Allon Museum
Continue your trip by stopping to the Yigal Allon Museum, in Ginosar. Here you’ll discover an ancient wooden boat from the times of Jesus. It has been accidentally found in the sea when the water level went drastically down.
If you’re lucky enough to find places, you can even take a boat trip around the Sea of Galilee from here.
The Gospel Trail
If you’re looking for more adventure, follow the 65 km Gospel trail. It starts near Nazareth, from the Mount of Precipice and ends in Capharnaum. Enjoy the trekking or the cycling on the road!
Thus, I do hope you’ll stop by and visit the Sea of Galilee! Meanwhile, if you’d like to read more about Israel and Palestine continue reading here.