Tiberias, also known as Tverya, has long been a sought-after vacation hotspot - ever since the Romans first came to enjoy its therapeutic hot springs. Situated on the shores of Lake Galilee in northern Israel, the city was built by Herod Antipas and named after the Roman Emperor Tiberias. At just an hour’s journey from Haifa and just a couple of hours’ drive from Tel Aviv, Tiberias is well-connected, and an easy place to visit during a vacation. Here are some exmaples of things to do in Tiberias.
Tiberias is a lively city of around 40,000 plus inhabitants, and features a beach, marina, Water Park, and some excellent fish restaurants and bars along the scenic promenade. There is a host of fascinating attractions to take in and visitors have the option to take one of the many guided tours on offer. Sites to see include the local castle, which is now home to the Dona Gracia Museum, and the remains of the Old City walls which include the Church of St Peter which can be found along the northern promenade. The 12th century Franciscan church was built by Crusaders, later converted into a Mosque and then finally rebuilt into a church in the 19th century. Another notable religious site is the Tomb of Meir Ba’al Hanes, the 2nd century rabbi who helped to assemble the Mishnah.
Also worth visiting is the Hamat Tiberias National Park, which features a small museum in what was originally a Turkish bathhouse, and a synagogue dating back to the 3rd century AD. The synagogue is famous for its beautiful mosaic floor. The hot springs located within the National Park are the perfect place to unwind after a hard days’ sightseeing.
Despite its name, the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Kinneret) is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. A natural destination for Christian pilgrims, the lake features in New Testament stories about Jesus and his disciples and the nearby Mount of Beatitudes is where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. Many of the lake’s beaches offer excellent swimming and water sports opportunities or visitors can hire a bike and cycle the lake’s 55 km circuit. The less active can take in the lake courtesy of a leisurely boat trip.
With its unique scenic location, fascinating historical attractions, beautiful beaches, and excellent cuisine, Tiberias is not only a fascinating place to visit but an ideal base for visiting the Galilee and Golan regions.
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