The Real Reasons People Flock To The Sea Of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is an important geographical landmark in the history of western religion, mentioned numerous times in the Bible as a place of great importance. The reasons that people visit the location today, however, are vastly different from in the past. Yes, the Sea of Galilee still has religious significance for millions of people all over the world. Still, it is also a tourist destination in its own right, offering travel-hungry visitors everything that they could want. 

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The Hot Springs

The Sea of Galilee isn’t just an inland lake: it’s home to some of Israel’s most impressive hot springs, many of which are open to tourists. 

The Tiberias Hot Springs, for instance, is a collection of seventeen natural springs that bubble their way up from the core of the Earth. All around the springs, you’ll find decadent spa facilities where you can get mud baths, Turkish baths, massages, and much more. There are also heated swimming pools, jacuzzis, and numerous segregated beaches for regular tourists and the religiously observant. 

If the Tiberias Hot Springs isn’t your cup of tea, then feel free to head on over to the Hamat Gader springs, about five miles to the south of the sea. These springs have been in use since the Roman era and provide jets of water warmed to a consistent 42 degrees Celcius. The springs here are among Israel’s most extensive. Nearby, you’ll find an ancient synagogue that is open to visitors, as well as numerous spa treatments to help you relax and unwind. 

The Watersports

The Sea of Galilee is called a sea, but it is more of a lake. An impressive one, by all standards, surrounding by rocky hillsides that stretch off into the distance, but a lake nonetheless. 

The lake has become a part of any excellent Israel tour, not just because of its religious significance, but also because of the numerous opportunities for watersports and recreation. If there’s a water-based activity that you love, there’s a good chance that you can do it on the Sea of Galilee. There’s kayaking, fishing, a nightclub yacht, floating restaurant, and plenty of canoes for hire. 

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also go kite and windsurfing, although some days can be too calm. 

Kibbutz Degenia Aleph And Bet

The Sea of Galilee is more than just an impressive body of water: it also plays host to some of Israel's most fascinating cultural landmarks. Among these is the Kibbutz Degania Aleph’s Gordon House - a museum showcasing the history of the region from Roman times to the advent of Zionism. The museum offers a diverse taxidermy collection, a complete archaeological history of the area, and films about how conservationists are trying to protect the area.

Degania Bet is something different. Founded in 1920, it was initially set up as a chocolate factory, with operations continuing to this day. Here you can sample the products of local chocolatiers and sit down in the cafe for a relaxing mug of coffee. 

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