The Galilee
Be Inspired by the Beauty of this Region

The Galilee is a large and verdant region on northern Israel covering the area from the Lebanese border on the north to the Jezreel Valley and the Carmel Range on the south. It also stretches from the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley on the east.

It is divided into three main regions: The Upper (Hagalil Haelyion), The Lower (Hagalil Hatatchton) and the Western (Hagalil Hamaaravi)

Spectacular Cliffs in Rosh Hanikra near the border with Lebanon

Important sites for Christians

The area is a witness to Jesus History. He walked these hills and preached all over the area to his disciples. The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee is full of Christian sites. These sacred sites are part of all Holy Land Tours.

The region is a rocky terrain area and has a few mountains that range between 500 and 700 meters high and some peaks as high as 900-1200 meters.

Among the famous peaks are Mount Meron and Mount Tabor. Because of the altitude those mountains have a mild climate in summer and very cold in winter. Rainfall is also high as compared with the rest of the country.

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The Sea of Galilee and the city of Tiberias on the foreground

The region is divided into three main sub-regions

  • The Galil Elion or Upper Galilee
    It covers the area from the border with Lebanon in the north to the Beth Hakarem Valley in the South and from the Mediterranean to the Kineret and the Golan Heights to the east.

    It features the Etzba Hagalil or "finger" in English that extends well into the borders of Lebanon with Syria. Metula is the northernmost city of Israel, located here.

    Also Kiryat Shemona and the Arab Village of Cana are located here. The tributaries of the Jordan River, the Dan and the Banias are born in this area.

  • The Galil Hamaaravi or Western Galilee
    It is also known as the Northern Coastal Plain. It stretches from north of Haifa up to Rosh Hanikra on the border with Lebanon.

    It features the Bay of Haifa and the Krayot which is a plural for Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik and others that together form this big neighborhood bedroom city for those working in Haifa. Up north is the coastal resort city of Nahariya.

  • The Galil Hatachton or Lower
    It covers an area from Haifa on the Mediterranean coast to the west to the Jordan River on the east. It features the well known and fertile Jezreel Valley, mentioned many times in the Holy Books.

My colleague Sara has a great site called This is Galilee .
The Best of the Galilee and Northern Israel. Whether you live in Israel or are just visiting ...check out my top tips for where to stay, where to eat and
what to see and do.

The Circassians of the Galilee with their typical costumes

The Population

This region is very densely populated due to its rainfall and fertile terrain. It is home to a large population of Arabs and a particularly large Druze population. There are people of many other minorities that consider the State of Israel their home.

There are Druze villages like Beit Jan and Peki’in; Circassians as Reikhaniya and Kfar Kama who preserve their ancient traditions; there are Arab villages with Muslim majorities like Kafr Yasif or Christian majorities like Fasuta, or some with an equal balance Ma’alot Tarkhisha.

Despite the efforts by the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government to populate the area with Jews, the Arab population is still more than half of the total.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth Israel

Nazareth and important cities

The city of Nazareth is located here. It is visited on a regular order by Christian Pilgrims of all denominations. It is where the Archangel Michael told Maria about the upcoming birth of Jesus. The basilica of the Annunciation is built on top of the area and Joseph’s carpentry workshop.

The most important cities are Akko, Nahariya, Safed, Karmiel, Afula, Tiberias and of course, Haifa, which is the main port for the region.

The rest is populated by small villages or towns and many Kibbutzim and Moshavim linked to each other by small roads. However there are a few important roads crossing the area from north to South and west to east.

The Mystical city of Safed cradle of the Kabalah

Popular Tourism Area

Since the Creation of Israel it has been a popular area for vacationing for Israelis. Many Kibbutzim and Moshavim as well as many individuals have built what is known as “Zimmers” meaning rooms in German, the local meaning is Bed and Breakfast accommodations. It is an inexpensive substitute to the large hotels and even to the very famous Kibbutz Hotels.

There are many sites for tourists and locals alike. National Antiquities parks like Zippori, Baram, Beth Shearim, Montfort and Kochav Hayarden. For those looking into the History of Israel, there a few Moshavot, that were agricultural settlements at the beginning of the History of Zionism and are now modern villages like Metula, Rosh Pina and Yesod Hamaalah.

For nature lovers there are a few nature reserves like the Hula, Mount Meron, Nachal Kziv and a few more. For those into Jewish Themes, the cities of Safed and Tiberias are Jewish Holy sites with ancient graves and Synagogues.

For Christians this is an important part of any visit of the Holy Land Tours, since Jesus walked this land and preached here most of his life. You’ll visit Capernaum, the Jordan River and the Kineret.

Gan Hashlosha National Park also known as the Sahne

The Galilee has been compared with areas in Europe for its many sites of interest, excellent weather and places to stay. Make it a point to stay a few days or a week in the region on your next trip to Israel.

Image Credits:
rosh hanikra by michel
sea of galilee by jfreeman
safed by matic 18
basilica by david shankbone
circassians by andy
sahne by yuvair

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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