Gordon Tours Israel Blog

Discover Tiberias – Our top 5 destinations for visitors of all faiths

Icon January 22, 2020
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

A veritable treasure trove for tourists of all faiths, Tiberias may not have the big name-recognition of places like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or the Dead Sea, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t chock full of myriad locales that offer an unforgettable visit.

Named after a Roman emperor, the town of Tiberias has a rich history of Jewish life and scholarship. It hosts the gravesite of famed Jewish thinker Maimonides, as well as several archaeological sites and ancient synagogues. Perched on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, the area is a popular travel destination for Christian pilgrims who visit the places where Jesus performed miracles according to the New Testament, such as his walking on water, feeding the multitude and calming the storm. It is also a popular vacation destination for local Israelis, with spas and hot springs, sunset cruises on the Kinneret, and many resorts in the area.

Here are our top 5, not-to-be-missed destinations to visit in and around the inspiring city of Tiberias:

Mount of the Beatitudes

Mount of the Beatitudes

Called “Har HaOsher” (Mountain of Happiness) in Hebrew, and located a short drive north of Tiberias, this is the site where Christ delivered his most famous sermon. The Church of the Beatitudes is located here; A Byzantine-style church built in honor of the Sermon on the Mount. But the mountain offers a unique and peaceful experience for visitors of all faiths, with gorgeous vistas to further commemorate its biblical significance.

Tomb of Meir Ba’al HaNes

Tomb of Meir Ba'al HaNes

Considered as one of Judaism’s holiest sites, and located above Hamat Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, is the tomb of the second-century Jewish scholar and rabbi who helped to complete the Mishnah. Religious Jews regularly make pilgrimages to the site, many harboring a belief that personal prayers will be answered in particular here, as Rabbi Meir Ba’al HaNes was known as “the miracle maker” among his many followers. The tomb is the site of two different synagogues: one Ashkenazi, and the other Sephardic.

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The Franciscan Wedding Church

Franciscan Wedding Church

Located in the small town of Cana, just 14 miles east of Tiberias, this Catholic Franciscan Church in the Lower Galilee marks the spot of Christs’ very first miracle, as recorded in the Gospel of John. It was here the Jesus transformed water into wine at a wedding. Today, the church holds some of the jars that it is believed he used for the miracle. Cana is idyllic and peaceful, and many visitors like to pick up a bottle of “wedding wine” at the local gift shop as a souvenir from their visit.

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes

One of the areas most delightful Christian destination, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes marks the site of Christ’s miracle of the Loaves and Fishes in the small town of Tabgha. Located just north of the city of Tiberias, this is the place where Christ performed the miracle that gave his followers a feast following the news of the beheading of John the Baptist, according to the Gospel of Matthew. The modern church rests on the site of two earlier churches and features elegant mosaics from the fourth and fifth centuries. Don’t miss checking out the breathtaking views, as it’s located right on the shore of the sea, known to be populated by roaming peacocks!

Early Kibbutzim

Tiberias

Israel is renowned for the collective communities that sprouted up during its founding years, known popularly as “kibbutzim.” The area near Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee is home to some of Israel’s earliest kibbutzim, where pioneers first cultivated the area. We recommend a visit to Kibbutz Degania, which features both a historical museum and a nature museum, as well as an authentic shell of a Syrian tank that was defeated by the kibbutz residents during the Israeli War of Independence.

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