Photo by: Emmanuel Dyan, Creative Commons

Tiberias may ring a bell for a few people. Unlike famous cities in Israel like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, etc, Tiberias seems to be unheard of. Yet Tiberias is rich in history. The city sits by the Sea of Galilee, locally known as Lake Kinneret. One fascinating exhibit in this city is a 2,000-yr-old boat recovered from the lake in 1998. The reason for the fascination is that the boat would have been afloat during the times of Jesus of Nazareth. A tour around the lake by car will take tourists through several synagogues and Byzantine churches from the 3rd to the 6th centuries, what is believed to be Peter’s home, the beginnings of the mighty Jordan River, and the Ein Gev – a kibbutz famous throughout the country for its lakeside fish restaurants and summer concerts.

Many travel advisors recommend going to Tiberias from Jerusalem through the new toll road that will take travelers through Mt. Tabor which is famous for being the site where Jesus reappeared before his closest disciples. In Jewish history, Mt. Tabor overlooks the Valley of Jezreel where armies have marched to conquer land since ancient times. In the Jewish Bible, the army of Deborah of 10,000 defeated an invading army by charging down the mountain’s slope.

Another popular stop along the route from is Megiddo National Park in the valley which is popular as the site of the Great Battle at the End of Days mentioned in the Bible. Once called “Har Megiddo”, people now connote Megiddo with “Armageddon”. However Megiddo Park is also famous for containing an excavation site of cities going back to 3500 BC, the ruins of King Solomon’s gates, the chariot city of King Ahab and an amazing tunnel cut through solid rock that provided King Ahab’s city with water.

One thing to consider about a trip to Tiberias is that the city sits 600 ft below sea level, so one must prepare by dressing for warm weather. It can get really hot in the summer, so bring a lot of water for the trip. With all the sites to see between these two cities, it is recommended that tourists stay in Tiberias for at least 2 days before travelling back.

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