When you think of Israel, what springs to mind may be its rich history, diverse culture, or religious significance. What more exciting is that there is another aspect of this ancient land that often goes unnoticed – its “Natural Beauty.” I will talk about one great place in the northern region of this nation, a place where you can see an overflowing with beautiful landscapes, serene lakes, and an array of outdoor activities that would delight any visitor or adventurer. This place is called “Galilee”. It is truly an amazing place where you can enjoy its natural beauty especially if you are an avid hiker, a watersports aficionado, or someone who simply loves to commune with nature, Galilee has something unique to offer.
Geographically the Galilee stretches from the Jordan River Valley in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west surrounding a wide range of terrains. There are two regions where the first one is called the Upper Galilee which is characterized by its mountainous terrain and abundant vegetation. The other region is called the Lower Galilee which is known for its rolling hills and fertile valleys. The climate varies, offering mild winters and warm summers making it an ideal year-round destination.
With its expansive network of trails, the Galilee is a hiker’s paradise where routes vary in length and difficulty that allows both novices and seasoned hikers a rewarding experience. In here, we can find one popular trek which is the Jesus Trail – a 65 kilometers path that starts in Nazareth and ends at the Sea of Galilee, then taking you through various historical and religious sites. Alternatively, you can explore the forests of Mount Meron or the heights of the Golan Heights for panoramic vistas that are simply breathtaking.
The Sea of Galilee which locally known as Lake Kinneret is the primary freshwater lake in Israel. And don’t you know that sports activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing, Galilee is a hotspot? You will also notice the calm waters of the lake which make it a perfect spot for beginners.
Cycling enthusiasts will also find Galilee to be equally captivating because of the well-maintained bike paths which crisscross the region giving you the opportunity to explore the area at your own pace. So, whether you choose for a leisurely ride along the shores of the Sea of Galilee or a more demanding uphill journey in the Golan Heights, you are sure to be rewarded with charming views.
The Galilee is also a home to various stunning caves which is both man-made and natural. These include the prehistoric Tabun Cave – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the mysterious Montfort Cave. Caving tours often combine elements of history and adventure that offer a unique way to explore the region’s geological and anthropological features.
Let us remember that environmental conservation is a growing focus in Galilee. And so visitors can partake in sustainable tourism initiatives, such as community-based hiking tours and wildlife observation programs. Birdwatchers will be particularly captivated as the region serves as a significant migration route for various species.
Being an outdoor enthusiast doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on cuisine because Galilee is known for its farm-to-table dining experiences which offers wide range of locally sourced produce, fresh seafoods and traditional Middle Eastern fare.
Overall, if you often overshadowed by Israel’s religious and historical landmarks, Galilee is a hidden gem where you can enjoy most of your time especially if you are visiting for the first time and more so if you are an outdoor enthusiast. It is my belief that due to its diverse landscapes; Galilee really provides a playground for a multitude of activities which make it a must-visit for tourists and anyone looking to combine adventure with the wealth of cultural experiences. So, the next time you find yourself in Israel, I am telling you now to visit Galilee and make sure to venture north and discover what this extraordinary region has to offer.