A Natural Beauty Filled With History
Galilee is a special place loved by residents, tourists, hikers, and anyone who enjoys beautiful scenery and a region rich in history. With ranges of hills with high peaks, one river, many streams, dozens of brooks, primal landscapes, evergreen forests, dense natural groves, valleys and lakes, it’s easy to see how Galilee became so popular and why it is often given the nickname of the Israeli Tuscany or Provence!
The Galilee is a mountainous region in North Israel and is divided into the Upper Galilee to the north and the Lower Galilee to the south. Most of Galilee consists of rocky terrain ranging from 500 to 700 meters in height. Two of the highest mountains in the region are Mount Tabor and Mount Meron, both of which have relatively low temperatures and high rainfall, resulting in lush fields of greenery and colorful wildflowers. The fertile soil and abundant sources of water have made this region a highly populated once since ancient times. Today it has the largest variety of ethnic communities in Israel.
Tourism thrives in Galilee because of the wonderful scenery, recreational and gastronomic opportunities and important biblical towns. Many Christian pilgrims flock to Galilee because of the large amount of miracles and sites of biblical importance that occurred here as mentioned in the New Testament. Some of these miracles include Jesus’ walking on the water, calming the storm and feeding five thousand people in Tabgha. The sites include Megiddo, Jezreel Valley, Mount Tabor, Hazor, and Horns of Hattin.
In addition to both Jewish and Christian holy sites, Galilee is a center for hiking and outdoor activities that includes national antiquities parks, nature preserves, footpaths, bicycle paths and roads that connect the various sites. There are also a number of kibbutzim to stay at and many seasonal festivals to enjoy.
The largest cities in the region are Acre, Nahariya, Nazareth, Safed, Karmiel, Shaghur, Afula and Tiberias with the port city of Haifaserving as the commercial center for the entire region. Because of its hilly terrain, most of the population of Galilee lives in small villages with agriculture and tourism being the largest sources of income. But, times are changing and new industrial parks are being developed which will bring many additional employment opportunities. In short, no trip to Israel would be complete without a visit to Galilee.