Galilee in Hebrew is Galil. This 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 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.
Karmiel in the Beautiful region of the Galilee in Israel
Important sites for Christians
This region 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 Kineret or Sea of Galilee in its full splendor
The Galil is sub-divided into three main regions
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 Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights to the east.
It features the “Finger of the Galilee” in Hebrew Etzba Hagalil 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.
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.
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.
The Druze are an integral part of Israeli Population
The Galilee Population
It 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.
Basilica of Annuciation in Nazareth is the largest in the Middle East
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 Galil most important cities are Akko, Nahariya, Safed, Karmiel, Afula, Tiberias and of course, Haifa, which is the main port for the region.
The rest of the region 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.
Kayaking in the Jordan River
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 or Tzfat in Hebrew and Tiberias are Jewish Holy sites with ancient graves and Synagogues.
For Christians this is an important part of any visit to the Holy Land, since Jesus walked this land and preached here most of his life. You’ll visit Capernaum, the Jordan River and the Sea of Tiberias.
The Galil 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 Galilee on your next trip to Israel.
Copyright Tuchman Israel Guide
2015 - 2018