The Sea of Galilee is a must-see on any trip to Israel. It’s the shimmering jewel of the green, mountainous Galilee region in the north.
Technically this “sea” is a lake, fed by underground springs and by the Jordan River. Since biblical times, it’s variously been called Lake Kinneret, Lake Tiberias and Sea of Genneseret.
Whatever you call it, this body of water is special to Christians. Here, according to the Gospels, Jesus performed miracles and recruited four local fishermen as his first disciples.
The historic cities of Tiberias, Tabgha and Capernaum (Kfar Nahum) are on its shores. Several kibbutzim – including the very first one, Degania (“Cornflower”) – were established on its banks in modern times.
The Sea of Galilee is the only natural freshwater lake in Israel and the lowest freshwater lake in the world, at 209 meters below sea level.
Its circumference measures approximately 53 kilometers (33 miles). Its length is about 21 km (13 miles) and its width is 13 km (8 miles).
The cool Kinneret waters are surrounded by both sandy and rocky beaches, and many historic, natural, archeological, recreational and religious attractions that bring in visitors from all over the world.