Tiberias is an ancient Israeli city, perched on the western edge of the Sea of Galilee. It is a popular tourist spot for both the natural beauty of its setting and its Jewish significance. Tiberias also serves as an excellent jumping-off place to explore Northern Israel. The mystical city of Safed; Meron, burial place of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai; Israel’s northernmost kibbutz, Misgav-Am; river kayaking; rappelling; the Hula Nature Reserve, and even a museum dedicated to marzipan – all are within reach. There is so much to see and do, it’s advised to plan your visit carefully so you’ll have time for everything. Arranging a tour package with a travel agent is a great way to get the most for your vacation dollars (or, rather, Shekels), while sparing you the headache of making individual bookings.
Tiberias is very welcoming to observant Jewish tourists, with many hotels offering special Passover, Succoth and bein hazmanim (yeshiva summer break) package deals, generally complete with gourmet kosher food, scholars-in-residence, Sabbath observant-friendly facilities, and special children’s programs.
You can enjoy a tasty meal, either meat or dairy, at one of the numerous local restaurants, with your choice of rabbinical certification. There are a variety of synagogues in Tiberias, both ancient and modern, as well as a number of mikvehs. You’ll find that Tiberias truly offers everything you and your family need for an unforgettable vacation!
Included in the portion of the Land of Israel given to Naphtali, Tiberias is believed to be the site of Miriam’s Well. The city was the seat of the Sanhedrin during the Second Temple period. Tradition has it that it is also the place where the Mishna was compiled. Many Jewish spiritual leaders are buried in the area of Tiberias, including Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes, Rabbi Akiva, Maimonides and Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. The Kever Imahot, or Tomb of the Matriarchs, is the final resting place of Elisheva daughter of Aminadav, Tzipora the wife of Moses, Yocheved daughter of Levi, Bilha and Zilpa. There are special tours organized solely for the purpose of praying at these kivrei tzadikim (graves of the righteous). With such an illustrious history, it’s no wonder that Tiberias is considered one of Israel’s four holy cities. You can feel the spirituality in the very air.
Tiberias is known for its beautiful beaches. There are several separate beaches for the religious traveler to enjoy, including one with a picnic area where families can eat together as well as separate swimming areas for men and women. If a hike is more your idea of outdoor recreation, climb the rugged Arbel Cliffs just outside of the city, with their panoramic view of the Galilee area Or visit one of the nearby national parks, which offer attractions from ancient ruins to an alligator farm. Don’t forget the camera!
Events in Tiberias
For a complete list of events in Tiberias, see Tiberias events
For recommended accommodations, see Tiberias hotels