The Galilee makes up much of the north of Israel, totaling one-third of the whole country. Divided into three areas: the Lower Galilee, Upper Galilee, and Western Galilee, the Galilee has a hilly landscape with flat fertile plains, and an almost Tuscan-style appearance. The famous Sea of Galilee and River Jordan are located here, as are many pretty agricultural villages which sit alongside ancient ruins, and amazing hills and valleys which are mentioned throughout history as the location of famous battles and events.
Mount Tavor in the Galilee by vad_levin, on Flickr
The Lower Galilee is the least hilly region of the Galilee stretching from the Jezreel Valley (Valley of the Armageddon in Christianity) and the eastern slopes of Mount Carmel across to the Sea of Galilee. It includes the breathtaking hump-back shaped Mount Tavor, the ruins at Megiddo, Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel and Jesus’ home-town, and Mount Gilboa, renowned for its pretty, colorful landscape.
Hula Lake by Or Hiltch, on Flickr
Further north, the Upper Galilee is more remote, more enchanting, and often even more breathtaking! A popular retreat for Israelis escaping for vacations the Upper Galilee features quaint towns such as Rosh Pina, important religious cities such as Safed, and amazing leisure pursuits such as kayaking on the River Jordan, caving, canyoning, jeep tours, and more. The Hula Valley is one of the world’s best bird-watching locations, whilst the remote hills of this region are to many retreats, spas and quaint guesthouses.
The Sea of Galilee by Beny Shlevich, on Flickr
Really a lake, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake in the world. It has had settlement around its shores for thousands of years, and the ruins of ancient settlements today stand alongside some of the pioneering and oldest communities established in Israel, including some of the oldest kibbutzim and moshavim. On the lake itself, man windsurfs, sails, and even fishes.
Rosh Hanikra by Jamie Lynn Ross, on Flickr
Moving back towards the Mediterranean coast, the Western Galilee is the far north-western region of Israel, roughly the Mediterranean coastline north of Haifa and the area inland. The region includes the ancient crusader port of Akko, the grottoes at Rosh Hanikra, and far more beautiful scenery, quaint rural beaches, and great retreats, hikes, and nature.
Gamla by vad_levin, on Flickr
Although not officially part of the Galilee, the Golan Heights is the area beyond the Upper Galilee, more or less everything to the east of the Sea of Galilee. The Golan includes Israel’s highest mountain, Mount Hermon, where you can ski in winter, and the amazing Gamla Nature Reserve.
There an amazing array of hotels in the Galilee ranging from luxury spa hotels and quaint guesthouses and zimmers to large resort hotels around the Sea of Galilee, and even world-leading hostels.