Most of northern Israel is generically known as The Galilee (Galil in Hebrew). It stretches virtually from the Mediterranean to the harp-shaped Sea Of Galilee and River Jordan on whose shores vast history has been made. Here is Mount Gilboa where King Saul and his son, Jonathan, died in battle against the Phillistines. Here is Hazor, where Deborah killed Sisera. Here, at Mount Meron, is the grave of Rabbi Hillel. Here in Tzippori, Hamat Tveriya and Bet Alpha, gorgeous 1,800-year-old synagogue mosaics have been discovered. Here is Armageddon (Megiddo) where Solomon built giant stables. Here is the lakeshore city of Tiberias, one of the “Four Holy Cities of Judaism” (another is Galilee’s Safed), which reached fame 2,000 years ago as one of the chief locations in which the Talmud was written.
The restoration of the Jewish homeland in the period beginning in the 1880’s was largely centered in the Galilee, and in the ensuing 130 years a much neglected landscape of not much more than olive trees has been transformed into one of the most fertile areas in the world. Here are dozens of kibbutzim and independently owned farms – whose produce feeds not only Israelis but is also flown daily to the grocery stores and flower markets of Europe. Here are some of Israel’s 300+ vineyards producing award winning wines. And here are pretty villages, towns and cities including Nazareth and Carmiel.
In addition to hotels and very comfortable kibbutz guest houses, the Galilee is filled with dozens of country bed-and-breakfast accommodations, known as zimmerim. Many offer luxurious accommodations, including pools, and make a delightful base for relaxing and touring.