Tourists never stop wondering at the surprising depth of this water lake. Along the road pillars remind them of the altitude.
The Sea of Galilee, Yam Kinneret in Hebrew, is in the Jordan Valley 210 m below the Mediterranean Sea level. It is 12 km wide and 21 km long and covers an area of 170 km² and has a depth of 46 m at its deepest point. It serves as Israel's largest reservoir of sweet water. Gila Toledano, the Israeli guide, stands beneath a tourist information panel.
Israel has securized its northern frontier, on one side, with the annexation of the Golan shelf conquered in 1967, and on the other side, with the occupation of South Lebanon until May 2000. The 1923 border line and the June 1967 cease-fire line between Israel and Syria are both at stake in the peace negotiations.
The Ein Gev kibbutz, founded in 1937, could only be reached by water until 1967. The road connection which had been made in 1941 was broken in 1948 when the Syrians advanced up to the lake. On the sea shore a vast restaurant offers the famous St Peter's fish which the tourists eat with relish.
Along its shores Jesus recruited several of his disciples. The well-known story of Peter walking on the water took place here. This is also where Jesus calmed the storm.
The residents of the Golan today are another reason to visit this area. From the Druze villagers in the northern mountains to the Jewish kibbutz and moshav farmers of the southern tableland, the people of the Golan are deeply attached to the soil.
Farmers and cattlemen, apple growers and vintners, they make this region one of the most productive In Israel, as well as one of the most inviting.
As a body of (fresh) water in the Middle East go, the Sea of Galilee is quite large. It's about 20 kilometers from north to south, and 12 kilometers east to west at its widest. The Jordan River effectively flows through the Sea of Galilee, entering in the north and exiting in the south.
Hippos (Susita) was a major city of the Decapolis located on a round hill overlooking the shore. The modern harbor of Kibbutz En Gev is visible below it.
The crossing of the Kinneret lake by ferry is an unavoidable must for every pilgrim. The motor boat captain prides himself on hoisting up the country flags of parties on board his ship.
Tiberias is a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee and is the largest city in the Jordan Valley. At 210 m below sealevel, it enjoys thermal springs of great repute since antiquity. This spa is like a jewel in a green countryside closely linked with Biblical History. The city was built by Herod's son between 14 and 18 c.e. After the fall of the Second Temple, Tiberias became the religious center of the country.