5 Great Tiberias Attractions

| August 6, 2013 | 2 Comments
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5 Great Tiberias Attractions You May Not Know About!

Modern Tiberias is Israel’s lowest city, situated 200 meters below sea level and, although it becomes very hot and humid in the summer, people flock there to cool off in the beautiful harp-shaped fresh water Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee). Its mild climate also makes it popular as a winter resort area.

tiberias view

(Photo: Emmanuel Dyan, CC BY 2.0)

Tiberias, built right on the shores of Lake Kinneret, has a lot to offer such as beautiful beaches, water parks, boating, fishing and water sports, a true family destination. It’s a pleasure to wander along the promenade, check out the small lakeside stores or sit and eat at one of the restaurants, cafes or ice cream parlors. Tiberias has a fascinating archaeological park,Hamat Teverya National Park, the world famous healing mineral waters of the Tiberias Hot Springs and Spa and graves of famous Jewish rabbis such as Rabbi Akiva,the Rambam, the SheLaH and Rabbi Meir Ba’al Ha’ness.

1. Sound, Water and Light Show: The Tiberium

Tiberias offers a spectacular sound, water and light show over the lake every night called the Tiberium. Here you will see a fountain of water that soars meters above the lakeshore illuminated by beautiful colored lights every evening accompanied by music. Just walk down the Alon Promenade to the lakeshore at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 pm. Best of all admission is free, but it will be closed if it is raining!

2. The Tiberias Scots Hotel Museum

scots hotel

(Photo: Shifra Levyathan, CC BY 2.5)

The Scots Hotel also has a fascinating museum that covers 2000 years of history, culture and an archaeological route. This building was originally a hospital and maternity hospital that existed from 1894 to 1959 when it was converted into a guest house.  At the Visitors’ Center is a permanent exhibit of historical photographs from the late 19th century until the sixties. For further information phone: 972-4-671-0710.

3. The Casa Dona Gracia Museum

Tiberias has a unique museum and hotel combined in a luxurious palace from the era of the 16th century Renaissance. The Casa Dona Gracia is named after a wealthy Jewish woman Hana Nassi, known as Dona Gracia, who literally bought Tiberias from the Turkish sultan, Suleiman the Great, to help establish a home there for Jewish settlement. Sadly, she never came to live in the town that she purchased. Dona Gracia was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1510 to a Jewish family of Marranos that had been expelled from Spain. Dona Gracia was probably the wealthiest Jewish woman during the early Renaissance.

Her wealth came from her Jewish-Marrano husband, Francisco Mendes, who was the largest spice merchant in Europe. His brother, who married the sister of Dona Gracia, had a large banking business, the Mandes Bank in Antwerp which eventually fell into the hands of Dona Gracia after her relatives died.

Miniature Dolls in authentic dress are on display at the museum and there is a light and sound art exhibit “Bridges to Peace” that is made entirely of recycled materials. There are also many authentic Renaissance costumes and you can try one on and get your photo taken!

Annual Festival

If you are in Tiberias in late September beginning of October, you can enjoy the Dona Gracia yearly festival that features free outdoor shows, good food, and the art gallery.

Stories of Tiberias – 2000 Years Old

A presentation of stories in English about Tiberias occurs every Friday at 11:00 am at the museum. Tickets can be purchased at the Dona Gracia Museum. For further information phone: 050-842-5128.

Located in the main shopping and entertainment area of Tiberias, the museum is a short walk to the Promenade, the Marina, the Tomb of the Rambam, and the Central Bus Station. For further information phone: 972-4-672-8906.

4. Sculpture Park

South of the Scots Hotel near the lake shore is an open air museum and  sculpture park with sculptures by world famous artists and local artists.

5. Switzerland Forest in Israel

The KKl JNF Switzerland Forest (not to be confused with Little Switzerland on Mount Carmel near Haifa) was planted by the Jewish National Fund on the steep slope that begins in the hills above Poriah and continues down to Tiberias and Lake Kinneret. It got its name because the donors who contributed the money to plant this beautiful forest lived in Switzerland. There is a great bicycle path here, a camping site, picnic grounds and children’s playgrounds. There are three beautiful observation points where you can sit and take in the magnificent view of the Kinneret, Mount Hermon, the Golan Heights and the mountains of Galilee (not to mention to get some stunning photos). The best time to visit here is in the spring, after the winter rains when the area is green and in flower.

Tiberias Attractions: Did You Know?

Bonus Attraction: There is an Extreme Sports Park in southern Tiberias between the Berko Park and the Rimmonim Mineral Hotel that provides fun for the entire family. Here are also jeep tours, ice skating, an Omega zip-line and more. Opening hours are variable so you must phone first: (04) 671-2950.

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Category: Attractions, Extreme Sports, Galilee, Historical, Museums, Parks, Tiberias

Comments (2)

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  1. Cina Coren says:

    just wanted to let you know Tiberias no longer has the light and sound show. We were there a few weeks ago and waited to see it with a bunch of other people till someone told us they don’t do it any more.

    • rj says:

      The Tiberium sound, water and light show in Tiberias is only temporarily out-of-order and is being repaired. Due to the rain, the water level in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) suddenly rose and this caused the Tiberium to break down. Hopefully on your next visit to Tiberias it will be up and running.

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