Upper Galilee - What To Do and Where to Go

The Upper Galilee region is separated from the Lower Galilee by the Beit Hakerem Valley in the south and covers the Hula Valley in the north. It stretches from Israel's Northern Coastal Plain in the west to the Jordan Rift Valley in the east. The main towns are Karmiel, Sfat (Sefad) and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.

I live in the Upper Galilee so, of course, this is my favourite area. I can highly recommend spending a few days - or more - here.

Check out my recommendations for places to stay!

Here are my recommendations for where to go and what to see:

  • Kfar Blum - Kibbutz with deluxe hotel, rafting and other attractions.
  • Hula Nature Reserve - A must-see for nature lovers.
  • Karmiel - Modern city in the heart of the Galilee.
  • Sfat (Sefad) - Mystical city and home of the Kabbalah.
  • Rosh Pina - Great place for a day trip!
  • Tiberias - Tourist centre on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).
  • Amirim - Country lodgings and restaurants for vegetarians.
  • Korazim - archeological site with great views over the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).

Kfar Blum

In the middle of the Hula Valley, you can find excellent 5-star accommodation at Kfar Blum. Originally a small but popular kibbutz hotel, it has now grown into a deluxe hotel. The tranquil beauty of the surrounding countryside and views across Upper Galilee have remained unspoiled, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Read more about the Pastoral Hotel on their super-informative website which is also in English.

Even if you don't stay at the hotel, you can go rafting or kayaking at Kfar Blum Kayaks. Among other attractions is an omega-line into the Jordan River and there's camping ground if you want to stay overnight. There's also a very nice promenade for a nice, easy and relaxing walk next to the river.

Where? Heading north on route 90, take a right turn at Hagome Junction and look out for the sign to Kfar Blum on your left.

When? All year round, except for the kayaks which are closed in winter.

Hula Nature Reserve and
Agamon Hahula

The Hula Valley is the resting place for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds who follow the Jordan Rift Valley on their journey between Europe and North Africa. Storks, cranes, pelicans and flamingos are a familiar sight. Lake Hula and the neighbouring Agamon Hahula attract birds and water fowl all year round and you can also see water buffalos roaming wild and many species of aquatic plants. Read more ...

Where? Heading north on route 90, take a right turn after Yesud Hama'ala junction.

When? All year round (open 7 days a week) but especially Spring and Autumn if you want to see the flocks of migrating birds.

Karmiel

Karmiel is situated right in the centre of the Galilee on the imaginary border between Upper Galilee and Lower Galilee in the Beit Hakerem Valley. It's just a short drive from Sfat (Safed) in the north, Akko (Acre) in the west and Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) in the east.

It's claim to fame is the 3-day Karmiel Dance Festival - a major international event which takes place here annually. Read more ...

Where? If you're travelling west to east on route 85, take a right at the traffic lights at the Karmiel junction.

When? All year round. The Dance Festival takes place in July.

Sfat (Sefad)

Sfat (also spelled Sefad, Zfat and Tsfat) is one of the four Jewish holy cities along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Hebron, and is the most mystical city in Israel. It is said that when the Messiah comes, he will pass through Sfat on his way to Jerusalem. Read more ...

Where? Heading north on route 90, turn left onto route 89 at Elipelet Junction.

When? All year round.

Rosh Pina

Rosh Pina is situated on Mount Cana'an with panoramic views over the Upper Galilee and the Jordan Valley as far as the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret).

In English, Rosh Pina means "cornerstone" and gets its name from Psalm 118:22 "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." Read more ...

Where? Heading north on route 90, look out for the signpost to Rosh Pina after Amiad Junction.

When? All year round.

Tiberias

Tiberias is situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). The city attracts many Israeli and foreign tourists every year. These include pilgrims who come to visit the Christian sites in the Upper Galilee and Jews who come to visit the tombs of the sages who are buried here. Read more ...

Where? Take route 77 from Golani Junction if you're coming from the centre. Or take route 90 if you're coming from the north (or south).

When? All year round, but be warned - in July and August it's hot, humid and crowded.

Amirim

Amirim is the only vegetarian and vegan village in Israel. It is situated on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) and the Golan Heights. The beautiful views, pastoral atmosphere and fresh air make this a great place for a relaxing vacation and a good base for sightseeing in the Upper Galilee. Read more ...

Where? From route 85, turn off onto route 866, a winding road which leads up the mountain to Miron and Sfat (Safed). Look out for the signpost to the right, opposite Moshav Shefer.

When? All year round.

Korazim Archeological Park

Korazim (also spelled Korazin, Chorazim or Chorazin) is an archeological park overlooking the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). You can see there the remains of an ancient village, which was built during the third to fifth centuries CE. Read more ...

Where? North of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), about 10 minutes from Amiad Junction on route 8277. Going in the direction of Moshav Almagor, you will see the park on your right.

When? All year round.

Other cool places to visit in Northern Israel can be found at:
Golan Heights (Ramat Hagolan)
Galilee Panhandle (Etzba HaGalil)
Western Galilee (Galil HaMa'aravi)
Lower Galilee (Hagalil HaTachton)
Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret)


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