East of Lake Kinneret

View of Lake Kinneret from Road 789 (photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
View of Lake Kinneret from Road 789
(photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
In our tiny country, even our lake is referred to as a sea. The Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, has a rich history with many sites both ancient and modern that are well worth a visit.
You could easily spend two days exploring the eastern side of the Kinneret. Start in the northeastern corner at the Majrase–Betiha (Beit Tzaida Valley) Nature Reserve, where two of the Golan’s major streams form a delta close to their meeting with the Kinneret.
The two streams, Majrase and Zaki, or Nahal Daliyot and Nahal Yehudiya, form a wetland habitat. One of the trails is the stream itself, and during the rainy season the water can reach as high as one’s waist. There is also a dry trail for hikers who prefer not to get wet.
Another fun way to explore this delta is by driving through it on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle).
Expect to get a little wet and muddy, so bring a change of clothes, but it’s well worth the fun.
Sof Haderech, located just west of Ramot junction, offers all-terrain tours of the area in ATVs and jeeps. Its trips provide access to hidden gems and some of the best off-road driving experience in the region.
At Kursi junction, make a stop at the ruins of a Byzantine church, with an impressive mosaic and a short trail up a hill to what was once a chapel.
The site affords a fabulous view of the Kinneret.
The nearby kibbutzim of Ein Gev, Ha’on and Ma’agan also offer attractions, and along the lakeshore there are parking and picnicking facilities that provide access to the water.
For additional views of the Kinneret, head up to the southern Golan Heights, through Kursi junction (Road 789). The drive is especially beautiful in the spring, when the Golan’s landscapes are a lush green carpeted with flowers. Keep your eyes open for wildlife like gazelles or wild boars.
Indeed, almost every corner of this region offers interesting photo opportunities.
While traveling on Road 789 to Afik junction, take Road 98 heading down from the Golan toward Hamat Gader. Here the neighboring Spa Village Hotel is a delightful destination for an overnight stay.
The boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms and inclusive packages for couples and families. Spa treatments, a restaurant that serves dairy dishes and fish, and pools filled with water from Hamat Gader’s thermo-mineral springs are sure to rejuvenate and re-energize you for another day of exploring the eastern Sea of Galilee.