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Tiberias is one of Judaism's four holy cities, the burial place of venerated Jewish sages and a very popular base for Christians visiting holy sites around the Sea of Galilee. It's also one of the most aesthetically challenged resort towns in Israel, its sunbaked lakeside strip marred by 1970s architectural monstrosities. So the sacred and the kitsch – plus beaches, hot springs and a growing ultra-Orthodox population – coexist side by side in a whirl of holiness, hawkers and hedonism.

Tiberias is often oppressively hot in July and August.

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