Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Lower Galilee

Blessed with rugged hills cloaked in wildflowers in spring, archaeological sites from the early centuries of Christianity and ancient stone synagogues, the Lower Galilee – the part of northern Israel south of Rte 85 (linking Akko with the Sea of Galilee) – is hugely popular with hikers, cyclists, Israeli families (both Jewish and Arab) on holiday, Tel Aviv epicureans and, of course, Christian pilgrims.

Green, lush and chilly in winter (the perfect time for a hot-spring dip) and parched in summer (when you can beat the heat in the Sea of Galilee), this is where it's believed Jesus of Nazareth lived, preached and performed some of his most famous miracles. But these days even Nazareth is much more than a place of Christian pilgrimage – it now boasts one of Israel’s most sophisticated dining scenes. The shimmering Sea of Galilee (in Hebrew, the Kinneret), too, juxtaposes holiday pleasures with archaeological sites linked to Jesus’s ministry.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lower Galilee.