The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI, www.aspni.org) offers well-curated walks and hikes in the Jordan and Jezreel valleys, as well as the Galililee, exploring the flora, fauna and geology of the area. The Society’s tours are mostly in English; when they aren’t, there are usually others taking the tour who can translate.Cruises & Ferries
Lido Cruises Sailing Company (tel. 04/672-1538) operates a ferry that runs between Lido Beach in the northern part of town and Kibbutz Ginosar, toward the northeastern corner of the lake, for NIS 28 round-trip; bicycles are free to take onboard, but there’s no discount if you only travel one-way. Departures often depend on a minimum number of passengers. Lido Cruises Sailing Company also offers rides on evening party boats, and water-ski and sailboard rental. Boats leave from the docks at the parking lot for the Pagoda and the Decks Restaurants, just off Gdud Barak St., a short walk north of downtown Tiberias.
Holyland Sailing Tiberias Marina (www.jesusboats.com; tel. 04/672-3006) offers more of a pleasure cruise, with 45-minute sails on the lake in smaller boats modeled after the design of a Roman-era boat (known locally as “the Jesus Boat,”) found in archeological excavations at Kibbutz Ginossar, north of Tiberias. The price depends on what kind of group you may be able to join. After each cruise, passengers receive a pilgrim certificate.
Dancing on the Waters
In good weather, the Lido Cruises Sailing Company sends out evening party boats to cruise the Sea of Galilee in the moonlight or under the stars. On board the boats are filled with Israeli Arabs, Jews, and a smattering of tourists dancing in the wind to traditional Arabic tunes, pop Israeli music, international hits, and even a waltz or two. It’s happy pandemonium: Everyone dances with everyone—Galilee Arabs with Jews from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; men with men for traditional Arabic debkas; women with women for the Macarena; everyone together for golden oldies or the latest on the Israeli hit parade. It’s NIS 50 to join in this vision of a deliriously happy, peaceful Middle East for an hour; and it’s free with a voucher you get when you dine at Decks, the best restaurant in Tiberias.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.