Galilee Panhandle Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, see, and eat in Galilee Panhandle with this comprehensive travel guide featuring natural attractions, cultural landmarks, must-try cuisine, and many more.

Introduction to Galilee Panhandle

Galilee Panhandle, located in the north of Israel, is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of ancient history, natural beauty, and thrilling outdoor adventures. The region boasts picturesque mountain ranges, rolling hills, green forests, and fields of wildflowers. With its diverse geography, Galilee Panhandle offers a unique mix of cultural, historical, and outdoor experiences for all types of travelers.

List of Places to Visit in Galilee Panhandle

Below are some of the top attractions in Galilee Panhandle.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Magdala: This ancient town is home to one of the oldest synagogues in Israel and is believed to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.
  • Nazareth: An important religious site, revered for its connection to Jesus Christ, Nazareth offers cultural landmarks like the Basilica of the Annunciation, St. Joseph’s Church, and Mary’s Well.
  • Capharnaum: A small fishing village on the Sea of Galilee, Capharnaum is known for its 2nd-century synagogue and the House of Saint Peter.
  • Acre: A UNESCO World Heritage site that was once a major Crusader stronghold, Acre features remnants of the Crusader underground city and Ottoman-era architecture.

Natural Attractions of Galilee Panhandle: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Carmel: One of Israel’s highest peaks, Mount Carmel offers scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea and is home to the Carmel Nature Reserve, where travelers can hike and explore diverse ecosystems.
  • Hula Valley Nature Reserve: A wetland paradise, Hula Valley is a nesting and feeding ground for migrating birds and offers biking and hiking trails for visitors.
  • Sea of Galilee: A popular destination for tourists and locals alike, this freshwater lake is surrounded by mountains and offers water sports like swimming, kayaking, and boating.
  • Mount Arbel: This towering mountain provides stunning panoramic views of the Galilee landscape and is popular among hikers and climbers.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Galilee Panhandle

The Galilee Panhandle is a hiker and a biker’s paradise, with an extensive network of trails that pass through diverse terrain and breathtaking scenery.

Best Hiking Trails

  • Golan Trail: A 125-km trail that runs through the Golan Heights, the trail offers stunning views of the volcanic landscape, waterfalls, and rivers.
  • Nahal Amud Trail: A rugged hike that takes you through the Amud stream and canyon, offering views of natural pools, waterfalls, and breathtaking cliffs.
  • Jesus Trail: This well-known 65 km trail connects Nazareth to Capernaum and passes through significant religious and historical sites.

Best Biking Trails

  • Jordan River Trail: A 40-kilometer trail that follows the Jordan River, this route takes you through nature reserves, vineyards, and historical sites.
  • Galilee Panhandle Trail: Another popular trail that runs through the region, connecting towns and villages, and offering scenic views of the landscape.

Best Things to Do in Galilee Panhandle: Activities and Tours

Adventure Sports

  • Rafting and kayaking on the Jordan River: An exciting outdoor adventure for nature and water lovers. Guided tours are available for all levels of experience.
  • ATV Tours: A thrilling way to explore the Galilee trails and hills.
  • Zip-lining: An adrenaline-pumping experience that allows you to soar through the treetops and enjoy stunning views from above.

Guided Tours

  • Christian Holy Land Tour: A guided tour of religious and historical sites in the region, including Nazareth, Mount of Beatitudes, and Magdala.
  • Golan Heights Winery Tour: A guided tour of the winery and vineyards located in the Golan Heights, with wine tastings and workshops.
  • Jeep Tours: A fun and adventurous way to explore the off-the-beaten-path trails and hidden gems of the Galilee region.

Week-Long Itinerary for Galilee Panhandle

Day 1: Arrival in Haifa City - Visit the Bahai Gardens

Day 2: Nazareth tour - Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, Saint Joseph’s Church, and Mary’s Well

Day 3: Mount Carmel National Park - Hiking and Nature Walks

Day 4: Acre tour - Visit the Crusader underground city, and walk along the Old City’s Ports.

Day 5: Golan Heights tour - Visit the Golan Heights Winery, Kazrin, and Nimrud Fortress

Day 6: Banias Nature Reserve - Hiking and Swimming, and explore the antique village of Metula.

Day 7: Depart for Jericho City or nearby cities.

Food and Drink Scene of Galilee Panhandle

Must-Try Dishes

  • Shakshuka: A popular Israeli breakfast dish made of poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Falafel: A deep-fried ball made of chickpeas or fava beans, usually served in a pita with veggies and tahini sauce.
  • Hummus: A dip made of mashed chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini, usually served with pita or veggies.
  • Stuffed grape leaves: A Middle Eastern favorite made of grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat.

Local Beverages

  • Arak: A strong alcoholic drink made of anise and usually served with ice and water.
  • Wine: The Galilee region is known for its excellent wineries and vineyards, producing classic Israeli wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Where to Stay in Galilee Panhandle: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are many different types of accommodation available in Galilee Panhandle, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses. Here are some of the standout options:

Luxury Resorts

  • The Setai: A 5-star resort offering stunning Sea of Galilee views, spa treatments, and a private beach.
  • The Scots Hotel: A historic building converted into a luxury hotel, located in the heart of Tiberias overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

Mid-Range Hotels

  • Prima Galil: A modern hotel located in the center of Tiberias, close to restaurants and shopping.
  • Lev Boutique Hotel: A charming boutique hotel in the city of Safed’s old quarter, offering beautiful views of the Galilee mountains.

Budget-Friendly Accommodation

  • HI Pkiin Hostel: A comfortable and affordable hostel located in the quaint village of Pkiin, overlooking the Galilee Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Safed Inn: A budget-friendly hotel located in the heart of Safed’s old city, within walking distance of cultural attractions and restaurants.
  • Fauzi Azar by Abraham Hostels: A charming guesthouse located in the center of Nazareth, in a renovated 200-year-old Ottoman-era building.

What to Buy in Galilee Panhandle: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Olive Oil: The Galilee region is known for its high-quality extra virgin olive oil, made from locally grown olives.
  • Dead Sea Products: Various cosmetic products produced from the minerals extracted from the Dead Sea- mud masks, soaps, lotions, and more.
  • Israeli Wine: Pick up a bottle or two of wine from one of the region’s many wineries.

Local Culture and Customs of Galilee Panhandle

The Galilee Panhandle is a culturally diverse region, with a rich history and a unique blend of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian influences. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs and traditions, including dress codes for certain religious sites, and avoiding eating pork and bringing alcohol into some religious areas.

Best Time to Visit Galilee Panhandle

The best time to visit Galilee Panhandle is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) months, when the weather is mild and comfortable. Summer (June to August) can be hot and humid, while winter (December to February) can be rainy and chilly.

Do’s and Don’ts of Galilee Panhandle


  • Engage with locals and learn about their culture and traditions.
  • Dress respectfully when visiting religious sites.
  • Try local cuisine and wines.


  • Bring pork products into religious areas.
  • Show disrespect towards religious or cultural traditions.
  • Attempt to enter closed military areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Galilee Panhandle

Overall, the Galilee Panhandle is a safe destination for travelers. However, visitors should be aware of potential security risks in certain areas, particularly at the borders with Syria and Lebanon. It is recommended to stay informed about local developments and follow instructions from local authorities.

Health in Galilee Panhandle

There are no specific health risks associated with traveling to Galilee Panhandle. However, travelers should pack any needed medications or medical supplies and ensure they have adequate travel health insurance coverage.

Getting to Galilee Panhandle: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Galilee Panhandle

The nearest international airport to Galilee Panhandle is Ben Gurion Airport, located in Tel Aviv. From there, travelers can take a shuttle or taxi to Galilee Panhandle.

Bus Stations Near Galilee Panhandle

There are several bus stations in the region, including Tiberias, Safed, and Kiryat Shmona. Busses run regularly to and from major nearby cities like Nazareth, Haifa, and Tel Aviv.

Other Options

For those seeking more flexible transportation options, car rental companies like Hertz and Avis operate in the region.

How to Get Around in Galilee Panhandle

The best way to explore the region is by car, allowing you to visit more remote areas and explore at your own pace. Taxis and buses are also available and are good options for those on a budget.

Where to Go Next from Galilee Panhandle: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Jerusalem: An important religious site, Jerusalem is only a two-hour drive from Galilee Panhandle, making it an easy and worthwhile excursion.
  • Tel Aviv: Israel’s vibrant cultural capital, Tel Aviv is also just a short drive away and offers excellent restaurants, museums, and galleries.
  • Dead Sea: A popular destination for health and wellness tourism, the Dead Sea is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Galilee Panhandle and can be visited as a day trip.


Galilee Panhandle is a not-to-be-missed destination for travelers to Israel, with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With a wide range of attractions and activities, from hiking and biking to vineyard tours and cultural landmarks, the region promises a memorable vacation experience.