top of page

Hamat Teverya was an ancient village that predated Tiberias by thousands of years and which became incorporated into the city in the Byzantine period as it expanded. It was always famous for its natural hot springs. The in Tiberias contains an ancient synagogue. Also described on this webpage are beaches and waterparks in Tiberias that are around the lake.

Hamat Tiberias National Park:

Hamat is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being the southernmost fortified city of the tribe of Naphtali and there was probably a Biblical city here called Hammath (Joshua 19:35). In the Roman period, the Jewish village of Hamat Teverya was located to the south of Tiberias. A wall was built around Tiberias in the Byzantine period and incorporated Hamat Teverya.  


The springs in Hamat Teverya were well-known in antiquity for their healing properties. (Hamat means a hot spring in Hebrew and Teverya is Hebrew for Tiberias). Seventeen hot saline springs deep below the surface emerge in Hamat Teverya National Park. Steam can be seen escaping from the round chimneys above the springs. Water from the springs emerges at 60 degrees C and nowadays is channeled to the nearby baths across the road and then into the River Jordan. There are very small pools that can be used for bathing.


Within the park are the ruins of an ancient synagogue. Three synagogues were built in this location during different historic periods. The synagogue first was built in about 230 CE on the remains of a public building, and the second in the 3rd or 4th centuries. The mosaic floor you see in the enclosed building is from the second synagogue. However, it was destroyed during an earthquake in the 5th century and a larger synagogue was built on its ruins. This functioned until the 8th century.


Do watch the movie which incorporates the mosaic floor into the presentation. This mosaic has three panels. The northern-most panel shows two lions and dedications to donors. In the central panel is the wheel of the Zodiac surrounding Helios, the sun god. (The issues associated with this symbol in synagogues are discussed in the essay “You call this a synagogue!” in the webpage “The ancient Beit Alpha Synagogue and its puzzling mosaic floor”). The southern panel contains the Holy Ark with Jewish symbols – a seven branched candelabra, a shofar and lulav.


Other features of the park are the remains of a Roman bathhouse, the city gate of the southern wall of Byzantine Tiberias, and Hamam Suleiman. The latter is a reconstructed Turkish bathhouse built initially in 1780 that continued to function until the 1940s. It is also a small museum with findings from Hamat.


Directions: Enter “Hamat Tiberias National Park” into Waze. There is parking on the other side of route 90. The park is open from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and Saturday, and 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Friday. The site closes 1 hour earlier in the winter. Their phone number is 04 672 5287. This is their website.

     Do you find my website interesting and helpful?

Then you are sure to love my two new books "In and Around Jerusalem for Everyone - The Best Walks, Hikes and Outdoor Pools" and "The Struggle for Utopia - A History of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Messianism". Both books are available on Amazon and in Jerusalem bookstores. Click on each of the titles for information, reviews and purchase information.

Pool of Hammat Teverya.jpeg

There are several small, hot pools at Hamat Tiberias National Park.

Hamat Teverya.jpeg

The movie in the synagogue incorporates the mosaic into its presentation.

Beaches in Tiberias

The following beaches in Tiberias are free or offer something a bit different from others around the lake:


Ganim Beach is a free municipal beach. You pay only for use of the deckchairs. There is green grass, shaded areas, a lifeguard and restrooms. Enter “Ganim Beach” into Waze.


Gai Beach Water Park is a private beach and waterpark. There are 7 different water slides and a large wave pool. There are plenty of shaded areas, a children’s world play area and restaurants. Directions: Enter “Gai Beach” into Waze. This is their website.


The Separate Beach offers separate swimming for the religious public. It has a life guard. It is open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and is closed on Shabbat. It is across the road from the Hamat Tiberias National Park. Enter “Separate Beach Tiberias” into Waze. Their phone numbers are 04 679 2229 and 050 723 4487.


Aqua Kef has a floating obstacle course with trampolines, slides and swings. There are 4 areas for children of different ages and abilities - a family park (easy), extreme park (average), olympic park, and kids park (3-6 years). There is also a beach area for swimming and places for sitting. It is best to check on the day's schedule as the place may be temporarily closed to the general public for private parties. Their phone number is 04 381 1101.  This is their website for ordering tickets on line. Directions: Enter “Aqua Kef” into Waze.

Tiberias Hot Springs.

Tiberias Hot Springs is on the other side of Route 90 from Hamat Tiberias National Park. It receives hot spring water from the park. This water is rich in sulphuric and hydrochloric acids and calcium salts. The facility has warm indoor and outdoor mineral pools and a restaurant. Spa treatments, massages, mud face baths, and wet and dry saunas are available. There is also an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by green lawns. This is not an ultra-modern facility. It is open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is an admission charge and additional charge for a locker and towel. But check on times and prices before arriving. Their phone number is 04 612 3600. This is its website. Directions: Enter Tiberias Hot Springs” into Waze. There is free parking by the side of the building.

Aqua Kef.jpeg

Aqua Kef is a popular location with floating activities.

Links to the HOME PAGE and best family activities, hikes and historic sites in the GOLAN, EASTERN GALILEE, UPPER GALILEE, LOWER GALILEE, JORDAN VALLEY & LAKE KINNERET, the SHEFELAH, TEL AVIV-YAFFO and surroundings, NORTH of TEL AVIV, and SOUTH of TEL AVIV.

bottom of page