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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 famous for its natural hot springs. The park contains an ancient synagogue. Also described in this chapter are beaches and waterparks around the lake in Tiberias.

Hamat Tiberias National Park:


Hamat is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being a fortified border city of the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:35). In the Roman period, the Jewish village of Hamat Teverya was located to the south of Tiberias. Tiberias expanded in the Byzantine period and a wall built around the city now incorporated Hamat Teverya (Hamat means a hot spring in Hebrew and Teverya is Hebrew for Tiberias).  


The springs in Hamat Teverya were well-known in antiquity for their healing properties. Seventeen hot saline springs emerge in the Hamat Tiberias National Park from deep below the surface. You will see steam escaping from the round chimneys above the springs. Water from the springs surfaces at 60 degrees C and nowadays is channeled to the nearby baths across the road and then into the River Jordan. There are also some 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 first synagogue 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, this building was destroyed during an earthquake in the 5th century and a larger synagogue was built on its ruins. This was in use until the 8th century.


Do watch the movie which incorporates the mosaic floor into the presentation. The 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 pagan 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 the Jewish Temple symbols a seven branched candelabra, shofar and lulav.


Also within the park are the remains of a Roman bathhouse, a 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 containing 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. on Sunday to Thursday and Saturday, and from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Friday. The site closes 1 hour earlier in the winter. There is an admission charge. The phone number is 04 672 5287. This is their website.

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

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

Beaches in Tiberias


The following beaches in Tiberias are either 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 advised to check on the day's schedule as it may be temporarily closed to the general public because of 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 and it receives hot spring water from this park. Its water is rich in sulphuric and hydrochloric acids and calcium salts. The facility has warm indoor and outdoor mineral pools. Spa treatments, massages, mud face baths, and wet and dry saunas are available. There is also an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by green lawns. It has a restaurant. 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 an additional charge for a locker and towel. 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.

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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.

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