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Hamat Teverya was an ancient village that predated Tiberias by thousands of years, and became incorporated into the city as it expanded. It was famous for its hot natural springs. There are many nice beaches around Lake Kinneret and also beaches and waterparks in Tiberias.

Hamat Teverya National Park:

The springs here were well-known in antiquity for their healing properties. Hamat in Hebrew means a hot spring. 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). The Jewish village of Hamat Teverya was located to the south and adjacent to the Roman city of Tiberias. In the Byzantine period a wall was built around Tiberias and it incorporated Hamat Teverya (Teverya is Hebrew for Tiberias). Of particular interest in Hamat Teverya National Park are its hot springs and ancient synagogue.


There are 17 hot saline springs deep below the surface of the grounds in Hamat Teverya National Park. Water from the springs emerges at 60 degrees C and is now channeled to the nearby baths across the road, and then into the River Jordan. Steam may be seen escaping from the round chimneys above the springs. The small pools 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 was built in about 230 CE on the remains of a public building, and the second in the 3rd or 4th centuries. This was destroyed during an earthquake in the 5th century, and a larger synagogue was built on top of its ruins and this functioned until the 8th century.


The impressive mosaic floor you see in the enclosed building is from the second synagogue. It 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 a lulav. Do watch the movie which incorporates the mosaic into the presentation.


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 and that continued to function until the 1940s. It also functions as 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. 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.

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There are several small (hot) pools at Hamat Teverya.

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

Tiberias Hot Springs.

Tiberias Hot Springs is on the other side of Route 90 from Hamat Teverya 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 a regular outdoor swimming pool surrounded by green lawns. It 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 these times and prices before arriving. Their phone number is 04 612 3600. This is their website. Directions: Enter Tiberias Hot Springs” into Waze. There is free parking by the side of the building.

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 WCs. 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 Teverya 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 - 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 and to order tickets on line. Their phone number is 04 381 1101.  This is their website. Directions: Enter “Aqua Kef” into Waze.

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Aqua Kef is a popular location with floating activities.

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