The Lower Galilee is a history-soaked region where scores of events in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament took place. Blessed with forested hills, fertile valleys, gushing springs, and the Sea of Galilee, it has strong appeal. The graves of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze holy men attract those seeking spiritual solace, but the region is also the scene of earthly delights, including
fine restaurants and spas.
To most Israelis, the Galilee is synonymous with "the North," a land of nature reserves and national parks. In short, they claim, it's a great place to visit but not a place to live: it's provincial and remote. Still, the Lower Galilee has its own quiet beauty and varied landscape. Whatever your agenda is—spiritual, historical, recreational, or restful—savor your time here. Follow a hiking trail above the Sea of Galilee. Wade through fields of irises in the spring. Bathe in a warm mineral spa. Buy some good goat cheese. Nazareth, the region's administrative center, has character and deserves some time.
Farming and tourism form the economic base. The region's kibbutzim and a smaller number of moshavim (Jewish family-farm villages) are concentrated in the Jezreel and Jordan valleys and around the Sea of Galilee. The rockier hill country is predominantly Arab (Israeli Arab; this isn’t disputed territory) and Israeli Druze. For the last half century, the communities—Jewish, Druze, and Arab—have been attempting neighborly relations despite the ethnic tensions that swirl around them. By and large, they've succeeded.
Culture and entertainment aren’t this region's strong suits. A number of annual festivals and events are the highlights. Tiberias's pubs and restaurants probably come closest to providing lively nightlife, but there are worse ways to spend an evening than sitting by a moonlit lake washing down a good St. Peter's fish or a lamb kebab with an excellent Israeli wine.