SEA OF GALILEE

The Sea of Galilee, Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth, is a freshwater lake in Israel.

It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the

Dead Sea, a saltwater lake), at levels between 215 metres and 209 metres below sea level.

It is approximately 53 km in circumference, about 21 km long, and 13 km wide.

Its area is 166.7 km2 (64.4 sq mi) at its fullest, and its maximum depth is approximately 43 m (141 feet). 
The lake is fed partly by underground springs, although its main source is the Jordan River,

which flows through it from north to south.
Tourism around the Sea of Galilee is an important economic branch. Historical and religious sites

in the region draw both local and foreign tourists. The Sea of Galilee is an attraction for

Christian pilgrims who visit Israel to see the places where Jesus performed miracles according

to the New Testament, such as his walking on water, calming the storm and feeding the multitude.

Alonzo Ketcham Parker, a nineteenth-century American traveler, called visiting the Sea of Galilee

"a 'fifth gospel' which one read devoutly, his heart overflowing with quiet joy".
In April 2011, Israel unveiled a 40-mile (64 km) hiking trail in Galilee for Christian pilgrims,

called the "Jesus Trail". It includes a network of footpaths, roads and bicycle paths linking

sites central to the lives of Jesus and his disciples. 
It ends at Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus expounded his teachings.
Another key attraction is the site where the Sea of Galilee's water flows into the Jordan River,

to which thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to be baptized every year.
Israel's most well-known open water swim race, the Kinneret Crossing, is held every year in September, drawing thousands of open water swimmers to participate in competitive and noncompetitive events.
Tourists also partake in the building of rafts on Lavnun Beach, called Rafsodia. Here many different age groups work together to build a raft with their bare hands and then sail that raft across the sea.
Other economic activities include fishing in the lake and agriculture, particularly bananas,

dates, mangoes, grapes and olives in the fertile belt of land rounding it.

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