- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
JERUSALEM TOUR SITES
- The Garden Tomb
- Western Wall Luxury House - Avraham
- Mosaic Centre Laboratory
- Emek Tzurim National Park
- Dome of the Rock
- Muslim Quarter
- Christian Quarter
- The Temple Institute's Holy Temple Visitors Center
- St. George's Monastery
- Jerusalem City Hall Visitor Center
- Grotto of Gethsemane
TOURIST SITES IN NAZARETH
- Church of the Annunciation
Church of the Annunciation
Regarded as one of the most important churches of modern times in Israel and top of the things to do list in Nazareth, the present Church of the Annunciation was built in 1969. However, archaeological evidence shows that a church has sat on this site since at least the 3rd century AD.
During the 4th century, the Empress Helena (mother to Constantine the Great, who ruled over the Byzantine world from his capital in modern-day Istanbul) had a second church constructed here, which was destroyed by the Persians in AD 614.
The Crusaders later built a three-aisled basilica. It was again razed, this time by Sultan Baibars.
The site then lay empty until 1730 when the Franciscans gained permission to build a new church, which was pulled down in the 1950s to make way for the church you see today, designed by Italian architect Giovanni Muzio.
Constructed to depict the history of all the churches that have stood here, the plan of today's Church of the Annunciation is based on the Crusader church, while the side walls are built on top of the surviving fragments of older walls, with the east-end apses of the Crusader church incorporated into the design.
In the floor of the church is a large octagonal opening with a view of the lower level and the older structures below — the Grotto of the Annunciation and the remains of the earliest churches on the site. Over this area, which can also be seen from the upper church, is the dome.
Address: Annunciation Street, Town Center
Nazareth - Church of the Annunciation Map (Historical)Nazareth - Grotto of the Annunciation Map (Historical)
- Visit the Mary of Nazareth International Center
To complement your church visits with some understanding of Nazareth's importance in Christian beliefs, don't miss the Mary of Nazareth International Center, opposite the Church of the Annunciation.
Run by the Chemin Neuf Catholic community, the center offers a Biblical multimedia show and a series of film exhibits that explain Mary's life and her representation both in the Bible and Qur'an, as well as the story of early Christianity and the Eastern Church.
There's also a small archaeological excavation on-site showing the foundations of a house that dates from the 1st century AD and a large beautifully landscaped garden with a pleasant restaurant offering excellent views across Nazareth.
Address: Annunciation Street, Town Center
- St. Joseph's Church
St. Joseph's Church
Next door to the Church of the Annunciation, within the same compound, is St. Joseph's Church, built in 1914.
The site it stands on is traditionally held by believers to be where Joseph once had his carpentry workshop.
St. Joseph's is quite small and plain (particularly if you've visited the Church of the Annunciation beforehand) apart from some modern fresco decoration depicting Joseph with Jesus and stained-glass windows.
The main reason to visit is to see the underground level, beneath the modern church, where excavation work has brought to light a cistern and series of storage pits, which dates from the early 1st century AD.
Address: Annunciation Street, Town Center
- Hike up to the Salesian Church of Jesus the Adolescent
Salesian Monastery & Church of Jesus the Adolescent
For views over Nazareth and the surrounding countryside, take the zigzagging path up the Mount of the Start to the Salesian Church of Jesus the Adolescent.
The church was built in 1918 in neo-Gothic style by French architect Lucia Gauthier. The site is traditionally thought to be where Jesus lived during his youth.
Originally the surrounding buildings in the grounds functioned as an orphanage run by Nazareth's Catholic Salesian order. Today, the religious order uses them as a vocational school.
There are regular classical music performances held within the church in the evenings, so it's well worth checking out if anything is on while you're in town.
Address: Salesian Street, Nazareth
- Synagogue Church
Snuggled away in Nazareth's market district is the Synagogue Church, which belongs to the Greek Catholic Melkite community.
To the left of the doorway is a door leading down into the synagogue, which Jesus is said to have attended as an adolescent.
Despite this traditional belief, archaeological evidence points to the synagogue probably dating from the 6th century AD, at the earliest.
The church itself was built in 1887 and has a rather grand dome, sided by two bell towers.
- St. Gabriel's Church and Mary's Well
St. Gabriel's Church and Mary's Well | Seetheholyland.net / photo modified
St. Gabriel's Church (also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation) is one of the two sites in Nazareth claimed to be where the Annunciation took place.
It was built over the village spring, where in Greek Orthodox tradition, the Archangel Gabriel first appeared to Mary. In the crypt below the church, the spring still flows.
The upper church itself has some superb frescoes that are well worth visiting.
If you want to visit the other contender for the title of Mary's well, head south across Church Square to the aptly-named Mary's Well Square, which followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church believe to be the true site.
Address: Church Square, Town Center
- Take the Ancient Bath House Tour
This Roman-era bathhouse, near Mary's Well, was discovered during renovations of the souvenir shop that sits on the site.
The shop owners have since partially excavated the site and run informative tours of the site for visitors.
The bathhouse tour takes in the caldarium (steam room), the furnace that once heated the baths, and the hypocaust heating tunnels. There's also plenty of information on the excavation works that have been carried out by the owners so far.
The bathhouse remnants date from the 1st century AD, so it is billed as "Jesus' Bathhouse." Although obviously, there is no evidence to support that assertion, it's still an excellent example of a typical bathhouse from that era.
- Mensa Christi Church
The domed Franciscan Mensa Christi (Table of Christ) Church in the town center has a rather plain interior but contains a slab of stone 3.6 meters long and three meters wide that the risen Christ is believed to have eaten at with his disciples.
The current church, built over the site of an older church, dates to 1861 and has undergone extensive renovations in recent years.
The church is usually kept locked, but the guardian is normally around, and you can gain entry by asking for the key.
- Day Trip to Cana (Kafr Kanna)
Cana (Kafr Kanna)
Cana is one of two sites (the other is in southern Lebanon) that contend for the title of being the place where Jesus performed his first miracle: the changing of water into wine.
Located about eight kilometers northeast of Nazareth, it's an attractive town for a half-day trip from Nazareth, with three churches commemorating the miracle that may — or may not — have occurred here.
In Cana town center is a Franciscan church consecrated in 1883. Local tradition holds that the church is built over the site where the miracle happened.
Visitors can usually see an old jar here that is claimed to be one of the six pots in which the water was changed.
Opposite the Franciscan church is the rather dilapidated Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1556 over the site of an earlier mosque. Here, too, you'll be shown two stone jars, which are said to have been involved in the miracle (though they are probably no more than 300 years old).
At the north end of Cana is the Nathanael Chapel, which also belongs to the Franciscans.
It was built at the end of the 19th century in honor of Nathanael of Cana, who was initially prejudiced against Jesus ("Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?") but then worshipped him as the Son of God (John 1,46-49) and was also present when the risen Christ appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (John 21,2).
The 10. Explore History at Zippori
remains of ancient Zippori (Sepphoris) are an excellent day trip from Nazareth, about seven kilometers away.
Excavations here by American archaeologists have brought to light findings from the Roman period, when the town was known as Diocaesarea, through to the era of the Crusades.
The Crusaders built a castle and church dedicated to St. Anne (mother of the Virgin Mary) here, and the Crusading army assembled at Zippori on July 2, 1187 before their march to Hittim, where they suffered an annihilating defeat at the hands of Saladin
TOURIST SITES IN GALILEE
Israel’s Galilee region spans a huge area of Northern Israel and there are many places to visit in the Galilee. For those interested in nature, the Galilee is full of beautiful nature including the Sea of Galilee, the Hula Valley, Mount Gilboa, the natural spring at Gan Hashlosha, and more. The Galilee is also full of important religious sites including the spot where Jesus is said to have walked on water, the Mount of Beatitudes, and the city of Nazareth. No matter what type of tour or travel experience you seek, there are plenty of amazing places to visit in the Galilee
Situated on the banks of the Sea of Galilee at the foot of the Mt. of Beatitudes, Tabgha is a place with a special significance to the Christian faith. It is traditionally considered the place where the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes occurred, as well as the site for Jesus’ fourth resurrection.
Nazareth is described by some as 'the Forgotten Son' of Israeli tourism. Nazareth, located in Israel's Galilee region not only has over a dozen important Christian sites, but as Israel's largest Arab city, has some fascinating cultural sites and experiences to savor. Nazareth has recently been given a push back onto Israel's tourism map - and with its importance as the childhood home of Jesus, as the largest Arab city in Israel, and its stunning location right in the middle of the Lower Galilee, it's a fascinating place.
Step into the ancient footsteps of Jesus in the Galilee. It is a journey that begins in Nazareth and takes in the sites of miracles on the Sea of Galilee. A region of orchards, wildflower meadows and mountain panoramas in northern Israel, the natural beauty of the Galilee cannot be overstated. Its historic and religious..
Step into the ancient footsteps of Jesus in the Galilee. It is a journey that begins in Nazareth and takes in the sites of miracles on the Sea of Galilee. A region of orchards, wildflower meadows and mountain panoramas in northern Israel, the natural beauty of the Galilee cannot be overstated. Its historic and religious
The ferry from Haifa to Akko allows visitors to both northern coastal cities to shuttle between the two easily. Ferries operate several times a day, seven days a week. The ride offers a beautiful and scenic alternative to driving, which can often be frustrating due to heavy traffic. Stunning views of the Carmel Mountains, downtown
The Templars’ Tunnel in Akko is an extraordinary underground passageway built by the Knights Templar (a Christian military order) to connect their main fortress at old Akko’s southwestern tip with the port. It is one of Akko’s most visited sites, with an underground stream and impressive domed ceiling. It is a marvel of ancient ingenuity
The Mount of Beatitudes is a hill in Northern Israel on the Korazim Plateau. It is the spot where Jesus is believed to have delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Overlooking the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, the mount offers enchanting views of the northern part of the lake and across to the..
Yardenit is an important spot situated on the banks of the Jordan River at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Each year, the site is visited by over half a million tourists and pilgrims who come to experience the waters in which Jesus was said to have been baptized by John the Baptist....
Kibbutz Ein Gev, located on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, is one of the largest and wealthiest kibbutz in Israel. Ein Gev was established, like many of the kibbutzim around the Sea of Galilee, in the mid 1930’s as a tower and stockade settlement, with the threat of attack from the surrounding area strong.
Situated along the banks of the Jordan River, in the Beit Shean Valley south of the Sea of Galilee, lays old Kibbutz Gesher. Yet, embedded below the surface of these banks also lies a history of a nation and a story of a people. The River Jordan officially serves as the border between Israel and Jordan...
In the foothills of the Lower Galilee lie Israel’s olive groves. Nick-named the “generous tree” for its all-giving qualities, the olive tree is a source of food, energy, medicine and cosmetics. But for the inhabitants of the nearby villages olive oil production is not just a commercial trade. For them it serves as a culture...
The beautiful village of Beit Lechem HaGalilit, in English, Bethlehem of Galilee, is located in the hills of the Lower Galilee, between the cities of Haifa and Nazareth. Overshadowed in name, by the world famous Bethlehem, next to Jerusalem, Bethlehem of Galilee is a somewhat different affair, today drawing visitors thanks to its quaint stone...
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN CAPERNAUM
Tourist attractions in Dead sea
The caves of Qumran are the location of one of the greatest religious discoveries of modern times. It was here that in 1947 a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon a cache of parchment and papyrus documents dating from the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE.
Known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Bible and include all the books of the Old Testament (except Esther), together with apocrypha, and various writings that describe life in the time of Jesus.
2. Kalia Beach
Floating in the Dead Sea
Sitting right on the northern corner of the Dead Sea, just six kilometers north of the Qumran ruins, this entrance-fee beach facility offers an easygoing Dead Sea experience with full facilities on hand. If you want to go swimming in the Dead Sea, this is a good spot.
3. Wadi David
Wadi David is one of the two valleys that incorporate En Gedi Nature Park.
This area of lush vegetation — in striking contrast to the surrounding desert hills — is a haven for hikers and wilderness lovers.
4. Wadi Arugot
Wadi Arugot is En Gedi Nature Park's southern valley, and the trailhead is a two-kilometer walk south from Wadi David.
Like Wadi David there are a multitude of pools and waterfalls along the trails here, though some of the hiking in this wadi is more difficult than in Wadi David, so it tends to get less visitors.
5. Ein Kedim Hot Springs
Dead Sea coast around Ein Kedim
For a no-frills Dead Sea experience, head to Ein Kedim beach (10 kilometers north of En Gedi) where there are natural sulfuric hot pools along the shoreline, so you can soak in the hot water before and after floating in the Dead Sea.
6. Ein Bokek
The southern end of the Dead Sea is the most built-up area on the western shore, and Ein Bokek is the largest resort area. The mineral springs here have been used for therapeutic purposes since ancient times.
7. Wadi Bokek
Wadi Bokek is another great Dead Sea hiking experience full of gorgeous greenery and gushing springs, which make a pleasing and rather photogenic contrast against the stark cliffs looming overhead.
The hiking here is relatively easygoing, and anyone with decent fitness levels can hit the trail through the wadi, so it makes a good stop to stretch out your legs - especially if you've spent most of the day lazing on the beach and want to break up all that bobbing about in the water with some exercise but don't want a challenging walk.
8. Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar, five kilometers south of Ein Bokak, has a spa, restaurant, and several hot mineral springs to soak in. The shoreline here is dangerous due to sinkholes, so there are no beach facilities.
It's worth a stop on your Dead Sea itinerary for the three-kilometer walk from here up to Mezad Zohar (Zohar Fort), a stronghold situated on a conical limestone crag amid magnificent mountain scenery.
9. Mount Sodom
This rock-salt mountain, nine kilometers south of Neve Zohar, is a must for those who want to add a bit of adventure into their Dead Sea experience.
As you may have guessed from the name, this is one of the sites traditionally thought to be the Old Testament's Sodom.
This modern town, founded in 1961, is best known for the important Tel Arad archaeological site just on its doorstep.
When it comes to agricultural tourism in Israel, it’s all happening in the lush green orchards of the Golan. A great place to start your fruit expeditions is at the Beresheet Visitors’ Center, adjacent to the Perot HaGolan fruit packing house near kibbutz Merom Golan. Beresheet is the largest fruit packing house in Israel and was founded in 2005 when two large, nearby packing houses merged. Together, they market 30% of the highest quality deciduous fruit throughout the country. In addition, they export their high quality fruit to England, Russia, Cyprus, South Africa and other countries. When the two packing houses merged, the Beresheet Visitors’ Center, an educational and fun attraction, was added to the company’s offerings. The goal of the visitors’ center is to help people learn more about the fruit industry in Israel.
Ever wonder what happens to fruits like apples and cherries after they are picked from the orchard? A guided factory tour introduces visitors to the “Fruit Path,” where you can learn all about how a piece of fruit journeys from the orchard through cool storage to sorting and packing and ends up in your local market and eventually in your hands. Most of the year, the apple is the star of the tour, but during cherry season, which lasts from May until July, cherries are also featured.
During the tour, which lasts about an hour, you’ll witness the cutting-edge technology employed in the preservation, selection, packing and quality control of fruits prepared in the Beresheet packing house. A short film enhances your experience. It’s best to go early in the day, since the last tour begins the early afternoon.
After the tour, a souvenir shop at the Beresheet Visitors’ Center offers fresh fruit of the highest quality, refreshing Keshet natural juices made from local fruits, local wine, apple cider from apples grown in the Golan, outdoor accessories, clothing with the Beresheet logo and a wide range of other products produced in the Golan Heights and in the nearby Galilee. A highlight of the shop is the selection of gorgeous custom fruit baskets featuring apples, pears, kiwifruit, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums,
Cherries and more.
Yad Mordechai Honey Tour
If you have tasted delicious honey in Israel then chances are it came from Yad Mordechai.
Tour description: Glimpse into the inside of the honeycomb and learn how to make it into edible honey. A guide will explain the work, the process of preparation, and you can enjoy a video about honey and taste different kinds of honey. Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is known for its honey, olive oil and fruit preserves. The brand is now owned by Strauss.
The tour takes place in the House of Honey & Bees and not in the actual factory.
JERUSALEM TOUR SITES
The Garden Tomb
Western Wall Luxury House - Avraham
Mosaic Centre Laboratory
Emek Tzurim National Park
Dome of the Rock
The Temple Institute's Holy Temple Visitors Center
St. George's Monastery
Jerusalem City Hall Visitor Center
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