PER PERSON IN USD:
$ 3,500.00 (double occupancy)
$ 4,400.00 (single occupancy)
Ramada Netanya 4****
Kibbutz Lavi 4****
Arbel Holiday Homes 4****
Tabgha Pilgerhouse 4*
Dan Jerusalem 4****
Dan Eilat 5*****
Ruth Daniel Residence 4****
1 nights in Netanya
3 nights in Tiberias
3 nights in Jerusalem
1 night in Beduin vamp Kfar HaNokdim
2 nights in Eilat
1 night in Tel Aviv
Daily breakfast and dinner at the hotel
2 lunches during hike
Luggage transfer during hike
All arrival and departure transfers
All sightseeing tours per program
All entrance fees
* airfare is not included and estimated at $1100-$1400 per person
National Parks - Green
Nazareth 1st Century Village
JLM ArchePark - Davidson Center
City of David + Movie
Western Wall Tunnel
Massada Cable Car
St. Anne's Church
Garden of Gethsemane
Get off the bus and experience the world of Jesus with all five senses!
The Galilee region of Israel welcomes you to walk the paths of Jesus– without a heavy pack! Walk village to village through rugged countryside, see many layers of history as you explore important biblical sites, mingle with locals for a glimpse into rich regional culture, and encounter epic views and diverse flora and fauna. Experience sacred history as you arrive at important religious sites each day. Feel the satisfaction of arriving at your destination by foot to enjoy a hearty well-earned meal and share your trail stories with hosts and fellow travelers.
Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Netanya. Overnight in Ramada Netanya (D)
After breakfast drive to Nazareth. Guided city tour of Nazareth, Basilica of Annunciation. Continue by bus to Zippori – tour of Zippori National Park, Roman ruins. Hike from Zippori National Park to Kfar Kanna (Cana) via the Arab village of Mas’had. Approx. 4.5 miles. Take a bus from Cana to Kibbutz Lavi for overnight. Overnight in Kibbutz Lavi (B, D)
SEPHHORIS / ZIPPORI
Sepphoris, or Zippori, is located in the lower Galilee, halfway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The historian Josephus described it as “the ornament of all Galilee” and it was the administrative capital of the Galilee in the 1st century. It features an impressive archeology site dating back to the Hasmoneans who settled there in the 2nd century BC, as well as subsequent Byzantine, Arab and Crusader ruins. The name comes from the Hebrew word tsipor which means “bird,” presumably for the birds-eye view afforded from its hill.
While Sepphoris is not mentioned in the New Testament, the city was under construction during the lifetime of Jesus. Some scholars speculate that Joseph may have worked as a tekton (or “builder”) in the construction of Sepphoris. Oral tradition sites Sepphoris as the hometown of Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim. Perhaps Joseph met his bride-to-be working in Sepphoris, and perhaps his apprentice, Jesus, may have laid some of the stones there!
Sepphoris is most famous for its Byzantine mosaics, including a woman’s face known as the ‘Mona Lisa of the Galilee’ and a well-preserved zodiac featuring Greek deities on the synagogue floor. Sepphoris was also a center of Jewish life in the 2nd century. The Sanhedrin convened there for a time and it was the birthplace of the Mishnah, the first written codification of Jewish oral law.
Just past Golani Junction the trail continues to Kibbutz Lavi, one of the few orthodox religious kibbutzim. Founded in 1949 by British immigrants, Kibbutz Lavi is the biggest manufacturer of synagogue furniture in the world and is the perfect place to buy a Torah table or new pews (though you may have trouble fitting them in your backpack.) The kibbutz also has a large hotel and some small-scale agriculture. Just outside the kibbutz you will pass by a Jewish graveyard and a Holocaust memorial set up by Lavi residents to remember family members who died in the Holocaust.
Lavi identifies itself as Pudak Lavi (Lion’s Inn), an ancient inn mentioned in the Talmud. The area was also known as Lubya since the Crusader era, and the Arab town of Lubya was located in the same vicinity until it was depopulated and destroyed in 1948. The grounds have a functioning synagogue built over the ruins of a synagogue from the Mishna period. As a religious community, Lavi observes Shabbat including Rabbi-approved automated milking machines, a shabbat elevator (which stops on every floor automatically), and a complete ban on driving and using electricity from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.
Walk to Lavi to Nebi Shweib – the Holy Druze shrine – 5 miles (modest clothes necessary for entry! Legs and shoulders must be covered). Walk from Nebi Shweib to Arbel –via Wadi Hamam – 6.3 miles. For those who cannot walk entire 11.3 miles a bus from Nebi Shweib to Arbel can be included for an extra cost. Overnight in Arbel village. Arbel Holiday Homes. (B, D)
Standing 700 feet above the Sea of Galilee, the Cliffs of Arbel provide a panoramic view stretching from the Golan Heights to the Jordan River valley. The snow-capped Mount Herman can be seen in the distance on clear days.
The Jesus Trail follows the Israel Trail blazes on a steep but beautiful route down the cliffs. Descending the cliff side you can see 17th century cliff dwellings built by the Druze as well as possible earlier Jewish dwellings, as well as the modern town of Wadi Hamam at the base of the cliffs.
Hike via Arbel cliff, Madgala, Jesus Boat Museum in Ginosar, Sea of Galilee – 12 miles
Overnight in Tabgha at Tabgha Pilgerhouse (B, D)
SEA OF GALILEE
The Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. In Hebrew it is known as lake Kinneret, from the Hebrew word for harp since the flat western shore and curving eastern shore resemble the shape of the instrument. The lake provides 50% of Israel’s drinking water and is piped all over the country. Today as in antiquity, the main economic activities of the region are agriculture and fishing. Since Byzantine times, it has also been a place of pilgrimage and tourism. Fifteen harbors from the time of Jesus have been discovered. Today “St Peters Fish,” also known as Tilapia, are fished commercially from the lake for tourist consumption. The name “St. Peter” references a New Testament story in which Jesus instructs Peter to pay the temple tax with a coin from the mouth of a fish.
Detour two kilometers off of the Jesus Trail to visit the remnants of a first-century fishing vessel, dubbed the “Jesus Boat”. at Kibbutz Ginosar. Tour the museum to learn about the boat’s discovery, extraction and preservation, which included seven years in a chemical bath, and ponder along with scholars whether this humble wooden fishing vessel may have carried Jesus and his disciples across the Sea of Galilee.
In the region of Tabgha, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, lies the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, the traditional site of the food multiplication story found in all four gospels (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:5-15). It is also where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection (John 21:1-17).
The church is most famous for a mosaic of loaves and fishes from the original mid-third century church. The church was expanded in the fifth century, but soon after destroyed by the Persians when they invaded in 614. The Byzantine structures and mosaics were excavated in the 1930s by a German team. In 1982, the current reconstruction was added. The original mosaics depict water birds and plants, ecology of the marshy swamps typical of the area historically.
The name Tabgha is a variation on its ancient Greek name, Heptapegon, meaning “seven springs.” Six of these springs have been identified in modern times, including one known as “Job’s Spring.”
Fourth-century pilgrim Egeria’s account of visiting Tabgha:
“In the same place (not far from Capernaum) facing the Sea of Galilee is a well watered land in which lush grasses grow, with numerous trees and palms. Nearby are seven springs which provide abundant water. In this fruitful garden Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish.”
Tabgha to Amnun Beach (hike and paddle) + bus to Jerusalem
Kayak tour in the morning around 08:30 start and safety briefing. 1.5 hours of paddling for each half of the group, including guided tour of Capernaum in the middle. (The group is split in 2 – one paddles, another walks, then change). In the afternoon- travel south from Amnun to Jerusalem along Jordan River Beth Shean, Gideon's Springs. Baptism at the Qasr Al Yahud Baptismal site near Jericho, Mt. Scopus view of Jerusalem. (possible view of Mt. Tabor on the way) Overnight at Dan Jerusalem (B, D)
Capernaum (Kefar Nachum) served as Jesus’ home base during his ministry in the Galilee. There are numerous references to Capernaum in the New Testament including the healing of the Centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13), driving out of a demon (Mark 1:21-26), healing of a paralytic (Mark 2:1-12), clearing of the temple (John 2:12-16), and Jesus preaching in the synagogue (Mark 1:21). From the 2nd to 4rth century there is evidence of a thriving Christian community in Capernaum. After the Arab conquest around 700 CE the town was destroyed and not further inhabited.
Named for the emperor Tiberius, is one of four holy cities in Judaism. The series of hot springs in the region first attracted Roman notice in the 1st century and led Herod Antipas to build a city replete with a grand cardo, stadium, gold-roofed palace, and great synagogue.Following the Bar Kochba Revolt in the 2nd century when Jews were exiled from Jerusalem, Tiberias became the center of Jewish life in Israel. Rabbinical academies were established and Jewish scholars and sages were drawn to Tiberias. Today you can visit many tombs of great Jewish tzadiks (scholars) including Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon and Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes who helped to compile the Mishnah.
The Jordan River stretches 250 kilometers from its waterheads at the base of Mt. Hermon to its final resting place in the Dead Sea, dropping 700 meters of elevation in the journey. One of the world’s most sacred rivers, the Jordan is mentioned in both Hebrew and Christian scriptures as an important landmark. The significance of “crossing over Jordan” in the Exodus story symbolized the movement from slavery in Egypt to entering the promised land, a motif in many contemporary spiritual songs. In the New Testament, the Jordan is given additional significance as the baptismal place of both Jesus and John as well as other followers of Jesus. Today the Jordan River is still a popular place to be baptized, though overuse of its water in irrigation has left the river little more than a muddy creek at some places.
Mt. of Olives, Palm Sunday Path to Garden of Gethsemane, Enter the Old City via the Lion's Gate. Pools of Bethesda (St. Anne's), Church of Holy Sepulcher, Way of the Cross through the old City of Jerusalem, Temple Mount, Western Wall, Southern Steps of the Temple (Davidson Center), City of David Archaeological site, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Jewish Quarter of the Old City Mt. Zion. Overnight at Dan Jerusalem (B, D)
Full day in Samaria including Shiloh, Alon Moreh, View of Shechem from Mt. Gerizim. Biblical Garden at Eshel Ha Shomron. (protected bus). Overnight at Dan Jerusalem (B, D)
Garden Tomb, Israel Museum, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum. In the afternoon - drive to Kfar HaNokdim for Israel Bedouin experience. Overnight Kfar HaNokdim (B, D)
Nestled in the Kanaim Valley in the Judean desert, between the city of Arad and the ancient citadel of Masada, there is a green oasis: Kfar Hanokdim. Picturesque guest rooms, goat hair Bedouin tents, spacious lodges made of local stone, and inviting niches for lingering under the dappled shade of the palm trees and orchards. Ever since Kfar Hanokdim was established in 1991 it has provided high-level personalized hospitality that allows each guest to experience the desert in the way they choose, including Bedouin experience in Israel.
Relax and swim in the Dead Sea. Drive from the Dead Sea to Eilat: visit Timna with Tabernacle, and everything to see reroute. Arrive Eilat in the afternoon. Free day. Overnight in Dan Panorama (B, D)
Ein Gedi is a remote, canyon oasis near the Dead Sea has attracted small bands of people since prehistoric times. According to the Bible, it was to the isolated canyons of Ein Gedi that the young David fled from the paranoid King Saul around b.c. 1000; here David had the chance to kill his pursuer, but he would not lay a hand on his king, the anointed of God. The “Song of Songs” rhapsodizes over the exotic herbs and spices grown in Ein Gedi’s rarefied atmosphere and soil. From approximately the 6th century b.c. until the a.d. late 8th century. Ein Gedi was famous throughout the ancient world for priceless incense, lotions, and perfumes. Ein Gedi’s plants and formulas were carefully guarded by the Ein Gedi community until its demise in early Islamic times. Indeed, an inscription in the mosaic floor of the Byzantine-era synagogue discovered at Ein Gedi warns members of the community not to divulge the “secret of the town” to outsiders. After more than 1,000 years of complete desolation, the region was resettled in 1949 by a group of kibbutzniks who were amazed at how trees and plantings thrive at Ein Gedi. Kibbutz Ein Gedi is now lushly planted with 900 species of trees and shrubs from all over the world, and is the only internationally recognized botanical garden in which people live!
It’s a tradition for Israelis to make the ascent to the top of Masada at least once—this is the scene of one of the most heroic and tragic incidents in Jewish history. Few non-Jews outside Israel had heard of Masada until its story was dramatized in a book and a subsequent television miniseries in 1981. The story of a small garrison that defied the Roman army, as the historian Flavius Josephus recorded and perhaps embellished, is worth retelling.
Free day in Eilat. Overnight in Dan Panorama (B, D)
Drive from Eilat to Tel Aviv. Sightseeing in Tel Aviv and Jaffo. Overnight at Ruth Daniel Residence in Jaffa (B, D)
Sightseeing around Tel Aviv. Departure (B)