We’re 99% sure that Israel is the destination of choice for any traveler looking to learn more about the life of Jesus, and the land of the Bible. For such a small country (around the size of Wales) it is packed with history and evidence of the life of Jesus. It is the centre of the Holy Land. For the Christian, it is the most precious place on earth. Your visit to Israel will bring the Bible to life for you – in fact we recommend you take your Bible and use it along with your travel guide book!
Here are some of the highlights:
Here you can visit the Old City with its Christian Quarter, Jewish Quarter, Armenian Quarter, and Muslim Quarter. Take a leisurely walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. Enter through the Jaffa Gate to walk the walls from the Tower of David to the Dung Gate. Continue to the Western Wall. Then enter the Temple Mount, viewing the exterior of the El Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Stroll back through the narrow streets of the Old City, tracing the last steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa. Identify with His intense suffering on this path of the 14 stations of the Cross. The path ends at the Church of Holy Sepulchre (built on what is believed to be the site of Golgotha). Travel a short distance to the Garden Tomb, overlooking Gordon’s Calvary. This location is held by some to be the Golgotha referred to in the New Testament.
Go to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus will one day return, for a panoramic view of the Old City. Visit the peaceful Garden of Gethsemane, the scene of Jesus’ betrayal. You may experience a “Jerusalem moment”.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, is a monument to the memory of over six million people who died in the Holocaust. It is a sobering and sombre memorial where visitors must dress appropriately and respectfully, so it’s important to note mini skirts or shorts are not permitted.
Jesus spent His childhood in the Old Town of Nazareth. Mary’s Well is traditionally the site of Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel, who announced that she would give birth to the Son of God. Quite a newsflash for young Mary to deal with! St Joseph’s is a small church built on what is thought to be the site of Joseph’s home. Above all, we heartily recommend a visit to the Nazareth Village, a re-enactment of life at the time of Jesus. You can enjoy an authentic lunch here, and maybe get to cuddle a donkey!
Go to the place Jesus was born. Visit Manger Square, the Church of the Nativity, and finish with a visit to the Shepherds’ Fields. You can certainly imagine what was it like for the shepherds when the angel of the Lord appeared to them to announce the birth of Jesus.
The River Jordan
The most famous river in Israel flows from the Golan Heights to the Dead Sea. John the Baptist baptised Jesus here, at Bethany, according to the book of John. Others believe Yardenit to be the location of Jesus’ baptism. Whichever is right, you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this location. As a result, you may even want to be baptised too.
Sail from Tiberias to Capernaum by replica wooden boat. See where Jesus taught, as well as the ruins of Simon Peter’s house. Most of Jesus’ ministry took place in Capernaum, therefore it is known as “the Town of Jesus”. Here you can visit the remains of the 2nd century synagogue, believed to have been built on the site that Jesus often preached. This place is packed with history and Biblical relevance. It is also in a stunning location on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Now known as Banias, Jesus visited Caesarea Philippi just before His transfiguration and is the probable site of the transfiguration. It’s also where Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus travelled no further north than this point. Caesarea Philippi has no Old Testament history, but it may be what was known as Baal-gad.
The Mount of Beatitudes
Imagine standing on the spot where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, the most famous sermon of all time! The Mount of Beatitudes overlooks the areas Jesus lived and worked. It’s located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret.
The Dead Sea
Known in the Bible as the Salt Sea, this is the lowest place on the planet, at 1385 feet below sea level. It’s famous for its incredibly mineral-packed water, therefore its black, sticky mud is said to have therapeutic qualities. You’ll have the opportunity to float in it, weather permitting.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran near the Dead Sea in caves on rocky hillsides. They were found in 11 caves between 1947 and 1956. According to legend, the first scrolls were found by a Bedouin searching for a lost goat. See what happens when you look for the lost sheep, or goat in this case?
King David’s mountain stronghold is found at Ein Gedi. David took refuge here when King Saul pursued him. Rebels fled there from Jerusalem, and temples and synagogues were built in Ein Gedi to strengthen the Jewish stronghold in the area. Today it’s one of the most important nature reserves in Israel.
Ascend this flat-topped mountain by cable car to visit Herod’s desert fortress. Excavation has revealed fifteen storerooms that kept essential provisions for time of siege. Herod filled them with food and weapons. Wine bottles sent to Herod from Italy were found. Chillingly, it was here that the Jewish Partisans committed mass suicide during the Jewish revolt against Rome…
According to the book of Revelation, this ancient town is where the final battle between Good and Evil will take place at the end of the world. Armageddon, as it is called in the Bible is a derivative of Har Megedon, meaning “mountain of Megiddo”. In this mound, archaeologists have discovered numerous settlements. Most noteworthy are the remains of city walls, a temple, a huge grain silo and many building foundations. Visitors can also go through a tunnel running below an old reservoir to a spring outside the city walls. Megiddo is considered so important it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Jesus Boat
This ancient boat was discovered buried in the mud on the shore near the Sea of Galilee by local fishermen. Boats of this type played an important part of the life of Jesus and His disciples and there is a possibility that Jesus Himself may have used this boat! It is on display in the Yigal Alon Center (known as the Jesus Boat Museum) on Kibbutz Ginosar on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Golan Heights Winery
If you’re a fan of fine wine, a visit to the Golan Heights Winery will tick that box very nicely. Try their Mount Hermon Red or ultra smooth Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon and we’re confident you’ll thirst for more.
This selection of sites is to whet your appetite – there’s a lot more for you to see and do in Israel. Some of our clients want to spend time in the museums and art studios. Others want to visit the Davidson Center with its amazing advanced technological visualisations of Jerusalem’s past. The Israel Christian Embassy Jerusalem has also been requested, along with Succat Hallel for 24 hour prayer and worship. The Shuk (Jerusalem’s largest outdoor market) is a must for souvenir hunting. One group visited the Israel’s National Food Bank as it is a charity they support. By doing so, they were able to see first hand the great work their donations support.
We are very flexible and will happily tailormake your trip of a lifetime!
See our interactive map of Israel here.