Located in the Galilee region of Israel, the Jesus Trail is a foot path connecting many of the sites from Jesus’s life and ministry. The trail begins in Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home, and ends in Capernaum where Jesus preached and practiced much of his ministry and performed many of his miracles from the Bible. Your group hike options include the entire 40 mile, 4-day trail, with a hotel or kibbutz each evening, or a “highlights” half- or full-day section of the Jesus Trail. The Jesus Trail features sweeping vistas of green hills and fertile valleys, beautiful meadows, ancient towns and modern villages, and dramatic cliffs that overlook the fabled Sea of Galilee. This trail can become both an inward and outward journey for groups on a Holy Land Tour.
Perhaps no other city in the world is chock-full of history, archeology, splendors of empires, and stories of faith and worship, as the universal city of Jerusalem. The Old City, with its cobble stone labyrinth-like streets, and ancient 40-foot high walls and fortifications, consists of a Christian quarter, Jewish quarter, Armenian quarter and a Muslim quarter.
We’ll take you on a guided four-quarters tour of the city as well as a special walk on top of the old city walls (The Rampart’s Walk) for a captivating bird’s eye view of it all. We’ll also go underground Jerusalem, through secret tunnels and cavernous passageways that have existed for thousands of years. And of course, we’ll leave plenty of time in the itinerary for exploring all the iconic sites, landmarks and museums Jerusalem has to behold. There are also hiking and walking trails in the forest of Jerusalem for groups that want to enjoy nature while visitng the holy city.
Located in the Judean Desert of Israel near the Dead Sea stands an incredible mountaintop fortress. Once an opulent vacation palace for Herod the Great, it later became legend as the last Jewish stronghold against the Roman siege, in a heroic story with a dramatic ending.
At sunrise, as the deep red glow rises above the Jordanian mountains in the distance, and the Dead Sea begins to glisten in front of us, we’ll hike the “Snake Path,” which starts at the base of Masada, and winds its way up to the peak, where the archeological remains endure (about a 90-minute hike). Once on top, we’ll leisurely explore the ruins of Masada at our own pace and enjoy the breathtaking panoramas. Hiking Masada is considered a rite of passage for people travelling in Israel on a Holy Land Tour. (Cable car ride up and down as an alternative is also available.)
A true oasis located in the Judean Desert of Israel, it’s sometimes referred to as “a green Garden of Eden in the Wilderness.” Ein Gedi Nature Reserve features walking paths and trails that meander past a plethora of natural hot springs, mineral baths and waterfalls of all sizes. Rivers run through deep canyons surrounded by lush vegetation. There’s simply no better way to cool off and refresh after an active day hiking Israel than Ein Gedi’s mirage-like offerings. If we are lucky, we’ll be able to spot Ibexes and other animals that come to the rivers to drink.
The Dead Sea
Welcome to the lowest point on earth. The Dead Sea has been attracting visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years and is one of the world’s first health resorts. Most visitors to the Dead Sea are surprised to find that they naturally “float” in its crystal blue waters because of the high salt content. Pack on some of the healing mineral rich black mud found along the shoreline, and reap the numerous health benefits. A day at the Dead Sea will leave your skin feeling silky fresh and revitalized, your body feeling rejuvenated and your mind feeling inspired.
A walk through the 5,000-year-old city of Beit She’an is like a walk through time. Just 30 minutes south of the Sea of Galilee, it provides spectacular archeological ruins (mostly from the Roman and Byzantine era) that have been excavated to reveal a roman amphitheater, a “cardo” main road, and another street with colonnades, temples, bathhouses, fountains, public buildings and mosaic floors.
This is the biblical city where King Saul was beheaded. Scattered around Beit She’an are pre-recorded narrative stations with period music that allow you to imagine what it would have been like as a visitor to Beit She’an during its Roman peak, strolling past street vendors, city officials, soldiers, families and performers. We’ll walk through and then hike up the “tel” (ancient archeological mound) overlooking Beit She’an for a sweeping view of the ruins, which were effectively frozen in time after a great earthquake shook the city long ago.
Ancient meets modern on the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Tel Aviv is the economic, financial and cultural center of Israel. Glistening modern offices, the world’s largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings known as the “White City,” nightclubs, theaters, trendy restaurants and a young secular and progressive demographic, make Tel Aviv a world-class city with a 24-hour revelling atmosphere.
We’ll take an urban walk through Tel Aviv on the always energetic and bustling beach front Promenade, and continue down to historic Jaffa, the oldest port city in the world. Jaffa radiates a cozy old world charm and is a haven for artists and their galleries. Its sand-colored stone walls, cobblestone roads and view of the coastline make it a popular spot for wedding photographs.
The village where Jesus spent his childhood and youth. Today, Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel and hosts roughly 30 churches (including the largest church in the Middle East) and monasteries, as well as mosques and ancient synagogues. We’ll take an active walk through the Old City’s lovely narrow streets, past charming Middle Eastern architectural style buildings and houses. And no visit to Nazareth is complete without a visit to the popular local market, full of spices, local foods, artwork and souvenirs. Nazareth is a popular stop on our active Holy Land tours.
In the heart of Israel’s’ Negev Desert lies the largest erosion crater in the entire world. A unique phenomenon, the crater was formed as the waters of a prehistoric ocean began to recede. Today, the crater spans a vast 25 miles. We’ll admire the unique rock formations and look out for some of the rare reptiles and vultures that make the Ramon Crater home. Some groups doing hikes in Israel might want to explore more of the crater on any of the numerous short, day and multi-day trails.
Israel’s wine history is perhaps some of the richest on earth, dating back to Biblical times, almost 3,000 years. Its annual wine production attracts attention from all corners of the wine world today. We’ll enjoy a private tasting at a vineyard & winery and sample some of the Holy Land’s best known kosher and non-kosher varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Wine tasting in Israel can be a memorable experience.
Built by one of the greatest builders of the ancient world - King Herod. Caesarea offers ruins of unique, remarkable buildings set on the coast of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Sensing how people lived here thousands of years ago, we’ll stroll along the city walls and around the towers, wander through the ruins of the castle and the various temples, watch the horse races in the hippodrome, visit the ancient port and the tiny artists’ square and watch the interactive 3-dimensional computer simulations of the city’s past.