Nazareth, Acre & Galilee tour

Every Tuesday
Length of tour: 12 hours (from Jerusalem)
Departure times:
Jerusalem - 7.30 -YMCA, King David Street - see map
Tel Aviv  - 8.45 - Arlozorof train station (see map)
Nazareth - 9.45 - Fauzi Azar Guest House (see map)
Cost:
Shekels NIS 445 from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
Shekels NIS 325 from Nazareth

This tour gives an overview of the beautiful north of the country, visits historical sites, and provides information about the history and current status of the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel who live in the Galilee.

Participants from Jerusalem will travel north along route 443, an 'Israeli only' road that slices through a section of the West Bank, blocking Ramallah to the east, and isolating the Palestinian villages to the west. After re-entering Israel you'll pass the new city of Modi'in which straddles the Green Line and has a large population of settlers (45,000) living on land expropriated from local Palestinian villages.

If there are participants from Tel Aviv the van will make a detour to pick them up, and continue up the coastal road, then east to Wadi Ara. Otherwise you'll go north along route 6, Israel's only toll road, passing east of Tel Aviv, just inside the Green line. Route 6 was designed in part to facilitate settler transportation and many roads that go east into the West Bank link up with route 6. At Wadi Ara, the lower end of the Galilee 'triangle', the bus goes north-east through the valley, an area populated primarily by Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. Then across the Plain of Megiddo and up the hills to Nazareth.

On arrival in Nazareth other participants will be picked up at the Fauzi Azar Guest House where there will be a coffee break and a short briefing with maps and discussion of the of the diverse communities of the Galilee, Druse, Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The events of 1948 will be explored and the status of the Galilee minorities within modern Israel.

The discussion will be followed by a walking tour of the Old City, visiting the Church of Annunciation and learning about life in Nazareth.  There will be a lunch break before setting out again on the road.

After lunch you'll travel through the Jezreel Valley to Moshav Zippori, a Jewish community established in 1948. According to Jewish tradition there was a community there during the first temple period. During the Roman period, Zippori became one of the most important cities in the country, and served as capital of the Galilee.  The large Arab village of Safouria was later built on the site of the ancient city. However the village was destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948 and the Moshav and a national park was established on village lands. Most of the former Palestinian residents and their descendants continue to be refugees. You'll visit the Crusader era St. Anne's Church and learn about the history of the locale and the ongoing issues between the Arabs and the Jews who live in the area.

The next stop will be the Kawkab abu Elheja, a Sculpture Garden for Peace and Co-existence in Kawkab (an Arab Moslem village in Gush Segev, Galilee).  With the assistance of Kawkab villagers, Israeli and Palestinian artists became involved in this project and donated their works of art to the garden. The village of Kawkab Abu Elhija (2,300 inhabitants) is located on top of the western hills of Lower Galilee, 425 metres above sea level. It offers panoramic views westwards towards the northern sea coast and Carmel mountains, and southwards towards the Nazareth Hills. 


Then on to Acco (Acre) which has been designated as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. You'll visit the Jezzar Pasha mosque that was built in 1781, and learn about life in this mixed Arab/Jewish town. You'll stroll through the the old section of town with it's Crusader era sea wall and Citadel, and Ottoman era buildings.

After dropping off people who joined the tour in Nazareth & Tel Aviv, you'll have a well-earned nap on the road back to Jerusalem.

  • Nablus Day Tour
    Visit the Samaritans and their holy temple on Mount Grizim. Hold a discussion with the Director of a youth organization in Balata Refugee camp. Explore the sights and sounds of the Old City of Nablus
  • Masada, Dead Sea & Southern West Bank
    An overview of the southern West Bank, the ancient Roman complex at Masada, a drive along the entire length of the Dead Sea, and an opportunity to dip in the healing sea waters.
  • Taybeh Village
    Come and explore Christian Palestine through the beautiful village of Taybeh located between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho.
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