Galilee and Nazareth Tour

Tour Highlights

Nazareth• Judean Desert
• Jordan Valley
• Bedouin Communities
• Yardenit Baptism site
• Roman Ruins
• Kibbutz
• Safouria- Destroyed Palestinian village • Nazareth
• Ecological/Water issues

Tour Details
Every Sunday & Wednesday
Length of Tour: 11 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure  6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure   8.30 am - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return  6pm to Tel Aviv - 7.30pm to Jerusalem -
Cost: $120 - From Jerusalem
$150 - Tel Aviv
Lunch not included
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
The tour begins with a drive through the arid Judean Desert passing Jericho and heading north along the ancient route of the Jordan Valley, essentially a rift between two of the planet’s tectonic plates. The Kingdom of Jordan is visible over the border mine fields, an the mix of Bedouin communities and Israeli settlements will stimulate conversation about the distribution of water, the forceable removal of the Bedouin and other political and ecological issues.

Yardenit Baptism siteThere will be a brief visit to Yardenit by the Sea of Galilee, with its beautiful gardens and Christian Baptismal site, across the water from the Golan Heights. Nearby is Kibbutz Dgania Alef was established in 1909 in Ottoman Palestine. You'll learn about this cooperative Zionist institution and lifestyle. Then along the western edge of the Sea before climbing the hills into the Galilee to visit a kibbutz and

The Jezreel Valley and Moshav Zippori is the next stop -  a Jewish farming village established in 1948, reestablishing the ancient first temple community. During the Roman period, Zippori became one of the most important cities in the country, and served as capital of the Galilee.

Roman ruins - north of Israel
You’ll visit the nearby archaeological site which holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences. In Late Antiquity, it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided.

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, the residents made refugees, and the Moshav and a national park established on village lands. 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.

Then on to 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. It offers panoramic views westwards towards the northern sea coast and Carmel mountains, and southwards towards the Nazareth Hills.

Souq in NazarethYou’ll visit Nazareth’s famous sites, including its two contrasting churches, each with a claim to be where Mary was visited by an angel to tell her she was carrying the son of God. One, at Mary’s Well, includes the city's ancient spring. Along the way, we wander through the charming alleys of the souq (market) to visit its Ottoman mansions, the oldest mosque in Nazareth, a traditional spice shop, a “synagogue church”, and a surprising, mysterious discovery – a large Roman bath house from the time of Jesus.