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: 10 hours
Tel Aviv Departure  6.30 am - HaYarkon 48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure   8.30 am - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return  5.30 pm to Tel Aviv - 6.30 pm to Jerusalem
Cost:  $150 - From Jerusalem
 $180 - From Tel Aviv
Lunch not included
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Detailed Description
The tour typically 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, and the mix of Bedouin communities and Israeli settlements will stimulate conversation about the distribution of water, the forcible removal of the Bedouin and other political and ecological issues.

Yardenit Baptism siteOnce you arrive in the Galilee region, the guide will try and keep the best interests of the group in mind and while every tour is slightly different the attractions remain essentially the same. There will always be a visit to the Yardenit, a section of the Jordan River between the Sea of Galilee and a major dam, which has beautiful gardens and has been developed as a Christian Baptismal site. It lies across the water from the Golan Heights.


Nearby is the very first kibbutz, Daganya Alef, which was established in 1909 in Ottoman Palestine. You'll learn about this cooperative Zionist institution and lifestyle, and have the opportunity to visit a kibbutz yourself as well, either here in Daganya or elsewhere in the region.

There are several ancient archaeological sites in the Galilee, and you will visit some extraordinary Roman ruins on the tour. Most tours will enter the Jezreel Valley and stop at Moshav Zippori -  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
Here you can 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.


Souq in NazarethYou’ll also 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.