Follow the life of Jesus of Nazareth on this full-day private excursion to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee.
Departing from the pier in Haifa, you will travel over the Carmel coastal range to Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, approximately 45 minutes away. A photo stop will be made from atop Mount Carmel, the historic scene of the struggle of Elijah with the prophets of Baal.
Upon arrival in Nazareth, you will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. The current church was constructed in 1969 over the site of two earlier churches. Inside, the lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary. A large structure was commissioned by Emperor Constantine I, who had directed his mother, Saint Helena, to found churches commemorating important events in Jesus Christ's life. The Church of the Annunciation was founded around the same time as the Church of the Nativity (the birthplace) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb). Nearby is the Franciscan Church of St. Joseph, which is believed to be built on the location of Joseph's workshop.
You will then walk in the center of downtown Nazareth, past the bazaar, and see the site of Mary's well. Today, it is a modern water trough which was built over the ancient trough where women and animals went for water. The well is fed by a natural spring to the north. According to tradition, this was the place where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and informed her she would give birth to the son of God. You will then drive through the nearby town of Cana (Kafr Kanna) which is believed to be where Jesus performed his first public miracle, the turning of a large quantity of water into wine at a wedding feast. Time will be taken for lunch on your own.
After lunch you will tour the Galilee region. Traditionally divided into Upper, Lower and Western Galilee, most of Galilee consists of rocky terrain, at heights of between 1,600 and 2,300 feet above sea level. There are several high mountains including Mount Tabor, thought to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus, and Mount Meron, the highest point in Israel at over 3,900 feet. The region has relatively mild temperatures and high rainfall. As a result, it has very green areas with flora and wildlife. You will drive to Tabgha, the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Further along the Sea of Galilee are the ruins of Capernaum. This was the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. According to the New Testament, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath days.
At the place where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee is Yardenit, where some believe the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist took place. After your visit, you will begin the drive back to Haifa. Along the way you will pass by Mount Tabor.
Please note: Due to traffic or crowds at the sites, the tour itinerary may be altered in an attempt to avoid delays. All sites mentioned in the tour will be visited and crowds are to be expected.