Enjoy 2 daily tours to northern highlights with accommodation on B&B basis in an Israeli Kibbutz resort. Visit Caesarea – the city that was built 2000 years ago by King Herod, the Bahai gardens in Haifa, the ancient city in Acre, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, the beautiful limestone grottos in Rosh Hanikra and more.
As we depart Tel Aviv, travelling along the Mediterranean coast we pass the modern towns of Herzliya and Netanya and stop at ancient Caesarea.
Built by Herod and dedicated to the Roman Emperor, Caesar, it had every luxury to be found in a Roman city. The magnificent theatre, well preserved by the sea sand which covered it through the centuries it was not in use, has been restored and is in use throughout the summer. Alongside it is the partially preserved hippodrome. Above the port, specially constructed to serve the many ships carrying the treasures of the east, brought across the desert by Nabatean caravans, to Rome, are the remains of the Roman temple.
Virtually abandoned for centuries Caesarea gained a new burst of life during the Crusader period before sinking into oblivion. The gateway, moat and walls are well-preserved.
As we pass through Haifa we make a brief stop to admire the gold topped Bahai shrine surrounded by the well-groomed gardens and the breathtaking view of the bay and port area.
Continuing northwards we stop at Rosh HaNikra and take the cable car down to the spectacular grottoes and marvel at nature as we walk through caverns forged by the pounding waves. Our final stop is at Acre (Acco). The largest of the Crusader cities in the Land of Israel, Acre is well preserved and we cannot fail to be impressed as we see the enormous columns and stroll from chamber to chamber. Even the public toilet has survived!!
The walls and the moat, restored and rebuilt by El Jazzar at the end of the 18th century withstood the attempt of Napoleon Bonaparte to conquer the city and forced him to return from whence he came. Atop of the Crusader remains is the Turkish prison, with the gallows later used during the British Mandate to hang Jews opposed to the British policy limiting Jewish immigration from Europe after WWII .
We travel north along the scenic coastal plain or HaSharon area and then turn eastwards through the plain of Armageddon (Rev 16:16), with a view of biblical Megiddo. (II Ch. 35:20-27) As we make the ascent to Nazareth we briefly stop at the Mount of Precipitation (Luke 4:28-30).
Our first stop in Nazareth is at the beautiful Church of Annunciation built on the site where the angel Gabriel appeared before Mary (Luke 1:26ff). Adjoining it is the Church of St. Joseph, recalling the carpentry where Jesus and Joseph worked.
As we leave Nazareth on the way towards the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, we pass Cana, site of the first wonder performed by Jesus, the turning of the water to wine. (John 2:1-12). On the sea front, at the foot of Mount Beatitude, we visit both Capernaum, home of Peter, and the Benedictine Church commemorating the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish. (Mark 6:30-44)
Continuing along the shores of the Sea of Galilee we recall how Jesus calmed the stormy waters and walked on them. (Mk 4:35-41 and 6:45-52). With the Golan Heights in the background, we pass modern Tiberias, built on the ruins of the city built two thousand years ago and named in honour of the Roman emperor Tiberius.
On the southern end of the Sea of Galilee, at Yardenit, there may be an opportunity for those so desiring to be baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. (Mk 1:9-11) On our return journey we will pass Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration (Mat 17:1-9)