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)
Take this tour either as a one day tour from Tel Aviv/Jerusalem or as the second day of a two day tour that includes Nazareth. On this exciting tour you will be visiting many of the sites where Jesus preached during his ministry. The tour takes you to northern Israel and the region around the Sea of Galilee. The first stop is Magdala, the birth place of Mary Magdalene. In Magdala you can see what remains of an ancient Biblical era fishing village plus the ruins of a Second Temple period synagogue and the ongoing excavations.
The tour continues through the beautiful countryside of the Galilee to Ginosar on the western bank of the Sea of Galilee. During Jesus’ life time Ginosar was a flourishing town and today it is the site of a kibbutz. During a drought in 1986 the level of the Sea of Galilee dropped revealing the frame of an ancient fishing boat. Scientific carbon dating showed that the boat dates back to 100BC-70AD. This means that this boat would have been used by fishermen during Jesus’ life time. The Jesus Boat, as it came to be known is now on display in the Beit Yigal Allon Museum on Kibbutz Ginosar.
The tour continues along the shore of the Sea of Galilee where you can look up at the Mount of Beatitudes. This hill is believed to have been where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. In the 4th century a Byzantine church was constructed on the hill to mark this Biblical site and today the hill is crowned by a Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel built in 1938 and designed by Antonio Barluzzi.
From here the tour takes you to Kafr Kanna, the site of Biblical Cana. Cana is mentioned several times in the Bible in the Gospel of John. It was here that Jesus performed the first of his miracles and turned water into wine at a wedding feast. The tour takes you to the Wedding Church of Cana. The Franciscan church has two levels, twin bell towers and a domed roof. In the nave you can see the remains of a Byzantine mosaic which dates back to the 5th-6th century. In the church museum there are several artifacts found during excavations including one of six jars which were used for wine (and perhaps the wine Jesus used for the miracle). At the end of the tour you will be returned to your hotel.