As fighting escalates in Israel, several tour operators, including Intrepid Travel and G-Adventures, have had to cancel trips there. Both operators have suspended operations until further notice.
Explore the Holy Land on an inspiring ten-day journey led by Matt and Laurie Crouch, set out by Matt to witness some of Christianity’s holiest sites! This expedition promises both inspiration and life change!
According to the Gospels, Galilee was Jesus’ primary area of ministry. Situated in northern Israel – which at Jesus’ time was part of Roman rule – Galilee is bordered on its north, west, and east sides by Lebanon/Syria/Jordan River and features beaches for watersports as well as historical sites.
The Sea of Galilee is an enormous freshwater lake offering many opportunities for fun and recreation, such as swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. Additionally, it is home to several restaurants, hotels, and historical sites which have been preserved or restored.
Galilee was historically a region comprised of various ethnicities, and the prophet Isaiah predicted its blessing by Jesus (9:1-2). Even after its reclaiming by Israelite forces around 104 B.C., the region still retained many diverse groups living within it.
Galilee is best known for the Sea of Galilee, an extensive lake located in northern Israel that serves as one of the vital biblical sites. Churches can be found around its shores; furthermore, this region is noted for its fertile agricultural land and mineral deposits.
The Kinneret Trail, which circumnavigates the Galilee Sea, is one of Israel’s most beloved hiking trails, well-marked and accessible to people with disabilities. Along its route are eucalyptus trees, fish pools, and ancient sites – not to mention plenty of cafes and restaurants near the water for restful relaxation! Visitors also have plenty to do here, including fishing and shopping!
Bethlehem, located near Jerusalem in Palestine, is an important Christian pilgrimage destination. As well as this, it also plays a central role in Palestinian culture and tourism and boasts one of the highest populations of Palestinian Christians in the Middle East. Many attractions related to saintly lives or legends can be found here, as well as worship services at the Church of Nativity built over an alleged birth cave where Jesus is said to have been born – both unique places where worship can take place.
The Church of the Nativity is an invaluable UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest churches in the Holy Land, initially constructed by Helena, Constantine’s mother, in 330 C.E. However, its current building was rebuilt by Justinian I in 537 after Persian forces spared its destruction due to depictions of Magi on its walls.
Bethlehem is famously associated with Judaism as being home to Rachel’s Tomb, which holds great religious significance for the religion. Bethlehem itself has long been considered an essential pastoral center, offering lush fields and pastures. Situated on the eastern ridge of Judean hill country with the vast desert stretching off in all directions westward, Bethlehem provides ample resources for pastoralism.
Today, Bethlehem is a small and bustling city filled with shops and restaurants. As well as being home to many shops and restaurants, it serves as a hub of Palestinian culture and music, boasting music schools and universities – one being home to a vital conservatory. Tourism drives its economy, but COVID-19 restrictions have severely limited tourism’s recovery; additionally, residents have also felt the impact of conflict in Gaza; nonetheless, the city continues to promote religious tourism while simultaneously encouraging a culture of peace.
Nazareth is Israel’s largest Arab city and home of Jesus, known for its impressive collection of historic Christian and Muslim sites. Religious pilgrims frequently make the journey here.
Nazareth is famous for being the birthplace of Christianity, so most things to do in Nazareth center around religion. But it also offers other attractions worth seeing, such as the Church of Annunciation, where Catholics believe Archangel Gabriel informed Mary she would become pregnant with Christ. This church stands atop an iconic fountain said to have been mentioned by one of the apocryphal Gospels.
Nazareth is an ideal place for Christians to visit, with numerous magnificent churches such as this one that make the town unforgettable. Ottoman-era homes also add charm, making Nazareth worth exploring on any tour or day trip – regardless of your beliefs! Make sure you bring along your camera when visiting; its stone streets and century-old mansions deserve to be captured for posterity!
Nazareth enjoys a warm and sunny climate throughout most of the year, although rainstorms may occur from time to time in the winter months. Therefore, it is advisable to pack an umbrella and jacket as a raincoat in case it rains heavily, and comfortable footwear suited for walking long distances is also a necessity for visiting religious sites of significance. You should also pack a water bottle, a travel camera, and some personal items like suncream.
Caesarea Maritima, located 25 miles north of Tel Aviv on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline, is one of its most impressive archaeological sites. Herod built a fantastic harbor that was recently restored to its former glory; an ancient theater has also newly been renovated and hosts concerts by both local and international artists; both landmarks are popular tourist spots with an intriguing history to uncover through monuments and remains found there.
Caesarea, once an important port city during the Roman and Byzantine periods, saw many historical events and notable figures take place throughout its long history. One such event occurred during the early Christian era when Peter visited Cornelius’ home to convert him and his household (Acts 10). Pontius Pilate also established his prefecture here during the late 1st century CE.
Caesarea is most notable for its magnificent artificial harbor, built by Herod the Great to rival other great ports at that time. Through multiple construction projects, he also established an enormous city around it–complete with temples, palaces, civil halls, theaters, hippodromes, and aqueducts, among many other buildings.
This site is now an archaeological park that contains many monuments and structures from its past, such as remnants of an ancient harbor, amphitheaters, Roman theatres, Crusader cities, harbor beaches, and much more. It also hosts one of four museums sponsored by Harry Recanti, a philanthropist who created Ralli Museums across Italy and Greece.
Visit Jerusalem and experience its iconic attractions, from its revered Western Wall – Judaism’s holiest site – to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (believed to be where Jesus Christ was crucified and laid to rest ).
Are you keen on history? Take a guided tour of the City of David to view its remnants, followed by a unique experience known as the City of David Light Show, which brings Jerusalem’s past alive through projections on two sections of walls surrounding the City.
Jerusalem is home to some of the most revered religious sites in Israel, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified and laid to rest; Temple Mount, which contains the Dome of the Rock; as well as being home to some contested pieces of land with limited access; therefore your guide can offer tips to increase your chances of visiting these sacred spots.
The Temple Mount is at the core of Jerusalem and holds an immense wealth of history. You can view where Christ and other biblical characters walked at its Western Wall, as well as see where its entrance gate will open when He returns.
Jerusalem offers many other beautiful attractions, including Mahane Yehuda Market – an extensive marketplace filled with restaurants and shops selling local foods – Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – where the tragedy took place – or you can attend an Anointing Service on Mount Olives to pray for power and breakthrough in your life.