Israel is a wonderfully diverse country with something to offer to every visitor. From the historical and religious sites to the beaches of Tel Aviv and the shores of the Dead Sea, tourists have plenty of activities to choose from.
Israel is of particular interest to Christian Tourists, many of whom view the country as the holy land. Indeed, almost a quarter of all visitors to Israel define their visit as a pilgrimage.
Most Christian visitors wish to visit Jerusalem, for obvious reasons. The most popular sites for Christian pilgrims include the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of the Nativity, the Church of the Resurrection, Old Jaffa, the Jewish Quarter, Capernaum, and the Tower of David.
Here we highlight a selection of some of the most interesting places to visit:
Today in Israel it is possible to retrace the footsteps of Jesus across the many places where he lived and practiced his ministry. For those who wish to follow the life and work of Jesus, the Gospel Trail, or the “Jesus Trail”, is a hiking trail that links important sites related to the Gospel. Not only does the trail run through the historic area of Galilee, it also offers hikers the chance to take in the beauty of the beautiful northern Israel countryside.
Often referred to as the cradle of Christianity, this region now offers 60km of roads and footpaths which enable visitors to experience both Nazareth, where Jesus where grew up, and Capernaum where he later established his ministry.
You can choose how much energy and time to spend at each location because there is also access for cars and bikes, as well as those who choose to come on foot. There is even wheelchair access in some areas. Signposts are carefully scored in basalt rock so as to minimize environmental impact, and there are also benches, picnic areas and information stands.
Enjoy traversing this ancient land and the pathways trodden by merchants, shepherds and farmers for millennia. The trail beings at Mount Precipice and travels through limestone hills and valleys before arriving at Capernaum, close to the Sea of Galilee. These days there is a dock where visitors can access the water’s edge to pray and enjoy the scenic views over the sea.
Noteworthy places of interest along the Gospel Trail include the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Jesus grew up in this city, and it is also the place where Mary received the message from Angel Gabriel about her forthcoming virgin birth.
Other special places include the Sea of Galilee itself, the Mount of Beatitudes, and the ancient town of Magdala, the original dwelling place of Mary Magdalene.