I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we Returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.
An important Phoenician port, a fortified city located along the Acre-Antiochus highway. Served as a fortress during the Crusader Period.
Achziv National Park is noted as one of northern Israel's most popular beaches located 5 km, north of Nahariyya.
Conquered by the Crusaders in 1104, it was an important and fortified port city during the Crusader period. Following the fall of Jerusalem, it served as their last capital in the Holy Land. In 1291 the city fell as the hands of the Mameluke sultan Malek El-Ashraf that destroyed what he could & buried under dirt what he couldn't. Napoleon Bonaparte's march on the east was stopped by the Turks at Acre in 1799. Paul visited the city (Acts 21:7).
Acre (Akko) is a town devoted to small industry, commerce and tourism. It is noted for its seafood restaurants and tours of its ancient ramparts, Subterranean Crusader City, mosque (largest in Israel apart from Jerusalem) and its caravanserais.
Mount Megiddo is in actual fact a Tel i.e. an archaeological mound with the ruins of previous human occupation uncovered by excavations which have brought to light more than 20 different historical periods of settlement.In biblical times Megiddo was one of the chariot cities of King Solomon and is strategically located on one of the great highways of the an cient world called the “Via Maris” (the Way of the Sea) leading from Egypt to Syria and Mesopotamia. The head of this highway passes through the Mount Carmel Range into the Jezreel Valley. Megiddo has been a place of battle for many centuries and for the Christian visitor it is the “Armageddon” of the Book of Revelation chapter 16 verse 16, and the scene of the place where the last great battle will be fought when the forces of good will triumph over the forces of evil. Megiddo is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Visit the excavations of Solomon's stables and fortress.
Known today as Kochav Ha Yarden (Star of the Jordan), this Crusader Castle was set on a high mountain south of the Sea of Galilee- with a magical view of the Galilee - hence its name, meaning "beautiful view".
One of Israel's National Parks, the ruins of Belvior are easily accessible by car.
"The House of the Fisherman" - the place where Je was active as a preacher and healer. This is the location of the homes of Jesus' followers, Peter, Philip and Andrew as well as the location where Jesus healed the blind man (Matthew 11:21; Luke10:13; John 1).
See the excavations of the city Jesus knew.
An ancient city with a glorious past. King Saul and his sons, who lost the battle against the Philistines at nearby Mt. Gilboa, were hung from its city walls (Judges 7:4-8). During the Greco-Roman period, known as Scythopolis, its zenith was achieved during the Roman period, when it was one of ten major cities in the Levant (the Decapolis). During the Byzantine period, Bet She'an the city served as the capital of Palestina Secunda. During the eighth century CE the city was destroyed by a powerful earthquake.
Bet She'an is one of Israel's most prominent archeological sites, with a major Roman theater, the Roman-Byzantine Cardo (main street), giant columns, shops, mosaics and a yet-to-excavated tel (excavational mound). There are also remains of a Byzantine church with an impressive mosaic floor.
Named for the god, Pan, Panias (or Banias in Arabic) was built as Caesarea Philippi by Philip, son of Herod, at one of the sources of the Jordan River. Jesus visited this site together with the Disciples (Mark 8:27; Matthew 16:13-23).
Part of a national park full of loudly running tributaries and pistachio trees. See the remains of the Greek shrine to Pan, and swim near one of Israel's most beautiful waterfalls.
Site of Jesus' first miracle - the transformation of water into wine at the Wedding Feast (John 2:1-11, 4:46-54).
See the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches, as well as Cupola dedicated to the messenger, Bartholomew, (Nathaniael) (John 21:2).
An important Jewish town from the time of the Second Temple located north of Capernaum. Chorazin was rebuked by Jesus for its lack of faith (Matthew 11:2; Luke 10:13).
Chorazin is home of the one of Galilee's most intact ancient synagogues.
Located on the Sea of Galilee shore, Capernaum was the center of Jesus' Galilee Ministry. Jesus' lived here for a substantial period, healing the sick, preaching in the synagogue and performing miracles (Matthew 9:1, 4:13).
Capernaum is the location of a third/fourth century marble synagogue, one of Israel's best preserved. The new, stressed-concrete Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter is spread-eagled atop the excavations of the town Jesus knew. It contrasts with the dark volcanic stones of the Franciscan monastery and the white walls and red domes of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Mount Carmel is associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha (Kings I 2, 15:4, 25). A Christian holy site based on the story of the Prophet Elijah and the miracles he preformed atop the mountain. It is thought to be the original site of Catholicism's Carmelite sect.
The city of Haifa sweeps up the slopes of Mount Carmel and is home to museums and multiple cultural and educational institutions. Haifa is Israel's third-largest city and most important port. No visit to Haifa is complete without touring the restored Templar Colony, the Baha'i Shrine and Gardens, Elijah's Cave, Stella Maris Church and Monastery - referred to as "Schola Prophetarun", the Muhraqa - Carmelite monastery at the site of the struggle between the priests of Ba'al and the Prophet Elijah (Kings I 18:14-17), the Technion (Israel's M.I.T) and the Museum of "Illegal immigration".
Know today as Daburiya; a town of Zebulun (Joshua 19:12), where Jesus cures the epileptic boy (Luke 9:37-43).
Near Mount Tabor, home of the medium (witch) of En-Dor (Samuel I 28:7-25).
The modern Kibbutz Ein Dor has a fascinating archeological museum of Roman artifacts discovered in the region, and a memorial to the members of the Kibbutz killed in war.
Also known as the Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret.
A comparatively small lake, fed by the River Jordan and lying 600 feet below sea level, where violent storms rush down from surrounding mountains causing very rough water. Here Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea (Matthew 8:26) taught from Peter's boat (Mark 3:7-9) preformed the miracle of the Multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Luke 5:1-11) calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) and walked on water (Mark 6:45; Matthew 14:22-23). The lake's northern shore-stretching from Mount Arbel to Hyppos - is known as the Evangelic Arch (Matthew 4:15).
The Sea of Galilee is one of Israel's four seas and, in addition to being a repository of dozens of Christian holy sites, is a vacation paradise for Israelis and tourists. The largest city on the lake is Tiberias, one of the four holy cities of Judaism, and the beaches and villages surrounding the lake are a haven for tourists. Christian visitors, in addition to visiting the shore-side shrines, sail in fishing boats and tourist launches across the water.
Battle of Saul (Samuel I 28: 4).Canticle of David on Saul and Jonathan (Samuel II 1: 17-24).
At the base of the mountain is one of the Israel's most tranquil spots - Gan HaShlosha - Sachne- whose gardens and pools were voted by TIME Magazine as one of the 20 most beautiful spots on earth.
A kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee shore. Not mentioned in the Bible, Ginossar is home of the Yigal Allon Museum that houses a two thousand year-old fishing boat discovered in the Galilee mud during the drought of 1986 and intricately removed from the water for restoration. There is no evidence to show that Jesus or the Disciples sailed in this actual boat, but there is no evidence to show they did not. It is certainly an authentic Sea of Galilee fishing boat from the time of Jesus.
Joshua captures and burns the city (Joshua 11:10-14); Deborah and Barak (Judges 4: 2); rebuilt by Solomon in the tenth century B.C (Kings I 9:15).
The multi-layered tel (excavational mound) of Hazor is a fascinating site, enabling visitors to look at more that five millennia of layers of civilization.
A valley separated by two sharp hills that was the site of battles between the Crusaders and Saladin in 1187. The Crusaders' defeat in this battle brought about the collapse and destruction of the first Crusader kingdom.
Known today as Susita, Hyppos, like Bet She'an, was one of ten Greco-Roman cities known as the Decapolis. Located atop the Golan Heights with a panorama of the Sea of Galilee, this area is mentioned in the Miracle of the Swine (Matthew 5:14). This area may have been one of the world's first Christian metropolitan communities.
The installation of the Tribes (Judges 1:27-28).
One of Israel's loveliest regions, the Jezreel Valley is today lush with farms, villages, pastures and meadows and is known as "Israel's breadbasket".
Israel's most important river, feeding the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea. Jesus was baptized in the river by John the Baptist near Jericho (Mark 1:9-11). John Bethabara was also baptized here (John 1:28).
Many Christian visitors to Israel are baptized in the River Jordan at Kibbutz Kinneret (Yardenit), where the Jordan flows south out of the Sea of Galilee. In the Upper Galilee, the River Jordan is ideal for white water rafting (spring) and kayaking (summer and fall). The original baptismal site (Kasr Al-Yahud) is in a restricted area and accessible to visitors about six times per year.
Crusader Castle on the Golan slopes conquered by the Mamelukes.
One of Israel's National Parks, Kaalat Nimrod (Nimrod's Castle) is one of Israel's most impressive and accessible Crusader remains.
River at the foot of Mount Carmel, mentioned in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:21); "Elijah led them to the river Kishon" (Kings I 18:40).
Identified as the site of the Miracle of the Swine (Luke 8:26-33; Mark 5:1; Matthew 8:28-34; Luck:8). Nearby is Tel Hadar, where Jesus succeeded in feeding the 4,000 (Matthew 15:29-34). During the Byzantine era, this site was known as Dodecathronon (Twelve Seats).
Kursi is a National Park including a chapel and monastery from the 6th century.
Known today as Migdal, this was the birthplace and home of Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:1-2) who was the deserted woman who was healed by Jesus and become one of his followers. She was a witness to the resurrection (John 20:1).
The hill at the northwestern point of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-8). With its view toward Capernaum and Tabgha, the hill is shaped with a natural hollow that serves as a natural amphitheater amplifying the speaker's voice.
The flower-filled gardens of the Mount of Beatitudes are a treat for visitors. The Italian government funded the construction of the black-domed Church of the Beatitudes in 1937.
The village where Jesus brought back to life "the dead son of the widow" (Luke 8:11-18).
The city of Nazareth is located in the heart of an undulating valley, where Jesus spent his boyhood and lived with Joseph and Mary (Luke1:26-38).
Today's visitors concentrate on the Basilica of the Annunciation - consecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964, recalling the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary of the approaching virgin birth (Luke1:26-38) as well as the Church of St. Gabriel, Mary's Well, and the "Synagogue Church", where Jesus preached commentaries on the Book of Joshua (Luke 4:16-30) and the Leap of the Lord (Luke 4:29) when Nazarenes attempted to throw Jesus over a cliff.
The ruins of ancient Zipori or Sepphoris as it is know in Greek , are located in the Lower Galilee just a few miles north-west of Nazareth. Its origins are from the time of the Hasmonean King Alexander Janeaus in the 2nd century BC. It is not mentioned in the Old or New Testament but the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius describes the city as the “Ornament of all Galilee” and it was the administrative capital of Galilee in the 1st century AD.
The Crusaders believed that Zipori was the home town of Ann and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary and built a church there in their honour. After the banishment of the Jews from Jerusalem by the Roman Caesar Hadrian, in 135 AD, many Jews fled to the Galilee and in the 2nd century AD Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi (135-220) moved the Sanhedrin to Zipori and it was there that he redacted the Mishnah, the oral tradition of the Jewish Torah which later became part of the Talmud. During the Crusader period a famous battle, known as the Battle of Hattin,took place between the Crusaders, and the Muslim army of Saladdin. Setting out from Zipori on July 4, 1187, the Crusader army under King Guy de Lusignan, met the Muslim army by the Horns of Hattin, and the result was the total defeat and annihilation of the Crusader army and the consequent loss of the holy City of Jerusalem to the forces of Saladdin.
The excavations at Zippori National Park have uncovered a large city, amongst which archeologists have found some of the most magnificent mosaics ever discovered in Israel, including that known as "The Mona Lisa of Israel".
Site of the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, and the post resurrection appearance of Jesus (Mark 6:34-44; Matthew 14:14-21; John 21:15-19; Matthew 16:18-19).
An early Byzantine Church was discovered in 1932 and rebuilt in 1982 as the church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. Mosaics were discovered including a view of marshes and water birds, and a basket with loaves of bread and two fishes.
At the foot of the Mount of Beatitudes, visitors to Tabhga visit not only the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes but also the Church of St. Peter's Primacy and the Octagon Pool.
A prominent hill (mountain) southwest of the Sea of Galilee, with very little foothills. It was at foot of Mount Tabor that Deborah and Barak defeated the forces of Sisera. Mount Tabor is believed to be "the high mountain" which Jesus ascended and, before the eyes of Peter, James and John, underwent the Transfiguration; afterwards he was seen conversing with Moses and the Prophet Elijah (Matthew 17:6-13; Luke 9:28-36; Mark 9:2-8).
A snaking road leads through pine forests to the summit of the mountain and the Roman Catholic Church of the Transfiguration and adjacent monastery. The views from the summit, north to Nazareth and east to the Sea of Galilee, are magical.
A spa town built by Herod Antipas (John: 6:23) to honor Tiberius Caesar. After the fall of Jerusalem it became a center of Jewish learning and is considered one of the four Holy Cities of Judaism.
The most important town on the Sea of Galilee, from which boat sail to Capernaum and Ein Gev on the eastern shore. Tiberias is visited by most Christian visitors to the Galilee. Many visit the Tiberias Hot Springs and the first century mosaics at Hammat Tiberias.
See also: Tiberias Hotels.