This one day tour takes you from Tel Aviv to the gorgeous green landscapes of northern Israel where Jesus spent his ministry going from village to village preaching. The tour begins with a drive up the coast and through the farmlands of Israel arriving at the first stop of the day – Magdala. At Magdala you’ll see the archaeological site of an ancient fishing village believed to have been inhabited during the Biblical era. Another remarkable discovery in Magdala is a Second Temple era synagogue. A coin dated 29AD was discovered in this synagogue proving that it was in use during Jesus lifetime and could likely have been one of the synagogues where Jesus preached during his ministry. All four of the Gospels mention Mary Magdalene (Mary from Magdala) who is believed to have been born or raised here in Magdala.
Taking a short drive north towards the western shore of the Sea of Galilee the tour reaches Ginosar. The tour visits the Beit Yigal Allon Museum where you can see a 1st century fishing boat which was discovered in the Sea of Galilee. The boat has been carbon dated as being from 100BC-70AD. During Jesus’ lifetime it is likely that he would have visited Ginosar and perhaps conversed with the fishermen or even gone out on the water in this or a similar fishing boat.
Continuing north around the Sea of Galilee the tour reaches the Mount of Beatitudes. This picturesque hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee was referred to in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6 as the site of the Sermon on the Mount. As early as the Byzantine era Christians had identified this site with the Sermon and constructed a church at the foot of the hill to commemorate the Biblical event. Today a magnificent Catholic chapel built in 1939 graces the top of the mountain. The chapel was designed by Antonio Barluzzi and has elegant arches surrounding the portico plus an impressive dome. As you stand on the mount you can envision Jesus preaching to the masses: “Blessed are the poor…” In 2000 Pope John Paul II held a Mass on the Mount of Beatitudes attended by 100,000 worshipers.
The next Christian site visited on the tour is Kfar Kanna or Cana, which is mentioned in the Bible as the site of Jesus’ first miracle. Jesus was attending a wedding when the wine ran out and Jesus took 6 stone jars filled with water and turned the water into wine. In Cana you can visit the Wedding Church which commemorates this Biblical event. There is a church museum displaying excavated artifacts and within the church is a 5th-6th century Byzantine mosaic.
After seeing the sites where Jesus spent his ministry in the Galilee and Lower Galilee the tour takes you through south back to your hotel in central Israel.