Holy Land Tours
What better way to learn about religious history then to go on a holy land tour! Experience the perfect first time introduction to the land of Israel. Step back in time on the Jerusalem holy land tour while sightseeing all throughout Jerusalem’s Old City and New City. Be emotionally moved with special visits to the Western Wall and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Marvel at the excavations of the Crusader city and the Roman port, Caesarea. Enjoy the experience of a cable car ride to the top of Masada. And relax as you float on the Dead Sea. Our valuable Israel holy land tours offer the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation!
Tower of David
Jerusalem’s Citadel, known as the "Tower of David”, is a historical and archaeological asset of international significance. The Citadel is a medieval fortress with architectural additions from later periods. It is located near the Jaffa Gate, which is the historical entrance to the city and the point where the East meets the West. Holy land tours often include it because it bears cultural values and has been the symbol of the city of Jerusalem for generations.
Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City. The Hebrew Bible used the term Mount Zion first for the City of David. Later it meant the Temple Mount. Eventually, its meaning shifted and now the name refers to ancient Jerusalem's Western Hill. Sometimes, people use the term for the entire Land of Israel.
Christians on holy land tours often make their first stop the childhood home of Jesus. For a Christian tourist, must-see sites in Nazareth include the Church of the Annunciation and Mary's Well. Holy land tours can stop at the Mensa Christi Church and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. You can also visit Nazareth Village, a reconstruction of life as it was in the time of Jesus.
Sea of Galilee
Travel to The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake of Gennesaret or Lake Kinneret, which is Israel's largest freshwater lake. In addition, it is also the lowest freshwater lake on earth. While it would be worth visiting just for its breathtaking views, the Sea of Galilee contains Christian religion and tradition as well. Additionally, much of Jesus' ministering took place here, including the Sermon on the Mount and walking on water. Each year, pilgrims come to the Sea of Galilee where it meets the Jordan River to be re-baptized.
The Carmel Mountain range lies in northern Israel near the modern port city and hi-tech center of Haifa. This important archaeological site contains fossils and remnants from more than 600,000 years ago. In the 12th century, Catholics founded a religious order at the site of Elijah's cave. These Carmelites built a monastery and dedicated it to Mary. Mount Carmel carries significance to the Baha'i Faith. The Baha'i World Centre and the Shrine of the Bab are found there. The Bab was laid to rest there in the early 20th century. The majestic building grounds include an intricately-designed golden dome, decorative terraces, and stunning, beautifully planned gardens. Followers dedicated the entire area around the shrine as the religion's headquarters.
The Vatican has recognized the Arab village of Kafr Cana as the ancient city of Cana. Especially relevant, Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding of a poor couple, here in the lower Galilee. A Catholic chapel now stands at the location, since Catholics believe that location is where the miracle happened. As a result, it became a popular destination for weddings and vow renewals. In addition, you can visit the Church of St. Bartholomew, built on the site of the home of Jesus' disciple. You can also visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George on your holy land tour. Experts believe the actual jars in which the wine miracle was performed are here.
Most importantly, the Western Wall is an essential religious site for Jerusalem holy land tours. for Jerusalem holy land tours. Because it is a remnant from the holy Temple of the Jews, the stones date back to the Herodian period. While the Western Wall is available at all times, day and night, check the visiting hours for the Temple Mount before going. Jews and Muslims consider the Temple Mount among their holiest sites, and visiting hours are scheduled around Muslim prayer time. Similarly, the famous mosque Dome of the Rock has strict holy land tour visiting hours.
Mount of Olives
Located on the Jerusalem mountains' eastern slopes, the Mount of Olives received its name from the olive trees that covered its grounds in Biblical times. A must-see destination on any Jerusalem holy land tour, the Mount of Olives provides quite a few attractions in the way of chapels and monasteries. None of these attractions is more breathtaking, however, than the view seen from atop the Mount of Olives. At the foot of the mountain range, directly opposite the Temple Mount, visitors will find the Garden of Gethsemane. The beautifully kept olive garden features trees over 2000 years old.
Garden of Gethsemane
The present day Garden of Gethsemane gets its name from the Hebrew Gat Shemen, meaning an olive press. As its namesake indicates, the garden is lush with ancient olive trees which create a shaded Mediterranean-style forest. This is perfect for those in search of a holy land tour site with a little seclusion and isolation. It is commonly held by archeologists and botanists who have studied the garden's olive trees that these are the original Biblical trees described in the Gospel of Matthew, since olive trees can grow to be tens of thousands of years old.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried here. The site's care and maintenance is divided between several Christian communions, who use the chapel daily for Liturgy and Mass, as well as on special occasions for holy ceremonies. Within the Church, you can visit many sacred sites, such as the Stone of the Anointing, the Rock of Golgotha, and the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. The Church also holds Crusader art from the 12th century.
A Christian's Israel holy land tour would not be complete without a visit to one of the most sacred Christian sites: Bethlehem. Home to one of the largest Palestinian-Christian communities, it is the site of the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. The focal point of the Church is the Grotto of the Nativity, the exact place Jesus is thought to have been born. Christmas, of course, is high season in Bethlehem. Locals and people on holy land tours attend Christmas rites and processions, which pass through Manger Square. Furthermore, Bethlehem is home to Rachel's Tomb, and is also the site of the birthplace and coronation of King David.
St. Peter's Church
With its distinctive brickwork and towering belfry, you can easily spot St. Peter's Church in the city of Old Jaffa. Step inside the church and admire the exquisite stained glass windows, which depict episodes from the life of St. Peter. The public may enter the open building every day, and attend Masses in five different languages. In addition to the holy land tour, take the time to look around Old Jaffa, an interesting and scenic city.
Mar Saba Monastery
Another holy land tour stop is the ancient monastery, Mar Saba. The grey-domed Greek Orthodox complex hangs dramatically down the cliff edge of a deep ravine. Its remote location is halfway between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, and reached down a steep road. It was established in the 5th century by St Sabas (Mar Saba in Arabic), and mostly rebuilt following a major earthquake in 1834. During its peak, the monastery was home to more than 300 monks. Although it remains a functioning desert monastery, its numbers have dropped to fewer than 20. Part of the Mar Saba tradition is the exclusion of women visitors. Even on holy land tours, women must view the complex from a vantage point called the Women’s Tower. Although the tradition may be antiquated, it provides an enduring reminder of holy people leaving behind worldly distractions and seeking God in the solitude of the desert.
Next, as you head south on an Israel holy land tour, stop at Masada, the ancient fortress overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built it as a refuge for himself, and it became just that for Jews rebelling against the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple. Make your way to the top of Masada on foot via the Snake Path (best done early in the day), or take a cable car to avoid the hot walk. Take a peek inside the Roman-style bathhouses, ancient synagogues, as well as wall paintings from Herod's palace. Additionally, a spectacular sound and light show highlights the history of Masada twice a week. Recently, a new museum opened up at the site.
Finally, after the hot and sweaty hike up Masada, you'll have earned a visit to beautiful Ein Gedi. Located in the Dead Sea region, this thriving oasis is renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and exotic flora and fauna. Enjoy splashing around in cool water from the many lakes and waterfalls that dot the trail. A nearby kibbutz providess various holy land tour attractions throughout the year.