Christian Galilee Private Tour
A day of Christian Galilee private tour usually comprises of two parts - Nazareth area area and the Sea of Galilee area.
In Nazareth, the Basilica of the Annunciation is not to be missed. This gigantic, modern church lies atop the remains of the cave dwellings of ancient Nazareth, including the one believed to be the house of Virgin Mary, where she was visited by angel Gabriel and received the news of the conception of Jesus. On the same premises is the modest Church of St. Joseph, built above a crypt containing remains from what is believed to be the workshop of St. Joseph, Mary's husband.
Other sites of interest in Nazareth and its surroundings are:
- Mary's Well, ancient Nazareth's main water source.
- The Orthodox Church of Annunciation, sitting atop of the well's water source.
- The Wedding Church at Cana, a short drive out of the city, in the place where Jesus turned water into wine. The atmosphere is so enchanting that couples like to have their marriage vows rededicated here (advance booking only).
- Nazareth Village, a "living museum" featuring life in Jesus' time, very appropriate for kids (advance booking only).
During Christian Galilee private tour days, I like to grab a quick, authentic baked lunch in Nazareth, and for dessert some exquisite Arab coffee and sweets.
Then it's off to the Sea of Galilee! Here there are 3 must-see places, and a lot of other great little visits:
Depending on opening hours, we either begin or end this part of the tour with a bird's eye view of the entire area where Jesus operated during his time in the region. This is the Church of the Beatitudes, set in the midst of a serene garden as a beacon to the whole region, commemorating Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
We will visit Capernaum, Jesus' base of operations during much of his ministry in the area, with an impressive ancient synagogue and the house of St. Peter's mother in law, where he used to reside. There is also waterfront access from here. Then, we will visit the new excavations at Magdala, hometown of Mary Magdalene, with its unique and beautiful new church and amazing, one of a kind archaeological finds from the 1st century. Other places to visit around the Sea of Galilee are:
- The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish, with impressive byzantine mosaics.
- Mensa Christi Church, set on the serene beach where Jesus laid out a meal for his disciples, and pardoned St. Peter.
- The "Yardenit" baptismal site, where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee. There are facilities for baptism here.
- Kursi, a large Byzantine monastery at the traditional site where Jesus ordered a legion of demons to leave a possessed man and enter a herd of pigs. The place also has a reputation as a focal point of mystical energy.
- The Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles, across from Capernaum, with a lovely garden and impressive murals.
- The Ancient Boat Museum has a fascinating presentation about a 1st century fishing boat that has survived for 2000 years, encased in mud at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee. The boat was preserved and is now exhibited here. One can also take a pleasant boat ride from here (advance booking only).
Any item in this Christian Galilee Private Tour can be changed or removed, and other items can be added at your preference.