12 Jan 5-Day Israel Travel Itinerary
Day 1 - Tel Aviv & Jaffa
Tel Aviv is not like any other place in Israel. It has sandy beaches, a cosmopolitan character, rich nightlife, and diverse cuisine. With many things to do in Tel Aviv, you will need at least a few days for this fantastic city. A wonderful city full of contradictions, ugly buildings, and excellent restaurants. Many restaurants are kosher, but many people smoke weed. Every day is partying until dawn, but finding a restaurant open during Sabbath isn’t easy. People here are incredibly hospitable, and always offer to help you.
We spent the morning exploring Jaffa or Yafo, an ancient city that relates to the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and St Peter. Visited Jaffa Port, Watchtower in Yefet St, Jaffa Mosque & Fountain, Garden Peak and walked through old winding cobblestoned alleyways. Jaffa is also known for its citrus fruit, the Shamouti Orange, grown here.
Day 2 - Caesarea
Caesarea is a national park with ancient harbour ruins, a Roman amphitheatre, remains of a hippodrome, the ruins of a Palace including its mosaic floor, beautiful beaches, and an impressive modern residence in a unique archaeological site. A fantastic backdrop for a wedding or grand party Also saw the ancient Aquaduct, which carried water to the old city for thousands of years.
Built in the 1st century BCE and located on the azure shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Caesarea National Park is a must-visit place in Israel.
Day 3 - Nazareth
We visited Nazareth today – Mary’s home and the Annunciation site (when the angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would be giving birth to Jesus). (It has both a Muslim and Christian population). You can also visit:
Church Of Annunciation
St. Joseph’s Church
Old City – Nazareth
Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary
Capernaum – the home of Jesus Christ by the Sea of Galilee, where he performed many of his miracles
Tabgah – is traditionally considered the place where the story of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes occurred.
Mount Beauties – A hill in Northern Israel is where Jesus (as the bible says) is believed to have delivered his Sermon on the Mount.
Yardenit – where the Sea of Galilee flows into the southern Jordan River, is one of the traditional sites where Jesus perhaps was baptised. Christians can come and perform baptisms in the same river where John the Baptist performed one on Jesus 2000 years ago.
Day 4 - Jerusalem
Explore the Old City of Jerusalem – also called the ‘City of David.’
Nearly 3,000 religious Jews live in the Old City, and although the city is divided, you will also see Jews living in the Muslim and Christian quarters. (We did a walking tour in heavy rain) and visited:
– Western Wall & Jewish Quarters
– Muslim Quarters
– Western Cardo
– Damascus Gate
The Dome of the Rock
While in Jerusalem, visit The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Completed in 691 CE, it is considered one of the oldest surviving examples of Islamic architecture. The structure is dominated by a large golden dome, and the exterior is adorned with intricate mosaics and tilework. Inside, the centerpiece is the rock upon which it is believed the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The Dome of the Rock has been a significant site for both Muslims and Jews for centuries, and it remains one of the most iconic landmarks in Jerusalem.
Day 5 - Bethlehem
It’s Christmas Day – 25th December and we are at Jesus’s Manger in Bethlehem.
We were truly privileged to be at the birthplace of Jesus Christ today. It was my dream to be here on Christmas Day, and we feel so blessed for this opportunity. Today Christmas is very commercialised, but after visiting Bethlehem, we can say Christmas is to celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus Christ.
Milk Grotto Church
A peaceful chapel near the Nativity Church in Manger Square., where tradition dictates while Mary was nursing Jesus Mary spilt some breast milk while nursing Jesus, turning the underground cave white with “Virgin Milk.” Others believe it’s the site where the Three Kings visited and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Divine.
Mount Zion – Old City Bethlehem
As part of the Holy Land Pilgrimage in Old City Jerusalem, we saw:
– Jesus’ Last Supper Room
– King David’s Tomb
– Basilica of Gethsemane
– Byzantine Church
– Mount of Olives
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