18 Mar 2013

Top 10 Galilean Destinations for Christian Tours

As the Holy Week fast approaches, more and more people are going on Christian tours to be one with the whole faith in observing the religious tradition. Pilgrimages are often the most preferred activity of many as it combines professing of faith with travel and discovery.

Of course, the first place to come to mind is Jerusalem. But if you wish to avert from the usual, maybe you can consider these places in Galilee, another major venue for Christ’s teachings:

1.  The Gospel Trail

Also known as the ‘Jesus Trail’, the Gospel Trail is basically a ‘walk of faith’ within Galilee. It begins in Nazareth and passes through Cana, Arbel National Park, Tabgha, and the Mount of Beatitudes. The venue is often located in itineraries of Christian tours.

2. Tabgha

Believed to be the place where Jesus once fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes, Tabgha is now transformed into a beautiful garden complemented with a church with intricately designed mosaic floors. In Tabgha, there is also the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy, where the apostles saw Jesus after resurrection.

3.  Mount of Beatitudes

Remembering one of the most important scenes in Christian history, you might want to go to the Mount of Beatitudes. There, a church built by the Franciscan Order stands. It is perched on a low hilltop near Tabgha.

4. Mount Tabor

Believed to be the mount where the Transfiguration occurred, Mount Tabor is one of the most favorite pilgrim stations of Christian tours. Now, it is home to the Church of Transfiguration which is quite unique for having a wing for Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic respectively.

5. Kursi National Park

 At the east of Galilee is the Kursi National Park. It is believed to be where Jesus exorcised the demons on two men. A huge monastery and church from the sixth century was excavated on the site, leading to the declaration of the place as a national park.

6. Bethsaida

Bethsaida is quite prominent in the bible as the venue where Jesus performed several miracles. It is located north of the Sea of Galilee and is a favorite destination for pilgrimages.

Image source: Bible Places

7. Yardenit

 It is the junction of Jordan River and Sea of Galilee towards the Dead Sea, and is believed to be the spot where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Nowadays, pilgrims come to the place to be baptized in the same spot as well.

8. Cana

Remember when Jesus transformed water into wine at a wedding? It happened in Cana. Today, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George stands there and is home to six vessels which is said to be the ones used by Jesus in performing His miracle.

Image source:
St. George's Church in Cana Photo by Mordagan, Israel Ministry of Tourism

9.    Mary’s Well

A symbol of Nazareth, Mary’s Well is known to be the well where Mary used to bathe Jesus in. Nearby is the St. Gabriel Church of Annunciation (Greek Orthodox) and the Basilica of Annunciation, which Catholics believe to be where Jesus and Mary resided.

10.  Capernaum National Park

Discovered in 1838, the now-Capernaum National Park was basically restored by the Franciscans in the 1960s. It is where the ‘House of Peter’ is located (in which a church have been built), along with many reinstated temples and synagogues.

Lent is the time for thinking and renewing our faith with the Lord. Going on Christian tours will somehow help in fortifying our relationship with the Holy Creator.

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