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The Jesus Trail: A Walk of Faith (photos)

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View photos from Gina Torralba Calipes recent journey on the Jesus Trail!

2014 Jesus Trail Free Map Available (4th edition)

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The Jesus Trail team is proud to announce that the new Jesus Trail Free Map (4th edition) is now available, both in hard copy and PDF download!

The Jesus Trail Free Map is a colorful brochure with an overview of the Jesus Trail, including a sketch map, descriptions of the points of interest, elevation chart, list of accommodations, transportation information and more. The map was generously sponsored by local businesses, including accommodations, taxi drivers and local attractions.

Get your copy today! You can download the PDF now, or please send your mailing address to freemap@jesustrail.com to receive a hard copy in the mail for free. This map is shipped from Israel and may take 2-3 weeks for delivery.

The paper copy of the map is available at many locations in Nazareth and Jerusalem, including the Fauzi Azar Inn, Jerusalem Tourist Information at Jaffa Gate, and the Abraham Hostel. If you would like Jesus Trail maps at your location, just let us know.

[Download Jesus Trail Free Map]

*The Jesus TrailFree Map is intended as an informational overview for planning and not for navigational purposes. We recommend that hikers obtain the Jesus Trail guidebook, which has high resolution topographical section maps.

Jesus Trail Updates – Spring 2014, English and German

Jesus Trail Updates (English)

Spring 2014

1. Leaving Nazareth Old City is a bit tricky through the winding streets. Once you get to the top of Nazareth (past all the stairs and the Salesian church) you will come to a traffic circle. Turn right to walk along the ridge-top promenade. When you reach a second traffic circle, make sure that you take the second left, not the very first one (p. 69).

2. Leaving Nazareth: The trail continues out of the outskirts of town on a new road, then turns downhill towards the gas station along the highway at the bottom of the hill (p. 69). After descending the hill and coming out across from the gas station, turn left and go to the traffic light marked on the map.

3. After Zippori the trail continues with other trails and is marked as an orange dot next to the other trail markings. Follow the trail uphill to Mash’had (p. 75).

4. In Mash’had at the central mosque, the Jesus Trail splits at a trail junction with the Israel National Trail (marked orange/blue/white) and heads left downhill into town. Soon afterwards it turns right, so it’s helpful to stay on the right hand side of the road and look carefully for the marker (p 75).

5. After exiting Cana, you walk for some time on a dirt road; make sure to follow the trail to the right at the first dirt road split. The decline to the “Beit Keshet” forest and Golani junction starts after meeting a narrow road with a green trail. Turn left with the green trail and continue walking with this trail beside the narrow road for 700 meters; then leave the green trail and join the red one by turning left off the road. After walking 100 meters on the red trail the Jesus trail leaves it and turns right to climb a small hill (p. 81).

6. You reach the Golani junction when meeting the 65 road. Take left and walk toward the road. You will soon be walking with a stone wall to your right. You will then arrive at two underpasses (tunnels below the road); take the big one. When exiting the underpass, you will see another underpass about 30 meters along the dirt road. Take it and turn left after exiting this underpass. The trail has been rerouted through the Lavi forest (see updated map). If you are staying at the Kibbutz Hotel, follow the main road into the kibbutz immediately after crossing through a third underpass (p. 81).

Recommended detour: Immediately after the Gas station there is a red trail that will take you to the Roman road (Via Maris p. 95): Cross the road using the underpass (it is 5 minutes from the trail). From the Roman Road, you can either return to the marked trail or you can find a dirt path north of the Roman road (and north of the olive grove that borders the Roman road) that will take you (3 km) back to the trail at the Kibbutz Lavi cemetery (p. 81).

7. After descending from the Horns of Hattin, the trail emerges onto a paved road (the second, lower road). The official trail markings will tell you to head right. If you wish to enter Nebi Shu’eib, take left on the second road. It is a good place to fill water (natural spring & fountain) and buy snacks.

8. After leaving Nebi Shu’eib, follow the paved road to where it meets the main highway and turn left. Walk along this main road until it turns right and begins to go downhill; there, continue straight across onto the dirt road that meets the paved road.

9. When reaching the shores of the Sea of Galilee, you will walk along the beach for a while. When meeting the fence at the end of the beach, the trail turns left. Continue on the sidewalk and then cross the road (there will be a second crossing before Tabgha).

Jesus Trail Updates (German)

Frühling 2014

1. Die Altstadt von Nazareth zu verlassen ist nicht ganz einfach. Wenn Sie am oberen Ende von Nazareth angekommen sind (und Sie all die Treppen und die salesianische Kirche hinter sich gelassen haben), erreichen Sie einen Kreisverkehr, an dem Sie nach rechts die Promenade entlang gehen. Wenn Sie den zweiten Kreisverkehr erreichen, passen Sie auf, dass Sie erst die zweite Abzweigung nach links nehmen (S.69).

2. Nazareth verlassen: Der Weg führt jetzt auf einer neuen Strasse durch die Auslaeufer der Stadt, bergab an einer Tankstelle vorbei und am Fuss des Berges parallel zur Autobahn entlang (S.69). Nachdem Sie den Berg hinabgestiegen sind, befinden Sie sich jetzt gegenüber der Tankstelle. Gehen Sie jetzt nach links zu der Ampel, die auch auf der Karte markiert ist.

3. Nach Zippori geht der Weg zusammen mit anderen Wanderwegen weiter und ist mit einem orangenen Punkt neben den anderen Markierungen versehen. Folgen sie dem Weg bergauf nach Mash’had. (S. 75)

4. Bei der zentralen Moschee in Mash’had verlässt der Jesus Trail an einer Gabelung den Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel, markiert in orange/blau/weiss) und geht weiter nach links bergab in die Stadt. Bald danach führt er nach rechts, weshalb es hilfreich ist auf der rechten Seite der Strasse zu bleiben und nach den Markierungen Ausschau zu halten. (S.75)

5. Nachdem Sie Cana verlassen haben, führt der Weg weiter über eine nicht-asphaltierte Strasse. Dort gehen Sie bei der ersten Kreuzung nach rechts. Der Abstieg zum „Beit Keshet“-Wald und der „Golani“-Kreuzung beginnt nach der Einmündung einer schmalen Strasse mit grünen Markierungen. Gehen Sie dort nach links auf dem gruenen Weg entlang der schmalen Strasse für 700 Meter. Folgen Sie jetzt den roten Markierungen (von der Strasse nach links abbiegend). Nach 100 Metern verlässt der Jesus Trail diesen Weg und führt nach rechts einen kleinen Hügel hinauf (S.81).

6. Sie erreichen die „Golani“-Kreuzung (Strasse 65), an der Sie links abbiegen und an der linken Strassenseite an einer Mauer entlanglaufen. Schliesslich erreichen Sie zwei Unterführungen, nehmen Sie dort die größere. Nach dieser werden Sie in 30 Metern Entfernung entlang des Feldweges eine weitere Unterführung sehen, durch die Sie ebenfalls gehen und danach nach links abbiegen. An dieser Stelle wurde der Weg erneut festgelegt (durch den Lavi-Wald, siehe erneuerte Karte). Wenn Sie im Kibbutz-Hotel bleiben, folgen Sie der Hauptstrasse in den Kibbutz (S. 81), nachdem Sie die dritte Unterführung genommen haben. Empfohlene Variante: Direkt nach der Tankstelle gibt es einen roten Weg, der Sie zur Römischen Strasse führt (Via Maris, S. 95): Überqueren Sie die Strasse (etwa 5 Minuten vom Weg entfernt). Von der Via Maris aus können Sie entweder zurück auf den markierten Weg oder auf einen kleinen Pfad nördlich der Via Maris (und nördlich des Olivenhains, der die Via Maris begrenzt), der Sie nach drei Kilometern wieder zurück zum Weg am Friedhof des Kibbutzes führt. (S. 81)

7. Nachdem Sie von den Horns of Hatin abgestiegen sind, mündet der Weg in eine asphaltierte Strasse (die zweite, niedrigere Strasse). Die offiziellen Wegmarkierungen werden Sie nach rechts führen. Wenn Sie Nebi Shu’eib  besuchen möchten (um Wasser aus einer natürlichen Quelle aufzufüllen und Snacks zu kaufen), gehen sie auf der zweiten Strasse nach links.

8. Nachdem Sie Nebi Shu’eib verlassen haben, folgen Sie der asphaltierten Strasse bis diese auf die Autobahn trifft und gehen dort links die Hauptstrasse entlang bis diese nach rechts den Berg hinab abbiegt. An dieser Stelle gehen Sie weiter geradeaus, zuerst auf einem Feldweg, spaeter auf einer asphaltierten Strasse.

9. Wenn Sie den See Genezareth erreichen, gehen Sie eine Weile am Strand entlang bis zu einem Zaun, wo der Weg nach links ab. Jetzt folgen Sie der Strasse auf dem Buergersteig und kreuzen diese (bevor Sie Tabgha erreichen, gibt es noch eine weitere Kreuzung).

Jesus Trail Updates – Fall 2013, English and German

  1. Leaving Nazareth Old City through the winding streets can be a bit tricky. Once you get to the top of Nazareth (past all the stairs and the Salesian church), you will come to a traffic circle. Turn right to walk along the ridge-top promenade. When you reach a second traffic circle, make sure that you take the second left, not the very first one (p. 69).

  1. Leaving Nazareth: The trail continues towards the gas station (p. 69). After spotting the gas station, turn left and go to the traffic light marked on the map.

  1. After Zippori, the trail continues with other trails and is marked as an orange dot next to the other trail markings. Follow the trail uphill to Mash’had (p. 75).

  1. In Mash’had at the central mosque, the Jesus Trail splits at a trail junction with the Israel National Trail (marked orange/blue/white) and heads left downhill into town. Soon afterwards it turns right, so it’s helpful to stay on the right hand side of the road and to look carefully for the marker (p 75).

  1. After climbing out from Cana, you start walking on a dirt road. Make sure you take a right on the first dirt road split. The marking is there, but it is hard to spot. You will be walking on the ridge for a while. The decline to the “Beit Keshet” forest and “Golani” junction starts after meeting a narrow road with a green trail. Take a left to the green trail and walk with this trail to the side of the narrow road for 700 meters. Leave the green trail for the red one by turning left from the road. After walking 100 meters on the red trail, the Jesus trail leaves it and turns right to climb up a small hill to your right. (p. 81)

  1. You reach the Golani junction when meeting road 65. Turn left and walk to the road. You will soon be walking with a stone wall to your right. You will come to two underpasses (tunnels below the road); take the bigger one. When exiting the underpass, you will see 30 meters along the dirt road another underpass; take it. Turn left after exiting this underpass (second crossing).

    The trail has been rerouted through Lavi forest (see updated map). If you are staying at the Kibbutz Hotel, after crossing the third underpass below road 77 follow the main road into the kibbutz (p. 81).

    Recommended detour: Immediately after the gas station, there is a red trail that will take you to the Roman road (Via Maris p. 95): Cross the road with the underpass (it is 5 minutes from the trail). From the Roman Road, you can either turn back to the marked trail or you can find a dirt path north of the Roman road (and north of the olive grove that borders the Roman road) that will take you 3 kilometers back to the trail at the Kibbutz Lavi cemetery. (p. 81)

  1. After descending from the Horns of Hatin, the trail emerges onto a paved road (the second, lower road). The official trail markings will tell you to head right. If you wish to enter Nebi Shu’eib take a left on the second road. It is a good place to fill water (natural spring & fountain) and buy snacks.

  1. When reaching “Nahal Amud” (4th walking day) after Migdal – the trail has been rerouted; when spotting the stream canal, you cross a cattle barrier on the ground. Turn right after the cattle barrier and continue through a standing cattle barrier (narrow gate for people); turn right again to walk in the stream canal. Continue with the canal to walk to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. You will walk along the beach. When meeting the fence, the trail turns left; continue on the side walk and then cross the road (there will be a second crossing before Tabgha).

Jesus Trail Updates

Herbst 2013

  1. Die Altstadt von Nazareth durch die gewundenen Gassen zu verlassen ist ein wenig trickreich. Wenn Sie am oberen Ende von Nazareth angekommen sind (nach allen Treppen und der Salesian Church) erreichen Sie einen Kreisverkehr. Gehen Sie nach rechts und laufen Sie entlang der Bergrücken-Promenade. Wenn Sie den zweiten Kreisverkehr erreichen, passen Sie auf dass Sie die zweite Abzweigung nach links nehmen, nicht die erste. (S.69)
  2. Nachdem Sie Nazareth verlassen haben geht der Weg weiter zur Tankstelle (S. 69). Wenn Sie diese gesehen haben, gehen Sie nach links zur Ampel, die auf der Karte markiert ist.
  3. Nach Zippori geht der Weg zusammen mit anderen Wanderwegen weiter und ist mit einem orangenen Punkt neben den anderen Markierungen versehen. Folgen sie dem Weg bergauf nach Mash’had. (S. 75)
  4. Bei der zentralen Moschee in Mash’had verlässt der Jesus Trail an einer Gabelung den Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel, markiert in orange / blau / weiss) und geht weiter nach links bergab in die Stadt. Bald danach führt er nach rechts, weshalb es hilfreich ist auf der rechten Seite der Strasse zu bleiben und achtsam nach nach den Markierungen Ausschau zu halten. (S.75)
  5. Nach Sie Cana verlassen haben, führt der Weg weiter über eine nicht asphaltierte Strasse. Passen Sie auf, dass Sie dort bei der ersten Gabelung rechts gehen. Die Markierung dort ist vorhanden, jedoch ein wenig schwierig zu entdecken. Sie werden eine Weile auf dem Bergrücken entlang laufen. Der Abstieg zum „Beit Keshet“-Wald und der „Golani“-Kreuzung beginnt nach der Einmündung einer schmalen Strasse mit grünen Markierungen. Gehen Sie nach links zum grünen Weg und folgen Sie diesem entlang der schmalen Strasse für 700 Meter. Verlassen Sie den dann den grünen Weg zum roten Weg (von der Strasse nach links). Nach 100 Metern auf dem roten Weg verlässt der Jesus Trail diesen und führt nach rechts einen kleinen Hügel hinauf.
  6. Sie erreichen die „Golani“-Kreuzung bei der Strasse Nummer 65. Gehen Sie nach links und laufen Sie links entlang der Strasse. Bald wird rechts neben Ihnen eine Steinmauer entlang laufen. Sie erreichen zwei Unterführungen, nehmen Sie die größere. Nach der Unterführung werden Sie in 30 Metern Entfernung entlang der unasphaltierten Strasse eine weitere Unterführung sehen, die Sie nehmen müssen. Danach gehen Sie links (an der zweiten Kreuzung). An dieser Stelle wurde der Weg erneut festgelegt (durch den Lavi-Wald, siehe erneuerte Karte). Wenn Sie im Kibbutz-Hotel bleiben, folgen Sie der Hauptstrasse in den Kibbutz (S. 81), nachdem Sie die dritte Unterführung, die unter der Strasse 77 entlang führt, genommen haben.

    Empfohlene Variante: Direkt nach der Tankstelle gibt es einen roten Weg, der Sie zur Römischen Strasse führt (Via Maris, S. 95):
    Überqueren Sie die Strasse (etwa 5 Minuten vom Weg entfernt). Von der Römischen Strasse aus können Sie entweder zurück auf den markierten Weg oder auf einen kleinen Pfad nördlich der Römischen Strasse (und nördlich des Olivenhains, der an die Römische Strasse grenzt) der Sie nach drei Kilometern wieder zurück zum Weg am Friedhof des Kibbutzes führt. (S. 81)

  7. Nachdem Sie von den Horns of Hattin abgestiegen sind, mündet der Weg in eine asphaltierte Strasse (die zweite, niedere Strasse). Die offiziellen Wegmarkierungen werden Sie nach rechts führen. Wenn Sie Nebi Shu’eib besuchen möchten, gehen sie auf der zweiten Strasse nach links. Es ist ein guter Ort, um Wasser aus einer natürlichen Quelle aufzufüllen und Snacks zu kaufen.
  8. Wenn Sie nach dem Dorf Migdal dann „Nahal Amud“ erreichen (am 4. Tag); auch hier wurde der Weg neu festgelegt: Wenn Sie den Bachlauf sehen, überqueren Sie ein Hindernis für Vieh (in den Boden eingelassen). Gehen Sie danach rechts und weiter durch einen Viehzaun durch ein kleines Tor. Gehen Sie wieder rechts um im Flussbett entlang des Flusses bis zu den Ufern des See Genezareth (Sea of Galilee) zu laufen. Sie werden am Strand entlang laufen. Am Zaun geht der Weg nach links, gehen Sie weiter auf dem Bürgersteig und überqueren Sie dann die Strasse (vor Tabgah wird es eine weitere Überquerung geben).

Survey on the Jesus Trail

We are conducting a research on behalf of the Dept. of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa, in order to better our understanding regarding the growing trend of hiking trails.

We would be very thankful if you could assist us by answering the following questions regarding the Jesus Trail hike.

This questionnaire is intended for people who have walked, are walking, and are intending to walk the Jesus trail.

View the survey

Maoz Inon and family on the Jesus Trail

374372_10151752694119989_1238272725_nFollow Jesus Trail cofounder Maoz Inon along with his wife and 3 young children as they walk the Jesus Trail over 9 days. Want to walk with your family?

Jesus Trail Tours now offers a Family Tour Package specifically recommended for families with children under 9 years of age.

Jesus Trail Day 1 – Nazareth to Zippori

We have started today at the outskirts of Nazareth along the first section and hike just over 7km with Eden (1.5 years old) Dor (5 years old) and Liad (7 years old). We reached Zippori National Park in high spirits after an amazing day with perfect weather.

We also enjoy the company of Gefen, Tevel, Matar, Tali and Hana, our friends from Binyamina. Liad took most of the photos you see in the album. Starting March the 17th, we are going to hike for 7 days from Zippori to Capernaum along the entire trail.

We plan to sleep along the trail at Cana Wedding Guest House, Yarok Az in Illaniya, Kibbutz Lavi, Shavit’s B&B in Arbel and Beit Bracha in Migdal.

Liad, our social media manager, will use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep you all updated as we progress, and I’ll try to write few words every night.

So now, after “testing” our skills we have another week to get everything together, and on the 17th we will start our adventure along the Jesus Trail. Stay tuned for upcoming news.

Yours – Eden, Dor, Liad, Shlomit Toaf Inon & Maoz Inon

cana

Jesus Trail Day 2 Zippori to Cana

The second day is behind us! All went smoothly and even the light rain showers didn’t stop us from enjoying the beauty and the high spirits. We started late, just after 11:00, and we reach Cana before 15:00 to enjoy the great hospitality of Suad & Sami Billan. Thanks to Sliman Bilan, I brought our car from Zippori and the kids made me lemonade from the lemons they picked from the Billan’s tree.

We had amazing dinner, good shower and the boys were ready for the day’s highlight – watching a Star Wars episode. Every night they are going to watch one hour till we reach Capernaum… Tomorrow we have more than 9km to hike, the longest the kids have ever walked in one day — will be interesting!

Jesus Trail Day 3 – Cana to Ilaniya

Everyone is sleeping now in the comfort of the ecodome at Yarok Az, another great place with amazing hospitality along the Jesus Trail.

Today we covered almost 10 km, and what a great day it was! Starting with the amazing breakfast at Cana Wedding Guest House followed with the village walk out of the town of Cana.

I just love walking through Arab villages and to do it with my family and with our hosts, Sami and Suad, was a real treat. Saying our final goodbye to Sami and Suad at the outskirts of Cana, we encountered a shepherd from sheep day 3the village and exchanged greetings.

This day of the trail was just amazing with great views and hiking through fields of flowers rich in yellow, red, purple, pink and of course green The kids were superb! They hike like they were born to do it and appreciate the good weather and the many breaks we had.

Each boy carried his supply of sweets and snacks plus the mandatory bottle of water. Eden had fun riding my back for the day and couldn’t help it from falling to sleep after lunch. The last 2 km were a bit more challenging. Although it was a pleasant walk, Liad was a bit tired but nothing a short break couldn’t cure. Just after 5pm we reached our destination: “Yarok Az,” an organic eco lodge that looks even better every time we come to visit.

The kids felt at home from the minute we arrived, and we enjoyed a great dinner with the Barkai family for which we are most thankful. Hadar is a super woman that it raising three super girls with the assistant of her father, Avi, and of courses her husband, Shahar, who we hope to see tomorrow.

Hiking the trail in one segment is more rewording than I expected, the trail is beautiful this time of the year and we are so fortunate to experience it as a family!

Jesus Trail Day 4 – Ilaniya to Lavi

Another great day is behind us and we are already half the way through the Jesus Trail!day 8

Today we started from Ilaniya in a small group. My parents, Billa & Jacob Inon, just arrived to accompany us for the next two days and the Gutman’s, Galia & Amir. Galia is a travel writer for one of Israel’s leading economic newspapers and has been a good friend for many years. Together we struggled to navigate through the construction at Golani Junctin and found the slightly new route of the Jesus Trail (again thanks to the construction).

But as we got closer to Kibbutz Lavi, the lavish wheat field and the great visibility all the way to the snowy peak of Mt Hermon made the day just perfect. Since the day was short and we took so many breaks, the boys hardly got into the “rhythm” of hiking, but they didn’t complain much either…

We always say taht the Jesus Trail is about the people as much as it is about Jesus, and today was great proof for it. Starting with meeting Dr. Dany Kotani and his 10-year-old son cycling the trail. They started the morning at the the Wedding Guest House in Cana and were heading to Shavit Guest house in Arbel (were we will stay tomorrow). Dr Cotani is the owner a d CEO of a poplar ice cream chain in Israel “Dr. Lek” and was the first of three doctors we met today!

Resting under the tree at the entrance to Lavi cemetery, a nice couple was strolling by. It happens that they are staying at the Fauzi Azar Inn, took the bus to Golani Junction and were doing a day hike along the Jesus trail. They were surprised and happy to learn that I’m “MAOZ” and were extremely happy with their stay at the Fauzi. Dr. Michael Livni & Dr. Brenda Herzberg from Israel completed the list of the doctors we met on the trail today.

Around 5pm we entered the lobby of Kibbutz Lavi Hotel and enjoy meeting our friends Eli, Sarit and Adriana from the reception and, of course, the famous Guido, the hotel marketing manager. We had cappuccino and ice cream as refreshment and while I was going to retreieve our car the others enjoy the indoor swimming pool! Yes, this is part of the Jesus Trail, too!

Tomorrow we are expecting to hike in big numbers with many of the kids’ friends coming to join us. With every passing day I just think what a great adventure the trail is for families! I believe we will see more and more families hiking the trail in the coming years, an adventure they will treasure for life.

Jesus Trail Day 5 – Lavi to Nebi Shu’eibday 5 kids

Today was a like a water park for the kids and, of course, a great day for us, covering the most scenic section of the trail with the Horns of Hittin view point, maybe the best view in Israel.

For the kids it started with the great pancakes at Lavi’s breakfast, which they announced are “even better than their mother makes”! For those of you know Shlomit, you know that it’s not easy to top her baking. Just after breakfast, three families from our hometown came to join us, including the boys’ best friends from school. What great company for us all!

Hearing stories of the volcano at the peak of the Horns of Hittim and about the victory of Saladin over the Crusaders brought them fresh memory of Star War movies which they enjoy every night during the trail. We saw the Sea of Galilee for the first time don the trail and with Mount Hermon away on the horizon and the cliffs of Arbel escorting us during the day we couldn’t stop admiring the views of the Galilee.

Way at the back we saw the high buildings of Mount Yona at Nazareth Ilit, four days behind us and we could appreciate the distance we’ve covered so far. It’s serious trekking we are doing.

Reaching Nebi Shu’eib, the kids refreshed themselves in the spring water and with icecream and played a “battle” game of their own. Visiting the temple of Jethro, the greatest Druze prophet which is hidden between the hills, was another reason for excitement.

Just exiting the temple hundreds of migrating pelicans swirled above us on their long journey from Africa to Europe. Then we admired the ruins of Hittin village and climbed the ancient mosque’s tower.

The story was just getting better as we checked in at the oasis of Sara and Israel Shavit’s at Arbel Guest House. All the kids jumped into the jacuzzi while more brave Jesus Trail hikers dived into the swimming pool!

Many words can be written on Israel Shavit’s culinary feats, but I’d only say that this was the real highlight of the day for children and adults alike.

Jesus Trail Day 6 – Nebi Shu’eib to Arbel day 6

Good night and shabbat shalom to all, I missed the update last night and so this post is for the 6&7 days.

Tomorrow is our last hiking day, 10km more to go! The bottom line was already written by Liad and Dor. Liad state that the “Jesus Trail is the best trail in the world” and Dor wants to hike the trail again next spring – so what else can I say?

Now to summaries the last two days: Day 6 started with the superb breakfast of Israel. His “shakshuka” is a masterpiece and a real delight. From this highlight, we knew that nothing could go wrong.

We had a pleasant walk down Nemerin & Arbel streams, enjoying the scenery and the last day of the spring. With every passing day the green hills are becoming drier and with a more yellowish hue. We cooled our feet in a nature spring and got our shoes in the mud which wasn’t as fun. In early afternoon we hiked back to Arbel and visited the ancient synagogue of Arbel.

For an unbeliever as I am, I find it the most spiritual place in Israel . The clear ground with the synagogue pillar and the most inspiring views just takes me to the right zone where people were worshiping their god two millennium ago and maybe even before that. It is probably also one of the places Jesus visited while roaming the Galilee, preaching and teaching his followers and the people of the Galilee. We were also blessed with great company of friends from our home town what made this day just perfect.

Jesus Trail Day 7 –  Arbel to Migdalday 7 arbel

This morning we had another heavenly “shakshuka” breakfast, kissed our host Israel and Sara Shavit goodbye and headed to Arbel cliff. With some friends joining us on the trail, some that went back home and the Ofel’s just arriving for the last two days.

The views from the cliff top are always astonishing and getting down is great fun for kids and adults alike. Coming down we met a group of day hikers hiking the Israel National Trail with the lead of Dani Gasper, a good friend that was the head of the Israel Trail Committee when the Jesus Trail was just getting started. I gave the group an “on the spot” pitch of the Jesus Trail and it’s vision, with the cliffs and the Sea of Galilee as the classroom. It was fun!

Reaching the slopes of the cliff, a dust storm just hit us but even that didn’t stop us from hiking to our final destination of the day, Migdal.

We enjoyed the great yard and the Shabbat dinner of Beit Bracha and are just about ready to follow are kids into the “trail of dream” and go to bed.

Bless us all: believers and unbelievers

Jesus Trail Days 8 & 9 – Migdal to Capernaumswim

It’s done! We thru-hiked the Jesus Trail with our three children, Liad and Dor who hiked the entire trail in nine days, and Eden who rode on my back. It was by far the best family vacation we ever had and the easiest to arrange and organize. Hiking vacations with children is going to be the next trend — definitely for our family!

The 8th day was easy hiking through the banana, avocado and mango plantations of the nearby kibbutz. We admired the views of the Sea of Galilee and the Cliffs of Arbel, 400 meters above us, which we descended the day before. We could also see very clearly the Horns of Hittim from the fifth day. It was hard for the boys to realize the great achievement, it came so natural for them.

We enjoyed the great company of the Ofel-Arkin family. There eldest son is a good friend of Dor and are in the same kindergarten since they were just baby – how grownup they have become! On the way we met Chiky, the ” Official Jesus Trail Taxi Driver,” also known as Josef or Joe West. Chiki is a great friend and colleague and has been supervising the progress of the Jesus Trail from the early start.
It was grecapernaum familyat fun to meet him on the trail.

Reaching Tabgha which sadly was closed, we decided to leave the last two km for the next day and checked in in our long-desired destination, Pilgerhaus Tabgha. It’s a German establishment in a great location, just on the shore of the sea. We enjoyed the apple strudel, the chocolate mousse and the apple pie—just another great dinner on the Jesus Trail…

On the last day, we set our waking time as: 06:30 for Eden and 06:35 for Liad, and we’re ready for our final effort to reach Capernaum. After the superb breakfast (I think the food on the trail is an unbeatable success), we warmed our legs and were ready to hit the trail for the final stretch.

A short visit to the Primacy of St. Peter, another beautiful spot on the trail, we hiked the last hour all the way to the gate of Capernaum, the end of the trail. We celebrated with ice cream and were very happy to meet 70(!) Israeli hikers in their youth, from the Society of Protection of Nature courses, that hiked the Jesus Trail in four days and camped along it. They too had a great experience and it seemed that they were way more exhausted than us…

That’s it. Nine days of hiking with the family came to a happy end and so is this blog. It brought me back to my happy days on the Israel Trail and my backpacking years and reminded me that I started my tourism phase in life as a blogger. It’s much easier now and just as fun. Thanks to you all for experiencing the Jesus Trail with my family, the Inons.

Jesus Trail Tours now offers a Family Tour Package specifically recommended for families with children under 9 years of age.

Trail Updates: Spring 2013

Spring 2012 Trail Updates

 [Click for larger map, printer friendly links at end of post]

Helpful Jesus Trail Updates:

  1. Leaving Nazareth Old City can be challenging because of the winding streets. Follow the yellow dots and watch carefully for a sharp right turn that will take you up a long staircase. Once you get to the top of Nazareth (past all the stairs and Salesian church), you will come to a traffic circle. Turn right to walk along the ridge-top promenade for about 10 minutes until you reach a second traffic circle, and here make sure that you take the second left, not the first one (p. 69).
  2. Leaving Nazareth: After the roundabout, follow the road downhill to the end of the street. Where the street turns into a dirt path there is a fence. There is a walking entrance on the left side of the fence. Make sure to take the detour from the right side of the construction, and go towards the gas station you can see on the far side of the road. After spotting the gas station, go to the traffic light marked on the map (p. 69).
  3. After Zippori the trail continues with other trails and is marked as an orange dot next to the other trail markings. Follow the trail uphill to Mash’had (p. 75).
  4. In Mash’had at the central mosque, the Jesus Trail splits at a trail junction with the Israel National Trail (marked orange/blue/white) and turns left downhill into town. Soon afterwards it turns right, so it’s helpful to stay on the right hand side of the road and look carefully for the marker (p 75).
  5. After climbing out from Cana, you start walking on a dirt road. Make sure you take a right at the first dirt road split. The marking is there but it is hard to spot.
  6. When you reach the Golani junction, there is a lot of construction going on: After passing the T sign to Yarok Az (Cana in the west, Ilania to the south and Arbel to the east) you will meet road 65. Do not pass it. Take a left and walk beneath the electric lines. You will soon find the trail markings again while walking with the eucalyptus trees and the road to your right. Look for the underpass (tunnel below the road) you will see it when you meet a gravel road that takes left and then right into the underpass (the underpass is big enough to accommodate trucks. After crossing the first underpass, the trail has been rerouted through Lavi forest (see updated map). If you are staying at the Kibbutz Hotel, after crossing the second underpass below 77 road follow the main road into the kibbutz (p. 81).
  7. After descending from the Horns of Hattin, the trail emerges onto a paved road (second, lower road). The official trail markings will tell you to head right. If you wish to enter Nebi She’ub take a left on the second road. It is a good place to fill water (natural spring & fountain) and buy snacks.

Suggested shortcut after Nebi She’ub : A few meters before the entrance to Nebi Sheub the trail will cut downhill to the right. Follow it down past the ruined village and the mosque. Continue on the dirt 4×4 road to meet back up with the marked Jesus Trail. Make sure to turn left to continue to Arbel on the marked trail (p. 91).

*Page numbers refer to pages in the guidebook, Hiking the Jesus Trail.

Printer-friendy PDF versions of the map and text (one A4 page each).

Construction detour leaving Nazareth

There’s still construction on the northern edge of Nazareth, which began in April 2012.  At the edge of Nazareth you will reach a fence. Continue around to the right on the north site of the area, rejoining the marked trail closer to the gas station on road 700 below.

The map below was made when the construction began and still is relevant today, but you may need to take a slightly wider detour to pass the affected area.
Updated November 27, 2012

Jesus Trail in The New York Times!

Check out the latest press on the Jesus Trail, a feature in The New York Times, entitled Hiking Through Biblical Backcountry! Join author Brad Wetzler on his journey from Nazareth to Capernaum:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/travel/hiking-through-biblical-backcountry.html?pagewanted=allPhoto by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

 

2012 Jesus Trail Free Map Available


The Jesus Trail team is proud to announce that the new Jesus Trail Free Map (3rd edition) is now available, both in hard copy and PDF download!

The Jesus Trail Free Map is a colorful brochure with an overview of the Jesus Trail, including a sketch map, descriptions of the points of interest, elevation chart, list of accommodations, transportation information and more. The map was generously sponsored by local businesses, including accommodations, taxi drivers and local attractions.

Get your copy today! You can download the PDF now, or please send your mailing address to freemap@jesustrail.com to receive a hard copy in the mail for free. This map is shipped from Nazareth, Israel and may take 2-3 weeks for delivery.

The paper copy of the map is available at many locations in Nazareth and Jerusalem, including the Fauzi Azar Inn, Jerusalem Tourist Information at Jaffa Gate, and the Abraham Hostel. If you would like Jesus Trail maps at your location, just let us know.

[Download Jesus Trail Free Map]

*The Jesus TrailFree Map is intended as an informational overview for planning and not for navigational purposes. We recommend that hikers obtain the Jesus Trail guidebook, which has high resolution topographical section maps.

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