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.
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.
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!
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 the 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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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 great 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.