Nazareth to Capernaum + Tiberias to Yardenit to Mt. Tabor to Nazareth
Distance: 128 km (80 miles)
Difficulty: 3/5 – Intermediate to Advanced
Time: 11 nights, 9 walking days
Hiking Tour Itinerary
Arrival Day 1
Arrive in Nazareth in the evening and settle into the tranquil old-world ambiance of the Fauzi Azar Inn, a restored 18th-century Arab mansion, replete with painted ceilings and marble floors. Relax some sweet mint tea in the common room and meet other travelers. Tuck in to hearty regional specialties at dinner, and recover from your journey with a good night’s sleep.
Day 2– Nazareth (optional: contact us to arrange tour without day in Nazareth)
Start your day with a fresh and healthy Arabic breakfast and a leisurely coffee before embarking on a tour of old city Nazareth. Wander the meandering old city streets, breath in the smell of spices, soak in history and spirituality at ancient churches, and haggle for souvenirs in the historic marketplace. Enjoy some free time to explore and grab lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, walk to Nazareth Village for a Parable Walk through a recreation of 1st century Nazareth, complete with houses, a synagogue, terraced farmland, and an olive press all authentically recreated in 1st century style. Enjoy regional specialties in a local restaurant and get a good night’s sleep.
Day 3– Village Walk from Nazareth to Cana (via Zippori) – 17 km
Eat a traditional breakfast of fresh pita bread, salads, sauces and eggs. Carry water and a packed lunch with you– the rest of your luggage will be transferred to your accommodations. Ascend out of the old city and walk through calm pastoral fields to Zippori National Park to visit the archeological ruins of the main administrative city in the Galilee at the time of Jesus. Admire the exquisite Byzantine mosaics, drink in the view from atop the Crusader fortress, and take a stroll through the ancient cistern system. Eat a packed lunch before returning to the trail through the small village of Meshhed to arrive at Cana, traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle. Take a rest and have a snack at Cana Wedding B&B before visiting the Orthodox and Catholic churches commemorating the water to wine miracle. Enjoy a homecooked meal with your hosts.
Day 4– Cana to Ilaniya – 12 km
Arise early for a hearty breakfast and do some stretching before ascending out of Cana to walk along a forest ridge with peaceful valley views. Eat your packed lunch in a pleasantly shaded forest. Enjoy the fresh air and uninterrupted nature. If you’re staying at Yarok Az Ecolodge in Ilaniya, arrive early and spend your afternoon learning about organic farming, permaculture, and the history of the small village of Ilaniya. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with your hosts.
Day 5– Ilaniya to Moshav Arbel – 19.0 km
Be sure to arise early to observe farm chores such as goat milking, and enjoy a breakfast complete with homemade goat cheese. Step onto an ancient Roman road, trodden upon by Roman centurions, up a pleasant hill dotted with ruins, to arrive at Kibbutz Lavi. Then continue across agricultural fields to ascend the Horns of Hattin– a volcanic structure where a famous Crusader battle took place. Relish your first glimpse of the Sea of Galilee and the sweeping views into Arbel Valley. Continue down the rocky hillside to Nebi Shu’eib, the holiest shrine for the Druze religion.
Visit the tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, and enjoy a packed lunch at the picnic area. After lunch, continue on the trail through Arbel Valley past ancient olive groves and the ruins of Hattin village. Rise out of the valley to Moshav Arbel, where you will stay in charming rustic cabins.
Day 6– Arbel to Capernaum – 17 km
Start early to catch a stunning sunrise from Arbel Cliff. Carefully descend the steep trail down the mount, passing ancient cliff dwellings and caves. Drink from the fresh spring at Wadi Hamam before continuing to Tabgha via rolling agricultural land. Explore the mosaics at Tabgha, the traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000. Continue around the northern side of the Sea of Galilee to visit the church of St. Peter. Ascend a small ridge to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Finish your journey at Capernaum by wandering the ruins of the city that was the center of Jesus’ ministry, and spending a moment of prayer in the church built over the home of Simon Peter. Take a taxi or bus for transportation to Tiberias
Day 7– Rest Day
Take a swim in the Sea of Galilee, visit ancient ruins, or just relax with a good book and rest your weary feet on a rest day in Tiberias, an ancient Roman city as well as modern beach town.
Day 8– Tiberias to Kibbutz Kinneret -12 km
Enjoy elevated views of the Sea of Galilee along this gentle flat section. Take a short detour to visit the Byzantine Anchor Church ruins at Bereniki. Bask in the shade of the Swiss Forest. Learn about the early kibbutz movement at Kinneret Moshava. Visit the grave of famous Israeli poet Rahel. End your day at Yardenit baptismal complex to encounter the Jordan River and even to be baptized or rebaptized yourself.
Day 9– Kibbutz Kinneret to Kfar Kish – 21 km
Enjoy breath-taking views as you climb out of the Rift Valley through remote wadis. You will walk through vast fields without water refill areas, so be sure to bring enough water! Observe lithe gazelles and unique scenery in this area that brings to mind the savannas of Africa. Feel the pulse of history at Tel Rekhesh, an archeological site in the process of excavation. Relax at a spacous zimmer in Kfar Kish with a glass of tea brewed from the on-site lush herb garden and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Get a good night’s sleep.
Day 10– Kfar Kish to Shibli – 19 km
Walk up and over Mount Tabor– it’s worth the effort for the sunset view! The mount features a beautiful Franciscan church complex and Crusader ruins. Mount Tabor is the traditional site of Jesus’ Transfiguration. The peaceful monastery and outstanding views make this site a highlight for any pilgrim. Walk down to the small town of Shibli for overnight in a Bedouin-style tent.
Day 11– Shibli to Nazareth – 14 km
This last day takes you back to Nazareth on forest trails and a scenic road with sweeping views. Feel the satisfaction of completing your journey on foot! Enjoy a well-deserved dinner and soak your muscles in the Turkish bath in Nazareth.
Day 12- Nazareth
Enjoy a typical Arab breakfast in historic Old City before continuing on to your next destination!
Total Distance: 128 kilometers (80 miles)