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The Gospel Trail – the complete trail

Bike Tour
Walking Tour
The Gospel Trail – the complete trail
  • Experience the valley and mountain panorama on foot.
  • The average duration of the tour is around three and a half walking days, but it can be done in short sections, and camp sites along the route are accessible by car.

The Gospel Trail begins at Mt. Precipice near the largest Arab city in Israel – Nazareth. At this vantage point there is a very special view of the Jezreel Valley with its rural villages and farming settlements, Mt. Tabor, Ha-Moreh Hill, Deborah Mountain and the Gilboa.

The route continues south Mt. Deborah and the Barak Stream. We cross over the tunnel of Highway 60 and continue moving eastward, between the cities of Nazareth and Nazareth Illit and the Arab village of Dabburiye. North of Ikhsal village we enter the Churchill Forest. The road arrives at the Barak Ben-Avinoam streambed – named after Deborah the Prophetess' army captain who fought against Sisera and the peoples of Canaanite Hazor.

A trail marked red follows the route of the streambed, the Israel National Trail crosses the stream and the trail marked black ascends a wide path to Mt. Deborah. The Gospel Trail continues east to the Beit Keshet Forest, adjacent to Kibbutz Beit Keshet, and follows the panoramic road that traverses the forest.

We pass an observation point towards Mt. Tabor and later we reach a point where a secondary trail branches out leading to Mt. Tabor. At the foot of the mountain is the small town of Kfar Tavor, which was one of the settlements established by Baron de Rothschild, and the villages of Dabburiye and Shibli.

A founding scene of Christianity occurred on Mt. Tabor where in front of his pupils eyes Jesus changed from a flesh and blood human into a figure that was half human half god. In the Transfiguration, for a short while, Jesus joined Moses and Elijah the prophet who were seated next to God in heaven. The church at the top of the mountain is of course dedicated to this event.

We continue through the panorama to the largest Tabor Oaks forest in Israel and northwards arriving at the Goval Mound, a biblical mound that overlooks the surroundings.

The road continues east, enter the Lavi Forest and Kibbutz Lavi, a religious kibbutz where one can experience Israeli agriculture. Along the way there are ancient wine presses.  We walk near the wheat fields of the Arbel plateau, bypassing a reservoir and arriving at the foot of the Horns of Hattin, where the famous battle between Saladin's army and the Crusaders took place in 1187. Continue to Nabi Shu'ayb, a Druse holy site, traditionally identified as the tomb of Jethro, father-in-law to Moses.

The road continues and ascends the Arbel Mountain, passing alongside the agricultural village of Arbel. The main route continues downstream on the ancient road, the Arbel Mountain and its cliffs on the one side and the Nittai Mountain on the other.

Some of the caves visible on the cliffs were used by people as living quarters, principally by monks. The path continues on its way to the Sea of Galilee, and the walk is through bountiful grapefruit, mangos and olives groves of the fertile Ginosar valley. The path continues at the foot of the agricultural settlement of Migdal. Ancient Magdala, the origin of Mary Magdalene, Jesus' pupil, is on the nearby shore of the Sea of Galilee. At Ein Nun (Nun spring) the spring waters collect in a shallow pool of clear water that was restored for the launching of the Gospel Trail project.

We continue to Tabgha – the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. The modern Church of the Multiplication rests on the sites of previous churches dating back to the Byzantine era. The building contains a basilica characteristic of ancient times. The mosaic floors are exceptionally beautiful and precise.

We exit the church area and continue northwards to the adjacent church that belongs to the Catholic-Franciscan Order. It is much smaller and more humble, and it commemorates the primacy awarded here by Jesus to Peter over the other disciples, asking him in fact to continue his mission and become the father of the Christian community.

The Gospel Promenade begins from Tabgha and was established for the visit by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. We continue on the path until the Capernaum National Park where we can see the ruins of a city that was once and is no more. The important sites are the Capernaum synagogue where Jesus did miracles and taught, as well as the home of Peter and the Byzantine Church that was built upon it. A modern Franciscan (Catholic) church rests upon the remnants of an ancient church.

We return to the promenade and continue along it until the next access road that stretches towards the shore of the Sea of Galilee and the Church of the Twelve Apostles – the Greek Orthodox church of Capernaum, with its rose colored domes. We arrive at a cultivated area with rest rooms and a jetty designed for sailing boats taking tourists on the Sea of Galilee. Here, alongside a large basalt stone engraved with a schematic drawing of the Gospel Trail, the trail reaches its end. 

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