After you are picked up from your hotel the private tour takes you north to the Galilee. The first stop is at Tel Megiddo, an archaeological mound overlooking the Jezreel Valley where the remains of 26 ancient cities have been uncovered. Megiddo is a UNESCO site and is believed to be Armageddon, where the New Testament places the Final Battle. While here you can see the Late Bronze Age city gate; an ancient circular shrine and excavated stables that belonged to the Israelites.
From Megiddo the tour continues to Nazareth, home to Israel's largest Christian population. As Christ's childhood home, Nazareth is a major Christian pilgrimage destination. The magnificent Church of the Annunciation marks where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her of the son she would have. Visit the Church of Saint Gabriel, built above an underground spring where the Eastern Orthodox Church believes Mary was drawing water when the annunciation took place. Before leaving Nazareth explore the city's traditional market and look out across the rooftops of Nazareth from an observation point.
The next stop is Sepphoris (Tzippori or Zippori), once a major Roman city and birthplace of the Virgin Mary. In Sepphoris, you can visit an excavated 5th-century basilica built to commemorate the birth of Mary and see an ancient Roman theater. Sepphoris is famed for its 2nd-7th century mosaics which once covered the Roman city's public streets and buildings. As this is a private tour you can adjust the schedule and include alternative stops in the area. For example, you could visit the Biblical town of Kfar Cana, where Christ turned water into wine or Mt. Tabor, site of Christ's Transfiguration. Other possible stops are Beit She'arim, site of a 3rd-4th century necropolis; a local kibbutz, or halva factory in Nazareth.
If you choose you can include stops at other top tourist destinations in the region:
1. Kfar Cana – A New Testament village associated with the miracle of the transformation of wine into water and the site of the famous Wedding Church.
2. Mount Tabor – Situated on the edge of the Jezreel Valley and known as the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus.
3. Beit She'arim – This national park encompasses the ancient Jewish town of Beit She'arim where a 3rd-4th century necropolis was the final resting place of important figures like Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi.
4. Tour of Kibbutz – Learn about traditional kibbutz life and get to know this pastoral community.
5. Nazareth Halva Factory - In Nazareth see how halva is made, sample the delicious sesame treat, and enjoy the hospitality of a local Arab family.