Raring to visit Israel at least once in your lifetime? Why not? It is home to many sacred sites which we ought to see and appreciate. Also known as the ‘Land of the Bible’, Israel is home to several of the most sacred sites in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Pilgrims from these three monotheistic religions are compelled to visit these holy places at least once in their lifetime.  Pilgrimages, which is a journey to sacred sites, have been part of the plans of every believer as acts of devotion, penance, thanksgiving, seeking blessings, or even miracles.

Here are some interesting sites you might want to include in your itinerary (or what we call “Tour Highlights“), especially when you visit Israel around Christmas season:


Church of Annunciation
Church of Annunciation (Image by Meteor)

Located in Nazareth, this is the site and the church that celebrates the news from Gabriel that Mary would give birth to Jesus. (John 1:14)


This is located at the hills of the Christian Palestinian village of Beit Sahour , just outside of Bethlehem. According to John 10:11, the angels’ good news was not given to the nobles or pious, but to the shepherds. Note that during those times, being a shepherd was a low reputation in Jewish society, yet Jesus identified himself as a “Good Shepherd”.

Shepherds' Field
Chapel of Shepherds' Field
The Chapel of Shepherds’ Field marks the place where, according to Catholic tradition, angels first announced the birth of Christ. (Image by Wikipedia)


The Church of Nativity is a UNESCO Heritage site. It is the oldest church in the Christian world, and it is built on the site of Christ’s birth. It has no pews, but it is decorated with wall mosaics dating as far back as the 12th century. The church is located in Bethlehem, in the West Bank. Being the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the church holds a very prominent religious significance to Christian denominations all over the world.

Grotto of the Nativity
A passage to the right of the iconostasis (the carved screen in front of the main altar) leads to a dimly-lit rock cave that houses the Grotto of the Nativity. Pilgrims need to stoop low to enter, as the entrance is only 1.2 meters high. Under the grotto’s altar, a 14-pointed star marks the exact spot where Jesus was born. (Image by UNESCO)


The Via Dolorosa, “Sorrowful Way”, often translated as “Way of Suffering”, is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to the path that Jesus walked on his way to crucifixion. The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress up to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with a distance of about 600 meters (2000 feet) is a celebrated site for Christian pilgrims.

Via Dolorosa or Stations of the Cross
Established since the 15th century, the route has 14 stations, 9 stations along the route, while 5 stations inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


Another exciting tour highlight is visiting the site as stated in Matthew 14:26-27, “Where Jesus walked on the water”.

Boats at the Sea of Galilee
One of the boats in the Sea of Galilee depicting traditional boats during the time of Jesus.
Activities during the Sea of Galilee Cruise
Groups or individuals may enjoy several activities during the cruise.

Group activities during the Sea of Galilee Cruise
The cruise may also include an activity that is part of the pilgrimage objectives.

The cruise will sail along historical sites,  such as Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes and Tabgha, where tour leader may  lead you in joint prayers, or provide a geographical and historic explanation about the area.   It may include mass, a sermon or any ceremony or events such as : intimate leisure boat trips, special occasion boat trips for Weddings, Birthdays or any celebration, office parties and team building, or just a pilgrim exposure trip.

You will have an opportunity during the sail to learn Israel’s folk dancing. The dances will not only connect you to the people and place you are visiting, but are bound to uplift your spirits in that great magical journey for the soul and mind.

Sea of Galilee Boat Ride Certificate
Sea of Galilee Boat Ride Certificate (Image from jesusboats.com)

At the end of the journey, you will receive a participation certificate for you to take home and share with your loved ones. This certificate shows to all that you have taken part and seen a piece of the Holy Land history.

Generally the cruise lasts between 45 minutes to an hour. A longer sail may be arranged upon request.


Yardenit, baptism site at the Jordan River

One important tour highlight if you want to visit Israel once in your lifetime in a pilgrimage is the Yardenit or the traditional baptismal site. This is located along the Jordan River in the Galilee Region, south of the river’s outlet from the Sea of Galilee. Acknowledged to be the site of Jesus’ baptism, pilgrims who wish to be baptized in the same place as Jesus was are accommodated here.

Above are just few of the many tour highlights one may opt to see when they visit Israel.
For more information on Israel, check out the Israel Ministry of Tourism site.

For tour package schedule, check out our offered tours to Israel, we will be glad to assist you as you plan to visit Israel at least once in your lifetime!