The Gospel Trail

 

The gospel trail is located in Israel's Galilee region, and it connects important sites from the life of Jesus. The trail is over 60 km in length, and can be accessed by car, bicycle or even on foot. The trail's importance has brought many Christian pilgrims from across the globe to visit, to gain a real life experience reminiscent of the days of Jesus.

The Gospel Trail follows a similar route to that of the Jesus Trail, which was established in 2007. The newer Gospel Trail was opened to the public in 2011, following a heavy investment by the Ministry of Tourism of the Israeli Government.

The Gospel Trail itinerary divides the 62 km route into four stages. The first stage ranges from Nazareth to the Devorah Mountains, and it is 18km long. Some of the magnificent scenes along this stage include several temples, churches and mosques. In addition, the city of Nazareth, the Jezreel valley, the Samaritan Mountains, Mount Tabor, the Carmel Ridge and Megido are all integrated in this part of the trail. This area is mentioned widely in the bible, namely when the towns people wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff (Luke 4:23-30).

The second stage of the Gospel Trail covers the area between the Beit Keshet Forest and the Tur’an Valley. 14 kilometers in length, this segment of the route comes alive in spring, with beautiful blooming flowers and trees. The trail passes through the Beit Keshert oak reserve, which was created to protect the Mt Tabor oak trees. Along the route, there is a trail branching out to the west which leads to the village of Kafr Kana. According to tradition, this is the famous village where Jesus performed His first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:3-9).

The third part of the Gospel Trail is the Arbel valley. Connecting Kibbutz Lavi with Migdal. It passes through the Arbel River. 16 kilometers in length, this part of the trail includes 4 km of rocky and arid terrain, leading to a cultivated area that dates back to the days of the New Testament. This is believed to be the area where Jesus and his disciples picked some wheat grains during the Sabbath (Mark 23:2). Leaving the main trail, visitors can view the burial site of Moses' father in-law, Jethro. Another important site on the route is the Horns of Hattin, where Muslim forces defeated the Crusader armies in 1187.

The last part of the route covers Gennesaret valley and the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus preached to the crowd on the beach.

The Gospel Trail is an exciting attraction for any visitor to Israel. A short two hour drive from Jerusalem, it can easily be integrated in a pilgrimage to the Holy City and the various Christian sites within.