Following the footsteps of Jesus, takes a whole new meaning by following the "Gospel Trail". "And leaving the city Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capharnaum on the sea coast …" (Matthew 4:13). From Mount of Precipice on the southern outskirts of Nazareth to Capernaum, you can visit the same places and see the same landscapes that Jesus visited and saw.
The Gospel Trail offers a golden opportunity to discover the cradle of Christianity in the Galilee. Follow the trail down the paths Jesus is believed to have taken when he left his childhood town of Nazareth for Capernaum, located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee and which became his center of ministry. The main portion of the trail will open in the spring of 2011 and the rest will open by year end.
To enhance your experience, you will be able to choose how you want to travel the trail – by foot, bike or car, or even by sailing down the length of the Sea of Galilee. What’s more, you can even combine them on various segments. Choose what’s right for you based on your personal preferences and the level of difficulty you desire.
"And they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way." (Luke 4: 29-30)
The main portion of the route will start in Mount Precipice, Nazareth and end in Capernaum. The secondary paths will be shorter, branching off from the main route to attractive sites in the Galilee. From Mount Precipice the route takes you along the Nazareth Range, where you can see the landscapes of Mount Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration, Kafr Kanna and the Turan Valley, via the Golani Junction and the Horns of Hattin, site of the clash between the Crusader forces and the Muslim armies under Saladin.
The route will then descend down the Arbel cliffs in the direction of the Sea of Galilee, until reaching Migdal and the antiquities of ancient Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene. From Magdala, the route will continue northward along the Sea of Galilee to the holy triangle – Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum, and down the length of the Sea of Galilee on the promenade, taking in the magnificent views, until we reach our final destination – Capernaum churches, National Park and dock.
Sea of Galilee
The secondary routes of the Gospel Trail will be in what is known as the Holy Basin, branching off into short trails from Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes, House of Galilee (Domus Galilaeae), Chorazin and Bethsaida. All of these routes will end at the main destination at the Capernaum center, where trekkers will enjoy the encounter with the water, sophisticated dock with boats at their service, prayer areas and inspirational solitude on the beach, as well as diverse tourism services – rest and refreshment, information, food, tourism products, tours, transportation and restrooms. Additional secondary routes will connect to the main route from Kafr Kanna and Sepphoris, Mount Tabor, Horns of Hattin and Mount Arbel.
The Gospel Trail: who’s behind it
The driving forces behind the Gospel Trail are the Ministry of Tourism, Israel Government Tourist Corporation and the Jewish National Fund, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Galilee Development Authority, Israel Antiquities Authority and others are also partners. The local authorities down the length of the Gospel Trail are also involved with the project: Lower Galilee, Jordan Valley, Jezreel Valley, Nazareth, Tiberias, Kafr Kanna, Migdal and many others.
The Galilee, the center of Jesus' ministry has always welcomed and will continue to welcome Christian pilgrims looking to get closer to the roots of their faith on the Gospel Trail.