7 Places to Visit in Israel for Second Time Travelers
It’s amazing the number of holy sites that absolutely cannot be missed when traveling to Israel, but how about second time travelers? There are so many wonderful sites that are worth returning for. It would take several months of visiting Israel to stop at every significant site and since the average person will not have the time and money for such a trip, we have compiled a list of our top sites for second time visitors to Israel.
Experience Jesus’ childhood town the way he would have known it at Nazareth Village. The village essentially serves as a living history museum that allows visitors to encounter first century life in much the same way Jesus would have. This site features a meticulously researched recreation of the farm and village that existed while Jesus was growing up. Replicas of a synagogue, houses, olive press and more give guests a glimpse of first century architecture while villagers dressed in traditional clothing interact with guests and demonstrate the daily lives of those who lived during the New Testament.
Visitors will also be led by guides through living representations of Jesus’ parables. There is no better way to understand the lessons these parables teach than by seeing them come to life in the context that they were originally created.
The City of David
The City of David is an archaeological park dating to the pre-Babylonian times and considered to be the place where King David built his kingdom. In fact, it’s considered the birthplace of Jerusalem!
The tour of the City of David attracts tourists from all over the world and offers an exciting experience where you will go back in time to the streets of the Bible, learn about the history of the Jews in the city, see ruins that depict the amazing homes that use to belong to Biblical times socialites, and bump into archaeologists currently working on new discoveries.
The underground water system of the time of Abraham still exists, so prepare to get your feet wet! Actually, during the tour you can choose to take a different path where you will not step into the waters of the Gihon Spring, but we highly suggest the water route… it’s lots of fun, we promise!
One of our Israel Tours includes the City of David and it takes about 3 hours. If you decide to walk in the canals of water, you can purchase water shoes and flashlights at the gift shop. The water reaches up to 28 inches, and the use of candles or walking barefoot is prohibited.
The Western Wall Tunnels
The Western Wall is an impressive site to visit with ritual importance to Israelites and people around the world, but what if you could go behind the scenes and learn about King Solomon’s temple built during the Iron Age (10th Century BCE) or discover the challenges King Herod the Great faced while building this enormous project?
The walls are the closest spot to the destroyed Jewish temple and this is considered one of the holiest sites for Jews. The surrounding area is also important to Muslims because of the Temple Mount and to Christians which considered the site a holy place during the Crusader period.
The tunnel exposes 485 meters of the wall, so you will learn about the construction methods, see archaeological findings, and also see the Western Stone, one of the heaviest objects ever lifted by humans, especially without construction equipment!
In order to tour the Western Wall Tunnels, you must join a guided tour and our Roots of Your Faith II tours takes you there! The tour offers a glimpse of the impressive history behind the walls, the research and the struggle to save significant ancient archeological sites discovered throughout the years in this underground city that lies beneath Jerusalem.
Qasr El Yahud
Also known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan, this is the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. The site only recently reopened in 2011 after being closed for 44 years after the 6 Day War of 1967.
While it is most famous for Jesus’s baptism, there are other significant Biblical accounts that occurred here as well. This is the general area where Joshua and the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River to reach Jericho, located just a short distance from Qasr El Yahud. It is also widely accepted as the site where Elijah handed the prophesy to Elisha before ascending to heaven in the fiery chariot.
The steep cliffs of Mount Arbel in the Lower Galilee offer a stunning view of the Golan Heights. Not only does the mountain offer remarkable beauty, it also provides historical significance. The cliffs are dotted with natural caves, which once served as the hiding places for Jewish Hasmonean rebels who fought against Herod and the Romans.
Mount Arbel is also a part of the Jesus Trail, a popular hiking trail through the Galilee, which connects significant sites from the life of Christ. The Mount Arbel section connects Nazareth to Capernaum.
On the Sea of Galilee’s northeastern shore is a lush, fertile plain known as Bethsaida. The plains of Bethsaida are most famous for being the location where Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000 as described in Mark 6:30. The plain is spacious with many flat hills that would have served as an ideal gathering place for a multitude of people. The Gospel of Mark also names Bethsaida as the place where Jesus healed the blind man and restored his sight.
Today’s visitors can explore the ruins of the ancient town that was also the home of three of Jesus’ apostles, Phillip, Andrew, and Peter. The remains of a fisherman’s house, identified by the lead net weights found in the rubble, and a winemaker’s house complete with preserved wine cellar are open to the public.
The town of Mitzpe Ramon is located at the edge of the Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev Desert. The Ramon Crater is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it is not a true crater, but rather a makhtesh. A makhtesh is a geological landform found only in Israel’s Negev Desert and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. A breathtaking view of the Ramon Crater can be enjoyed from the visitor’s center perched atop the makhtesh’s edge.
Another unique experience that Mitzpe Ramon has to offer comes from the Bedouin camps that can be spotted throughout the area. A visit to a Bedouin camp lets travelers experience true Middle Eastern hospitality as the Bedouin people shower guests with food and entertainment.
Each of these sites, along with many others, are included in the new Roots of Your Faith II tour. This tour is designed specifically for second time visitors to Israel and allows travelers to reach another layer of experiencing the Holy Land. Here are some more highlights offered by the Roots of Your Faith II Tour:
- Mount Precipice- the location of the rejection of Jesus after he declared that he was Messiah
- Sepphoris- the capital of Galilee during the time of Jesus
- Magdala- the fishing village and hometown of Mary the Magdalene
- Peter’s Fish Lunch- enjoy a traditional tilapia meal, the staple that Jesus’ disciples fished for
- Mensa Christi- the rock where Jesus and his disciples dined after his resurrection
- Kursi- where Jesus cast the demons into a herd of swine
- Mount Gilboa- the location where King Saul fought the Philistines and was killed
- Gideon’s Spring- where Gideon’s warriors drank for the “water test”
- Chad Hashayarot- visit a Bedouin camp for an authentic cultural experience
- Avdat- the Nabatean town who accepted Christ during the Byzantine era
- Beer Sheva- archaeological site where Abraham’s well can be seen
- Ella Valley- the place where David conquered Goliath
- Temple Institute- an organization dedicated to the Holy Temple of Jerusalem
- Israel Museum- Israel’s national museum
- Friends of Zion Heritage Museum- museum dedicated to honoring gentiles who have helped the Jewish people and the nation of Israel
- Temple Mount- Holy site where the Dome of the Rock is located
- Yad Vashem- museum dedicated to those effected by the Holocaust
- Emmaus- the town where Jesus appeared after his resurrection
To learn more about the Roots of Your Faith II, please contact our office at 1-877-248-8687 and ask for details or click here.