The Jesus Trail is a special hiking trail in Israel’s Galilee region, the land in which Jesus is said to have lived in the Bible. Opened in 2009 ahead of the The Pope’s visit to Nazareth, the Jesus Trail is a 40 mile long walking trail in the Galilee which follows the footsteps of Jesus. From Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, the trail winds its way through pretty towns and villages mentioned in the New Testament, to Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The trail was planned by Tour Guide Moaz Inon with the aim of enabling visitors to the region to “meet and interact with the multicultural nature of the people that are living in the Galilee today”. As such, the trail, which, if hiked in full is designed to take four days, passes through modern communities inhabited by Jews, Christians and Muslims, a nice and subtle modern day story complementing the Biblical stories of the land.
Leaving Nazareth, the Jesus Trail passes through varied settlements including Zippori which, in the time of Jesus was the center of the local Roman government, and the place where Jesus was thought to have worked as a carpenter. Today, Zippori is a small rural community, but also hosts a large National Park which includes the archaeological remains of the ‘Mona Lisa of the Galilee’ – a mosaic resembling the Mona Lisa.
Cana is of Biblical fame as the location of Jesus’ first miracle in which he is said to have turned water into wine. Winding its way through the streets of modern Kfar Kana, the trail sets hikers in a situation which truly brings the Bible to life. Further along is the topographical landmark of the Horns of Hittin famous as the spot where Salahaddin defeated the Crusaders, signalling a bloody end to the Second Crusade, and topographically important as a high spot from where breathtaking views to the Sea of Galilee can be enjoyed.
As the trial winds its way down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, more and more familiar places will pop up on the map and on the roadsigns including the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the famous Sermon on the Mount, and below, Tabgha, where the gospels of Mark and Matthew tell the parable of the loaves and the fish, and the feeding of the 500. The trail ends at Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Regardless of religious belief, the Jesus Trail is a great hiking trail whether you decide to take the four days to complete the whole route, or simply take short stops. The great thing about this trail is that it is planned with places to stay and eat along the way with great signage and incredible resources available on the Jesus Trail website.