Nazareth
Israel
By Libby Peck

A soft orange haze hangs in the air at sunset over patchwork hills of dry grasses, rocks, and dirt as you gaze down at squares and domes popping out of the valley spread below you. With thousands of years of rich religious history and a harmonious population of both Christian and Arab settlers, the Israeli city of Nazareth is an absolute must-visit for travelers of the world. The home of Joseph and Mary attracts millions of pilgrims from around the world to see the storied sites of Jesus’ childhood and the Annunciation! Won’t you join them in exploring the culture and history Nazareth has to share?

Begin your adventure to the majestic Middle East by flying into Nazareth’s closest airport, Ben Gurlon International Airport (TLV). WhatsCheaper.com would love to help you find the lowest price on your flight, so just click the following link to begin: (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php)! This airport is about two hours away from the city center, so make sure your lodging is ready for your arrival! WhatsCheaper.com can help you find the lowest rates on rooms as well—please click through this link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) so we can continue to help.

Make sure to bring your walking shoes for this trip. Yes, there are roads, but you’ll have a lot of trouble navigating them and even more moving through traffic! If you’re brave, WhatsCheaper.com suggests giving this a shot, but be advised that you’ll be able to walk all of central Nazareth. Be sure to first check out Mary’s Well, which is the symbol of Nazareth, as this is where the angel Gabriel told Mary she would bear the son of God. Also look into the site next to Mary’s Well; stone arches traced back to a Roman bath house can be found here!

Continue your tour by moving on to the churches of Nazareth. WhatsCheaper.com advises you begin at the Basilica of the Annunciation, built above the grotto where Mary received the Annunciation. This modern church still contains remnants from Crusader and Byzantine eras on the lower level and contains more contemporary design on the second level housing a very large collection of Christian art. This is the largest church in the Middle East and one of the holiest sites in Christianity, and its giant dome rises above the rest of the city sky.

While at the Basilica, WhatsCheaper.com wants you to walk through the garden and courtyard to the connected St. Joseph’s Church. Built in the 1900s on the remains of a Crusader church, it is said that Joseph’s workshop is in the basement of this building making it another crucial holy site to see.  In Greek Orthodox tradition, Mary received the Annunciation at a spring, and that church is in Nazareth as well! The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation is also certainly worth a visit.

Want to explore the Arabic influences of the city?  WhatsCheaper.com advises seeking out El Mas-jad El Abiad, or the white mosque. The first mosque built in Nazareth, love and respect are the two main tenants of belief here. Be sure to take off your shoes in any carpeted areas! The food here has all Arabic influences and is readily available—and delicious! While you’re at the Church of the Annunciation, walk up the hill a ways to arrive at a “souq.” The Arab market will have interesting and unique souvenirs for sale.

WhatsCheaper.com hopes to see you book a trip to Nazareth soon. Whether your pilgrimage is for religious reasons or otherwise, we’re certain your trip to this Middle Eastern gem will be unforgettable.

MUST SEE IN Nazareth LIST:

  • 1. Megiddo
  • 2. Basilica of Annunciation
  • 3. Ancient Bath House
  • 4. Galilee Mill
  • 5. Saint Gabriel's Church
  • 6. Nazareth Village
  • 7. Old Market
  • 8. Cana
  • 9. Mary's Well
  • 10. Synagogue Church

Nazareth EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Israeli Independence Day - April
  • 2. Christmas Market - December

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