Nazareth is a city in Israel and the former hometown of Jesus Christ. Things to do in Nazareth include;
- Basilica of the Annunciation
- Gallery at the Basilica of the Annunciation
- Mary’s Well
- Jesus Trail
- Nazareth Old City
- Salesian Church (and view of the city)
I would recommend the Fauzi Azar Inn if you choose to stay in Nazareth as you can organize transport with them easily. They offer door to door shuttle services to Amman, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at prices similar to the local bus. Even if you don’t choose to stay with them you can still take advantage of the shuttle service.
Basilica of the Annunciation
The Basilica of the annunciation is located on the spot where it is believed the annunciation took place. The annunciation is the announcement by Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus Christ. This church was built in 1969 on top of an older church. Additionally, the grotto of annunciation is located in the basement which is believed to be the childhood home of the Virgin Mary.
Gallery at the Basilica of the Annunciation
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation is a gallery of mosaics from several countries representing Marian devotions. Above are pictured the mosaics of Colombia, Wales, Scotland, El Salvador and Portugal. It’s fun looking for your countries mosaic as they are spread out all around and inside of the church. Some countries have donated larger mosaics than others, the mosaic of Germany was the most impressive by far. Good luck hunting your countries mosaic!
There is another location in Nazareth, the Greek Orthodox Church where it is also believed the annunciation took place. This church is built over Mary’s Well where it is believed she was standing when Angel Gabriel made the announcement to her.
The Jesus Trail is quite a hike, it is over a 65 km walk from Nazareth to Galilee. I walked on the Jesus trail for around 1 km, from Nazareth up to the Salesian church. There are quite a lot of stairs on this part of the walk so take water if you make the walk during hot seasons. If you have time to take the full trail, there is detailed information on the Jesus Trail website. A reward for walking this small part of the trail is that from the Salesian church is a wonderful panoramic of the city and surroundings.
Nazareth Old City
Most of the points of interest of Nazareth are located in the Old City. In fact, there are a few more things to do in Nazareth which I have not mentioned. These include the Cactus ancient bath house and the White Mosque. As well as visiting these, it’s also fun to randomly explore these historic streets. There are cute bazaars and restaurants as well as people going about their daily business within the old city.
The Salesian Church is also known as the Basilica of Jesus the Adolescent. This church is most famous for the wonderful panoramic views over Nazareth. Is there a more rewarding city to look over than the hometown of Jesus Christ?
Panoramic View of Nazareth
The view of Nazareth from the Salesian Church makes the short walk on the Jesus Trail worthwhile. The mountain visible in the distance is Mount Tabor. As a matter of fact the full Jesus Trail will take you to this mountain. If you do take the walk to Mount Tabor you’ll be rewarded with brilliant views over the Sea of Galilee. Another mountain visible from the Salesian church viewpoint is Mount Precipice. This is the hill where the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.
How to get the Bus from Nazareth to Amman
You can organise a direct shuttle from Nazareth to Amman Jordan through the Fauzi Amar Inn in Old Town Nazareth. The guys make this trip 3 times a week so know exactly what is required in passing over the Israel / Jordan border. In addition, most nationalities including UK, European, US and Australian can get a visa on arrival at the border.