Most Christian tours to Israel follow a predictable route. Begin in Tel Aviv, work your way up the coast, and spend a few days in Galilee before driving south to Jerusalem. Time is short.
But if you find yourself in Israel with a day or so to burn, you might want to try something unusual. This post will highlight 5 things to do in Israel you probably haven’t considered.
I wrote last week about volunteer opportunities for Christians in Israel—a wonderful way to demonstrate our faith in the land we call holy.
Whether you’re into learning, walking, climbing, talking, or thinking you’ll likely find one of these uncommon activities inviting.
This is at the top of my list for good reason. This moshav allows visitors the opportunity to overnight in scenic guesthouses near Jerusalem.
The Messianic community’s “Biblical Village” provides guests and pilgrims informative, hands-on opportunities to learn and experience Israeli and biblical culture through a variety of workshops and courses.
- The community offers an educational experience including features of biblical culture and horticulture, like a wheat field, a threshing floor, grapevines, a watchtower, olive trees, an olive press, and winepresses.
- Visitors can experience customs of ancient Israel and can see reproductions of Bedouin tents, a Galilean synagogue, and even a burial cave.
- Yad Hashmonah is also another great place to volunteer.
The Moshav Yad Hashmonah is located near biblical Kiriath Jearim—another great reason to visit.
Jerusalem Ropes Course
Best experienced as a group, the ropes course in Jerusalem combines the experience of teamwork and bonding with the excitement of pure fun.
- A number of outdoor training activities with high and low ropes encourage unity and creative thinking among family and friends.
- Activities include the Sky Swing, the Zipline, the Rope Sandal Challenge, and more.
Need something closer to the ground? Read on.
The Kinneret Trail
Most of this 60-kilometer path around the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) is open, passing by biblical sites (like Capernaum and the Jordan River), nature preserves, and breathtaking panoramas.
- Whether you want a long hike, an afternoon stroll, a path to bike on, or a place to bird watch, the Kinneret Trail will do the trick.
- The northern shore allows you to enjoy the land of Jesus up close, with signs and markers to guide you.
- This map shows the trail around the lake.
This Kinneret Trail around the Sea of Galilee also ties in to the Jesus Trail and the Israel National Trail.
(Photo: The Kinneret Trail beside the Sea of Galilee. By Hanay, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
The Galilee Foundation for Value Education
Tourists, youth groups, schools, and families have the opportunity to attend sessions from educators located in Galilee. Alongside the biblical sites from various periods are today communities of Jews, Bedouin, Druze, and Arabs.
Seminars by the Galilee Foundation for Value Education—lasting from one hour to two weeks—allow students to come to a better understanding of the complexity of the multicultural issues in the region.
The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC)
Because Christianity finds its roots in the ancient Hebrew faith of the Bible, many Christians will enjoy the education and conversation that occurs at the CJCUC.
- The center hosts daylong seminars that offer Christians insight into Jewish tradition and the significance of Israel to Christians.
- The environment fosters healthy and mutually respectful dialogue for Christian tour groups in a setting located in biblical Efrat, near Bethlehem.
These are only 5 ideas of unusual things to do in Israel. The list is endless.