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Nazareth and Bethlehem

Scottsbluff...
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Nazareth and Bethlehem

I have been following the Israel forum for a few weeks as we will be heading to Israel in October as part of a small group tour. I have seen mentioned many of the Biblical sites to visit. My question is why Nazareth and Bethlehem are never mentioned as places to visit. We are planning overnite stays in both places. I have not seen tour itineraries where these two places are mentioned. Is there a reason these two places are less visited or not included in tour itineraries? Thanks.

NYC/Israel
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1. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

Welcome to the Israel forum.

Bethlehem is constantly mentioned as a place to go. It is a 1/2 day or full day trip from Jerusalem ( but of course, you can stay over) Bethlehem is also spoken about in the "Palestinian territories" forums.

Nazareth is mentioned to. Most say it is crowded with loads of traffic. I am not sure if it is necessary to spend the night there. There isn't that much to see.

There is also a Nazareth subforum--have you gone there.

Bethlehem is discussed in " Top Questions" so I feel you comment that they are never mentioned as places to visit, is inaccurate. Also realize the topics discussed are those raised by people posting. The regulars on the forum do not control what is asked. We just answer.

Edited: 06 August 2014, 21:07
Scottsbluff...
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2. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

Thank you. That was very helpful.

Israel
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3. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

Both places are mentioned frequently with regards to Christian pilgramage tours. Both have many sites to visit and see and are worthy of at least one full day each, although a half day could be sufficient. Please take onto consideration that driving in Nazareth can be a nightmare. Not just the traffic but the streets have no names or street signs(except 3 main streets) making driving around very frustrating.

If you are on a guided private tour both towns can be requested, its all a matter of what you are interested im seeing.

Chana

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4. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

Bethlehem isn't technically in Israel. It's in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. And it's nearly always included on a traditional Christian pilgrimage experience. A half-day in that city is sufficient from Jerusalem. You'll want to visit Shepherds Field and the Church of the Nativity.

Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel. It is always included on a Catholic Holy Land pilgrimage. Many Protestant oriented tours also include Nazareth, but some evangelical programs do not. I don't see justification for spending the night in Nazareth. There's enough to keep you busy for a half-day at most. Here are the key sites in Nazareth:

1. Basilica of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph

2. Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel

3. "Synagogue Church" under the auspices of the Melkite Greek Catholics

4. Nazareth Village - a Protestant evangelical educational institution that re-creates the typical Jewish village in Galilee at the time of Jesus of Nazareth

For those who have time for a good meal in Nazareth, the famous "Diana" Restaurant is amazing!

Scottsbluff...
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5. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

I guess we are four nites in Restal Hotel Tiberia, two nites in Geneva Hotel Amman, and four nites in Nativity Hotel in Bethlehem. Any thoughts on this? You all are so helpful and I appreciate the input you all share with all those who inquire. Thank you.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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6. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

You are on a small group bus tour. That means you have no real influence on the hotels that have been selected. So why ask for our opinion? It can't be changed. Right?

You will be staying in Bethlehem and not at all in Jerusalem? This isn't ideal. It means you'll be "commuting" back and forth through the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem each day.

I'm assuming this is a Catholic-oriented tour?

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

My personal opinion? Not staying in Jerusalem? Huge miss. I stayed at the Abraham Hostel and loved it! So many activities and day trips offered by them...just my humble opinion.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

Is the local tour group you will be travelling with Palestinian? That might account for the venues chosen for accommodation. Bethlehem hotel accommodation is cheaper than Jerusalem, which also may have been a consideration. My preference would definitely be to stay in Jerusalem rather than Bethlehem for 4 days, but I have stayed in Bethlehem for one night on a tour and the hotel was very nice (not so good at dealing with special diets if that is an issue with anyone in your group).

Nazareth is a little disappointing in some ways for Protestant Christians. Mainly the sites people visit there are Catholic or orthodox churches put there to mark locations which may or may not be authentic. I enjoyed Nazareth Village (mentioned by Dave - website here: http://www.nazarethvillage.com ) and also Mt. Precipice, which has stunning views of the Jezreel Valley www.biblewalks.com/Sites/mtprecipice.html

9. Re: Nazareth and Bethlehem

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