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Talking about our first big backpacking trip is not easy, when we got back we always told each other that we would never have a trip like this again. We got a very cheap ticket through DELTA airlines. SP - ATLANTA - ISRAEL - NY (3 DAYS stopover) - SP for R$1120.00 with all the fees for all these stretches for each in 6 interest-free installments, we had just gotten married (1 year married), very few resources, but We considered buying this trip that would be historic. We found this one on the Melhores Destinos blog. On this backpacking trip we did NEW YORK+ISRAEL+EGYPT+GREECE+TURKEY.


We landed in Israel and already had a cup of tea at their Federal Police, after all they thought it was strange that a couple without any agency documents or guides was on a religious tourism trip with tickets for many countries, we stayed there for just 1 hour, I had to explain everything in English and prove that I was a Presbyterian reverend, after all my youth did not match the profile they expect from a reverend.

Leaving the airport we went to see the sunset on the beautiful beaches of TEL AVIV, reading blogs we discovered that it is one of the most beautiful on the planet, the sun descends over the sea forming a beautiful reddish layer on the horizon. Don't return from Israel without doing this!

Furthermore, Tel Aviv is a well-organized city, very popular and full of attractions and lots of felines walking around the city. We went to a fair full of typical foods and religious artifacts being sold, despite being tired we managed to enjoy it very well!


On the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, lies one of Israel's most impressive archaeological sites: the National Antiquities Park. Located in the city of Caesarea, the space houses the ruins of the ancient palace of King Herod the Great, built in the first century BC. The name Caesarea (Caesarea) is a tribute to the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. The ruins of the park show the grandeur of the monuments at the time. The complex housed a large port, alongside entertainment facilities such as the amphitheater and hippodrome. The Antiquities Park is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel and is also frequented by locals, who enjoy the beaches and public spaces. Near the old palace there are restaurants, cafes, shops and art galleries, which provide the structure for visitors who want to spend the day there. It's very crowded and there is a fee to enter, but it's worth planning to visit. We did Haifa and Caesarea, as they are very close to each other.

The third largest city in Israel is one of the most beautiful. Haifa has a lot to offer visitors. It is home to the largest port in the country, a very active beach, and also home to the World Center for the Bahai Faith. Surrounded by abundant natural sites, the city contains an interesting mix of modern neighborhoods and ancient districts; churches and mosques, mountains and sea. We visited the Port and Jardim Patamares (Bahai Gardens) in Haifa, which are incredible and you need to see, below are some photos of Haifa and Caesarea:


With the rental car, we left Haifa towards Nazareth. Our third destination in Israel was Nazareth and then Tiberias, the capital of Galilee, a state that borders Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. The trip took half an hour.

The city of Nazareth was a quiet, isolated village that sat on a slope in the heart of a rolling valley. Its growth was limited by scarce water supplies. The only fountain that existed is the fountain that is now in the heart of the city and where Jesus probably went several times with his mother, to fetch water in the clay pots of the time. Today, Nazareth is an Arab-occupied city in the lower part. You don't see Jews walking around the center. In the mountains, above the village, there is a city called Nazareth Illit (which sounds like “elite”) where Jews live. It is true that some Arabs also live there, very few. From above the landscape is beautiful. I'm in love with the rocky paths and I keep imagining more than two thousand years ago, when Jesus walked from one side to the other, from one village to the other. The landscape is so rich in history that even the dust must be preserved.

We found a small place, right in the middle of the city, an authentic reproduction of a village from the time of Jesus. The experience I had in two hours there was simply fantastic. In seconds, I was transported to two thousand years ago and started walking along dirt paths with stones and smelling the smell of goats. We know the tools that used to press olives to make edible oil, oil for lamps and anointing oil. I entered and sat in a synagogue in the same style where the Jews of the time met to read the sacred scriptures. We watch as a woman weaves a rug using sheep's wool. I saw the place where the grapes were crushed and where the liquid ran. In other words, my vision of the Bible became incarnate.

Their website is worth visiting

The Sea of Galilee is the great attraction of Tiberias, it really looks like a sea, but it is actually a lake. The lowest in the world. It is approximately 210 meters below sea level. It is supplied mainly by the Jordan River and is extremely important for Israel because that is where the fresh water that supplies several cities comes from. It is impressive how in the middle of the desert there are dozens of plantations that survive thanks to the government-subsidized irrigation system. All this water, from the north of the country, comes from Galilee.


Many travelers who follow the religious tourism route in Israel pass through the baptism points on the Jordan River, where, according to Christian traditions, Jesus was baptized. The place considered the original point of Jesus' baptism is today in Palestinian territory and is called Qars AL-Yahud. If you want to go to the original point, ask for help from a specialized guide. To facilitate access for tourists, Israel developed a new point on the Jordan River for the ritual. In Yardenit baptisms are carried out in a space specially designed for this purpose. Regardless of religion, the visit is interesting, especially due to the emotion of the devotees who go through the ritual on the Jordan River. We passed the Jordan River and the border of Jericho by car and there was no time to attend the baptisms, but as I am a Presbyterian reverend I was not as excited as others are, after passing through these places we went to the incredible DEAD SEA.

One of the favorite spots for tourists visiting Israel is the Dead Sea. The water in this lake, one of the lowest points on earth (400m below sea level), has one of the highest salinity levels in the world and allows tourists to have a lot of fun with it. Don't be embarrassed and take advantage of the moment to play with floating. The water is therapeutic (with healing potential) and you can even take the opportunity to take a black mud bath. I had cut my foot and suffered a lot when entering the water, but it was soon healed, along the entire route there are bars and fences with NO SWIMMING signs, but in some hotel areas you can enter for free and there are still shops and showers. On the road, camels wait for tourists for a photo or a stroll in the desert... Along the Israeli coast there are several beaches with small structures, some paid for, others not. We went to the free one obviously. Remember not to open your eyes or let the water enter your mouth, the taste is bitter – horrible – and your eyes burn in an indescribable way. The beach is small and was crowded. Tourists from all over the world flocked to the sea, had fun and when they went out without flip-flops they burned their feet on the rocks and on the path that leads to the freshwater showers...The Dead Sea shrinks by one meter per year, so run before it Anyway, it was one of the best experiences of our lives!


Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel, located right on the border with Aqaba, Jordan and Taba, Egypt. It is bathed by the Red Sea – a major attraction in the city. Despite the name, the sea water is very crystal clear and has a beautiful bluish tone. Due to the excellent visibility conditions and the large amount of corals, the Red Sea in Eilat is a great point for diving. And that's exactly what we did there – in addition to going to Egypt for a while (see the Egypt report). Eilat's location is super strategic for those who are in Israel and also want to visit Petra, in the neighboring country (unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to go due to time and price ($140 per person at the time). We found a promenade with shopping malls and good restaurants , and attractions such as a biblical-themed amusement park and an ice skating rink (in the middle of the desert, with temperatures that can easily exceed 40 degrees). Visit the triple border and be amazed.

As it is a tax-free zone, Eilat has a lively nightlife and shopping scene. We walked several times along the large promenade by the sea and saw that there really are stores selling several global brands selling products at prices that, in my opinion, are not as interesting as those offered here in the Americas. There is also a very popular tourist site in this city called Dolphnarium (Reef HaDolphinim), a truly paradisiacal private beach, where it is possible to meet dolphins, snorkel and rest in the structure that exists on the edge of the beach.


Jerusalem is one of the most famous and incredible capitals in the world. In addition to its beauty, historical aspects and importance for three of the largest monotheistic religions in the world, this is a city that arouses passions within a geopolitical conflict that has lasted generations. We were in this unforgettable city for the first time in the summer of 2014. Don't just stick to the Via Sacra itinerary, in the famous Jerusalem.


If you know English, you won't have any problems, as the majority of the population speaks the language and the rest scratch it. The country's currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). There are, however, places that accept Euros or Dollars, mainly at the airport. I must draw attention to the fact that, at the airport, change is generally in Dollars, if you make payments in Euros, all signs are in Hebrew and English.


Jerusalem is an invitation to immerse yourself in traditions. In fact, “according to tradition” is perhaps one of the most commonly used phrases there. Regardless of the type of tourism you are looking for, in Jerusalem tradition will always be with you. The names that permeate the streets are so familiar that it is easy to feel part of the faith that surrounds the place. We visit the places we like most

1. You will be able to follow the paths of Jesus through the Via Sacra (or Via Dolorosa);

2. Kotel or Western Wall

3. Jaffa Street (Busy street full of shops)

4. Santo Sepulcher and the Esplanada da Mesquista.

5. Places like Mount of Olives, Church of the Nations, Gardens of Gethsemane, Tower of the Museum of David and Arab Market are also on this Jerusalem itinerary


The food in Israel is as diverse as the population that lives here. “Israeli cuisine” is a concept that involves many culinary traditions and local raw materials. The majority of Jewish Israeli inhabitants are immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Former Soviet Union, and North Africa; They brought with them long-standing traditions about Jewish food that they developed in the area in which they lived, we ate wonderful esfihas in the Israeli alleys, although we found an Arab hair in the last one we ate, try to be adventurous, but be careful on Saturdays, because everything closes except MCdonalds!

One of the best experiences we had there was the Garden Tomb, with guided audio in Portuguese. The belief that the Garden Tomb is the place where Jesus was buried is due to the fact that in ancient times Jews did not bury the bodies of their loved ones inside the city, only outside it. As can be seen throughout Jerusalem, most of the cemeteries are outside the Old City, close to the valley. The Garden of the Tomb is a beautiful place with gardens and ample space for pilgrims to sit and pray while viewing the tomb where there was the burial of Jesus and also Golgotha. The most exciting part of the visit is when entering the tomb and reading the phrase placed on a plaque “He is not here, He is risen.” The place is open for visits from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and you can visit through the website to schedule guided tours. The address of the Garden Tomb is close to the Damascus Gated Old City, 400m on Nablus Road. More information on the website:


We arrived in Jerusalem and our hotel had overbooked (we arrived at night and they had put another couple in our room, the city is always crowded), they relocated us after an hour of fighting to an Anglican Cathedral, we didn't like it very much, until we got in and realized that We were going to sleep in a 17th century Church with stone walls, I chatted with the Bishop and discovered that staying there would be triple the price, we had a great bonus and a great experience in a room where bishops stayed throughout history. See photo:


In addition to the planned itinerary between the cities, we drove another 200km to complete all the tours in five remarkable days in our lives and especially for me, who studied Theology as an undergraduate and after a master's degree in education, I returned for a doctorate in Theology, everything became incarnate after this trip and brought life to the preaching that I am called to do.

ENJOY ISRAEL! I hope our post helped you put together your itinerary.


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