Chat with us, powered by LiveChat March 2020 | Gold Carpet Tours - Israel

In the Footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem

Why is Israel called the Holy Land? The world’s three major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, are all strongly connected to this small sliver of land in different spiritual ways.

For Christians, it is the home and place of ministry of Jesus. During the 33 years of Jesus’ life, He preached the gospel and performed healing miracles all over Israel, from the peaceful Sea of Galilee, to the quiet village of Capernaum, to the highly religious city of Jerusalem and beyond.

Millions of tourists make pilgrimages to fulfill their dreams of walking in His footsteps, sailing the same waters He did, praying in the shadow of the same trees He sat beneath, or standing on the hillside where He taught.

Here are some unique places where Jesus spent His time in the city of Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. 


The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane is a grove of olive trees on the Mount of Olives, across from the walls of the Old City. In Hebrew, the garden is called Gat Shmanim, which means ‘oil press’. The garden is enclosed by a fence to preserve its ancient olive trees, just like the ones that were there at the time of Jesus.

All four gospels in the New Testament tell the story of Jesus and His disciples on the eve of Passover. They shared a Passover meal, then left in the dark of the night to pray in the garden. It was there that Jesus entreated His disciples to stay awake and pray with Him before He was betrayed by Judas, captured by Roman soldiers, and, later on, crucified.

If you are a person of prayer, you will love the serenity of this green and tranquil garden. You can almost hear the whispers of millions upon millions of pilgrims who have prayed in that very place, connecting you to a divine power.


The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane


The Cardo – Jerusalem’s Main Street

The Cardo uncovered in the Old City of Jerusalem, was initially built by the Romans, running north to south, beginning at the Damascus gate and ending where today’s Jewish Quarter begins. The second half was an extension built by the Byzantines, which ran up to the Zion Gate area. It was a paved avenue, approximately 22.5 meters wide, with high columns that ran along each side and a tiled roof overhead.

The Cardo was meant for pedestrian traffic and wheeled carts, for small-scale commerce, and as a meeting place for visitors.

Today the remains of the Cardo are open to the public. You can walk its pavement and touch the 2,000-year-old pillars, some of which remain mostly intact. You will also see a mosaic replica of a map of Jerusalem, clearly depicting the Cardo, and big, colorful paintings showing how lively it used to be.

Back in the day, the Cardo was the main road and the center of everything. Jesus and His disciples must have spent a lot of time there, buying food, preaching the gospel, and meeting to fellowship together.


The Cardo, the Jewish Quarter

The Cardo, the Jewish Quarter


The Church of the Holy Sepulcher 

Between the winding walls of the Old City’s Christian Quarter stands, tall and proud, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Dating back to the 4th century, it is believed to be the site called Golgotha (which means ‘skull’ in Hebrew), where Jesus was crucified, and the place of his burial and resurrection. The tomb is enclosed by a shrine called Aedicula.

As the New Testament stories tell, Jesus was crucified on a hill with two other men. After His death, He was wrapped with linens and placed in a tomb cut into the rock that was purchased by a rich man named Joseph. After three days, He was resurrected. 

Being there, amid many like-minded Christians, you will feel overwhelmed with reverence as you smell the sweet aromas of anointing oil and incense and contemplate His great act of sacrifice and the miracle of His resurrection. 


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre


Every place you visit in Jerusalem is extraordinary in itself, but walking where Jesus walked and changed the face of history as we know it is an experience you cannot have any other way.

Our guides will take you on a journey in Jesus’ footsteps, not just in Jerusalem, but through the whole land of Israel. Walk this spiritual journey with us, and discover the divine together. 

The Top Three Most Amazing Views in Israel

We all love to look at pretty things. More often than not, we change positions and make decisions based on the view. We swap our table at a coffee shop so we can look out the window, ask for a different hotel room so we can see the city skyline, or sign a house contract based on our ideal balcony view.

The same goes for vacations. The reason we hop on a plane and travel thousands of miles is to see sights we’ve never seen before. Israel, from north to south, over the span of a nine-hour drive, is chock full of the most incredible views – everything from magnificent desert lands to vast, sparkling blue waters, to forest-covered mountains with wildflower slopes.

We think the best views are the ones you can see long after, when you close your eyes – like reaching the summit of a mountain to be greeted with a panoramic beauty that no photo can replicate.

These are just three of the most breathtaking views in Israel. 


Mount of Olives – Jerusalem of Gold

The Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem is 809 meters (2,654 ft) above sea level and has a view you don’t want to miss and won’t be able to forget. Here you’ll have a panoramic view of the sturdy walls of the Old City, standing proudly on top of the mountain opposite, alongside the shimmering gold dome of the Temple Mount and the steeples of the Old City churches. Stretched out on all sides, farther than the eye can see, is the modern city of Jerusalem, the buildings of which are all made of Jerusalem stone to keep a uniform look.

On the Mount of Olives itself are olive groves, houses, churches, and the largest Jewish cemetery, which is right below the viewing point and looks like a sea of white headstones. Many Jews buried there believe that the Messiah will come to the Mount of Olives to rule over Jerusalem and they will be the first to be resurrected.

Christians hold similar views, but, in contrast to religious Jews, they believe that the Messiah who will return is Jesus, who prayed on that very mountain in the Garden of Gethsemane before being arrested and crucified. 

Jerusalem is called ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ because the city looks golden as the light of the setting sun reflects off its stones. To catch the full effect of this, we recommend heading to the viewing point at golden hour, right before the sun sets. 


View from the Mt. of olives

View from the Mt. of olives


Masada – Magnificent Desert Beauty

Masada is a fortress built into a mountain towering high above the Dead Sea. Its plateau is 60m (196 ft.) above sea level – about 490m (1509 ft.) above the surface of the Dead Sea. 

On top of the mountain are the two palaces of Herod the Great and the place where a thousand Jews escaped the Roman army and took refuge, eventually choosing to take their own lives rather than be captured and enslaved by the Romans. 

Looking out from that fantastic viewpoint, you will truly feel on top of the world. The Dead Sea glistens in the distance, and beyond it is the never-ending mountain ridge of the country of Jordan. Surrounding you on every side is the vast, jagged desert and scattered palm trees bearing dates rich in flavor.

We recommend trekking up Masada before sunrise. There is truly nothing like getting up early, while the desert is still, hearing the distance sounds of the waking desert animals, and watching the first rays of light shine brilliantly over the mountains and fill the desert with warmth and life.


Dead Sea View

Dead Sea View


Hashalom Lookout – The Glory of the Galilee

Mitzpe Shalom, also known as the Peace Lookout, offers one of the southern Golan Heights’ most beautiful views. The whole coastline of the Sea of Galilee stretches out below. The waters are blue and calm, but seem older than time – it is there, the Bible says, that Jesus spent so much of his time in ministry, and there where he and Peter walked on the water.

Across the sea is the city of Tiberias, built from the shoreline up the side of a mountain to its very peak. At a distance, you can spot the city of Tzfat, Mount Hermon, the Galilee mountains, the peak of Mount Tavor, and the fields of the Jordan Valley.

You can also stop to enjoy the Bikta (‘Hut’), a Kosher meat restaurant that specializes in smoking and aging choice cuts of meat such as entrecote, sirloin, breast of veal, chicken, beef, and more. It also has an amazing salad bar offered free of charge to accompany any entrée you order.

If you feel like connecting with nature, consider taking a short nature hike down from the lookout promenade and rambling through the wildflowers to one of the springs that feed the Kinneret.

We recommend coming during springtime when the grass and yellow wildflowers are in full bloom: the birds chirp, and the crisp air and warm sun are a winning pair.

Israel has a collection of unique views, all of them spectacular, and our tours are designed to take you to these heart-stopping lookouts, giving you the experience you’ve been hoping for. We have a wide range of skilled guides who will unfold the stories of Israel’s landscapes, so pack your bags and prepare yourself for the best views Israel has to offer.


Ein Karem’s Top Unique Places to Visit

What is the definition of ancient beauty? Imagine big stone houses, open views of a peaceful, open, and luscious valley through which ambles a winding pathway, green trees on a terraced mountainside, and the whispers of history-changing moments amid the sounds of a very new and modern world. Ein Karem is the epitome of all this.

This biblical village in the outskirts of Jerusalem is known to be the birthplace of John the Baptist; it’s also the home of Jerusalem’s most prominent university hospital for medical studies and attracts three million visitors per year. No wonder it is a favorite among the locals all year around.

You have to see it to believe it, but for now, we’ll attempt to take you on a tour . . .


Church of Saint John the Baptist 

The Catholic Church of Saint John belongs to the Franciscan order and has origins dating back to Roman, Byzantine and Moslem eras, having been built and renovated many times, with the final addition of the upper floor having been completed in 1955. It is traditionally thought to be the birthplace of John the Baptist and the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah, his parents. Walking through the gates, you enter a large stone courtyard. On its walls in thirty-four languages is the Benedictus, a prayer of thanksgiving given by Zechariah for the birth of his son John.

Inside the church is the principal altar dedicated to John the Baptist, statues of saints, and a crypt leading to a small cavern where, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born. Blue Spanish tiles run up the walls of the high-ceilinged sanctuary, and on display are impressive paintings of John baptizing Jesus in the river and Elizabeth’s meeting with Mary.

 The Church of John the Baptist is without question a beauty to behold. 


Church of Saint John

                                                                        Church of Saint John


Mary’s Well  

In the open outdoors, tucked away from the main street, is the Fountain of the Virgin. Christian tradition from the 14th century holds to the belief that it was the meeting place of Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, and Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. The biblical account says that John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary came to greet her.

The former inhabitants built a mosque and school on the site, of which a shrine and minaret remain. These have since been renovated by Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

The spring itself is at the end of an ancient aqueduct, and its waters are considered holy by some Catholic and Orthodox Christians, who fill their bottles with them. Sitting near the fresh bubbling water, you can imagine the simple yet miraculous meeting of two of history’s most iconic and important men, yet unborn, and the graceful women who carried them. 


Modern Ein Karem – Simple Yet Quality Pleasures

If you’re looking for something extraordinary, there is no place like Ein Karem. Although still part of the very modern city of Jerusalem, its unique houses and quiet nature invite you to step back in time. To add to its ever-increasing distinctness, artisans and craftsmen such as sculptors, painters, basket weavers, authors, and lecturers offer their talents and businesses to the locals.

We recommend Adina’s Ceramic Studio and SweetnKarem, a chocolate factory, and shop offering mouth-watering chocolate-making workshops.

The restaurants are superb as well. You will find Lebanese, Italian, and Israeli restaurants; cafes and ice cream parlors; playgrounds and parks for children; national parks for light walking, hiking or picnicking; and, of course, spectacular mountain views. Come spring, after the wet season, when everything green is extra green and the wildflowers cover the slopes, you can enjoy the many walking trails and the sweet-smelling, pink-and-white-flowered almond trees. 

Local Gallery

                                                                        Local Gallery


The picturesque beauty and magic of Ein Karem is better experienced than explained. Our trusted guides will take you places that will make your heart soar with delight and fill your mind with ancient tales and stories.

Ein Karem is to be enjoyed, and we hope you plan on doing exactly that.