Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Ein Karem’s Top Unique Places to Visit | Gold Carpet Tours - Israel

Ein Karem’s Top Unique Places to Visit

March 8, 2020

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.



Join our tours for a once in a lifetime experience!