Christmas in Israel is magical, and booking a bespoke tour of the Holy Land with Shatour Israel Experience guarantees you a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas vacation experience.
Let’s start with the weather: it probably won’t be snowing in Israel! The weather at Christmas is usually cool but it sometimes gets warm and sunny during the day, which can make your touring even more enjoyable.
Israel is where the Christmas story happened, and visiting the Holy Land at this special time of year really brings the story to life. We can create a bespoke itinerary for you to visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, and many other fascinating and enjoyable places. We can also help you celebrate Christmas in style, joining in the ceremonies and enjoying delicious meals and fun activities.
Christmas is not an official holiday in Israel, so everything is open as usual. You can choose to visit any of the amazing museums or art galleries, book camel rides and extreme sports activities, tour the gourmet food markets or enjoy wine tastings at boutique wineries. Tell us what you love and we will make sure that it is included in your Christmas visit to Israel.
What Happens in Israel on Christmas?
Bethlehem is the main focus of activities over Christmas in Israel, as the birthplace of Jesus. On Christmas Eve the most famous Midnight Mass in the world takes place in the Church of the Nativity. It is a fantastic experience to stand in Manger Square, enjoying the festive atmosphere and meeting Christians from all over the world. Alternatively, you may prefer to enjoy the annual Christmas parade and Mass in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Alternatively, in Jerusalem, you can choose from many different churches representing the various Christian denominations, and participate in their services and celebrations.
Christian Sites Around Israel
Depending on the length of your visit, Shatour can take you to many of the original sites that are mentioned in the New Testament. Many of the miracles that Jesus performed took place in the Galilee area, where you can walk in his footsteps and visit many wonderful churches. You may want to visit the baptism site in the Jordan River, or sail on the Sea of Galilee. In Jerusalem there are many important Christian sites, starting with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Via Dolorosa. The wonderful atmosphere during Christmas week makes this a great time to incorporate a pilgrimage to the Holy Land into your Christmas vacation.
Celebrating Christmas in Israel
There are lively Christmas Markets in Nazareth and Jerusalem, and Winter Festivals take place each year at this time in Haifa and the villages of the Western Galilee. This is the time that Christians of all denominations come together to celebrate, enjoying a fascinating mixture of Arab and Western cultures, traditions and dishes. You may be surprised to see Santa popping up at most of these celebrations, often on a camel!
Celebrate a Second Christmas!
Many people do not realize that the Eastern Churches actually celebrate Christmas one week later than Western Christians, so if you come to Israel in the first week of January, you can do it all again with a second set of Christmas parades and services.
However you choose to celebrate Christmas, Shatour Israel Experience can create the perfect itinerary for you and your group, including restaurant meals, opportunities for worship, and visits to fascinating historical sites with knowledgeable guides. Why not make Christmas 2019 a landmark celebration by spending the festival where it all began?!