Tzippori National Park, also known as just “Sepphoris,” is midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. A few kilometers north of Nazareth, Tzippori National Park looks over the Beit Netofa Valley. Long ago, Tzippori was the capital of Galilee and considered a region’s gem. Throughout time, Tzippori was a center for the Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arab, and Ottoman empires; it also played an essential role in Jewish and Christian religions.
More About This Unique Park
While it has been many years since people called this region home, it is now a gorgeous national park beloved by historians, archaeologists, and nature lovers. I highly suggest taking advantage of the beautiful weather of the spring and summer months to explore this national park on a private tour. Moreover, Tzippori National Park will allow you to unplug from everyday life’s monotony and immerse yourself in a region steeped with history, religion, and natural beauty.
Interesting Traditions About Sepphoris National Park
It is said that Tzippori was the home of Anne and Joachim, the parents of Mary the mother of Jesus. It is also believed that Mary was born in Tzippori. Evidence found by archaeologists backs up the belief that Christianity played a role in Tzippori. During excavations of the area, they found a 5th-century basilica honoring Mary’s birth and two Christian churches. Most archaeological findings date back to the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Since excavation began in 1931, led by Leroi Waterman, they have uncovered many miraculous discoveries. One such discovery is more than 40 mosaic floors that decorated private residences, public buildings, and even some sidewalks. They also found the foundations of a Crusader fortress, an ancient water system, and part of a Roman theater. Many more delightful finds have been excavated over the decades, and just waiting for you to explore.
Beyond the beautiful archaeology, the Tzippori National Park (Sepphoris) features an incredible ecosystem. Located in the center of valleys to the east and west and forests to the north and south, this area represents a unique home to fauna. Animals of all shapes and sizes call this park home, from the Cairo spiny mouse to the golden jackal. Some of the most prominent animals in the park are reptiles.
One exceptionally rare reptile that lives here is Guther’s cylindrical skink. You can also find the Mediterranean house gecko, the Lebanon lizard, Dahl’s whip snake, and the Caspian turtle in more plentiful numbers. Just be careful not to stray too far from the path because you don’t want to accidentally step on one of these creatures.
Tzippori National Park Opening Hours:
Reserve entrance closes one hour before the cited closing time
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 – 08:00
Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 – 08:00
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 – 08:00
Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 – 08:00
Holiday eves: 13:00 – 08:00
Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 – 08:00