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The Holy Land

The Holy Land and Jordan

In the Middle East, the reality on the ground is often far removed from what we see and read in the news. The Holy Land and Jordan are open, and welcoming visitors.

This fully comprehensive 15 days pilgrimage encapsulates the full Holy Land experience, not just Israel & Palestine, but also Jordan. Often the forgotten part of the Holy Land, but holds stories just as evocative as those in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee, but with astonishing landscapes to match.

We begin our pilgrimage in Bethlehem before heading to Jerusalem and then north to the Sea of Galilee. Our journey continues via the region of Nablus (biblical Shechem). There is also optional opportunity to spend time in Jordan, where the countryside is so reminiscent of Biblical times. On our journey we plan to meet with the local Christian community and offer them our support and encouragement.

Visits in Israel will include Jerusalem, Nazareth, Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee. We will also stay in Bethlehem and pass through the West Bank and Nablus: parts of the emerging Palestine. In Jordan, the highlight is the red rose city of Petra but we will also see Roman theatres and temples.

On our pilgrimage, we will walk along the Via Dolorosa, sail on the Sea of Galilee, float on the Dead Sea and visit the River Jordan. The Holy Land is unique in offering so many highlights and contrasts in such a compact area. Each day of our pilgrimage will be very different from the last.

Itinerary

  1. To the Holy Land

    We meet at Manchester Airport. easyJet flight EZY1827 departs at 12:30, arriving at 19:35. Transfer to our hotel in Bethlehem.

    Two night stay in Bethlehem at the centrally located Manger Square Hotel.

  2. Bethlehem

    After an early morning visit to Manger Square (Including the Milk Grotto) We drive to the village of Beit Sahour where we visit the Fields of the Shepherds (Mass.) Lunch is at the Shepherds Tent Restaurant.

    This afternoon we enter Manger Square and visit the Basilica of the Nativity and St Jerome's Caves.

  3. View from the Terrace at Golden Walls Hotel

    Aida Camp & Abu Ghosh

    We drive to the Aida refugee camp, where we join the Noor Women's group, and prepare a traditional Palestinian dish together, and make a short tour around the camp. We then enjoy the fruits of our labour with lunch together. We also visit a nearby Olive Wood Co-operative for a shopping opportunity. In the afternoon, we drive to Jerusalem via Abu Ghosh, a possible site of Emmaus (Mass). Here we visit the Benedictine Monastery and Crusader Church.

    Four night stay at the Golden Walls Hotel, close to the old city and biblical sites we shall be visiting.

  4. Mount of Olives & Via Dolorosa

    We continue to Jerusalem and the to the Mount of Olives, where we have a panoramic view of the walled city. As we look across the Kidron Valley, we see the golden Gate, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the Mount of Olives we visit the Pater Noster Church, Dominus Flevit Chapel (Mass), and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. We finish our morning by the pool of Bethesda and the Church of St Anne.

    We continue to Ecce Homo convent, above the Lithostrotos where we enjoy lunch.

    In the afternoon we follow the Via Dolorosa through the lanes of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

  5. Floating in the Dead Sea

    Masada & the Dead Sea

    Choose either a free day to explore Jerusalem at your leisure, or join a full-day excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea.

    We drive into the Judean wilderness to Herod's desert fortress of Masada, which we ascend by cable car and enjoy a tour. We have an opportunity to float in therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea before lunch at the Lot Hotel. On our return journey to Jerusalem we call at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Our final stop is at the Wadi Qelt to visit the monastery of St George.

  6. The Old City

    We begin the morning on Mount Zion in the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu (A possible site of the High Priest's house). We enter the Old City via Zion Gate and walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall, the holiest site for Jews. We pause to enjoy the view up to the Temple Mount (the Dome of the Rock) Lunch at the Armenian Bulghourji Restaurant. In the afternoon we visit the Syriac Church of St Mark (a possible site of the Upper Room) and join the Armenians for Vespers in St James' Cathedral.

  7. Via Nablus to Tiberias

    Some amy wish to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the early morning to witness the variety of liturgy. We leave Jerusalem for Bethany, to visit the church and tomb of Lazarus as well as Jeel-Al-Amal Boys home, sponsored by the McCabe Educational Trust. We continue to Nablus and the Shomron National Park to visit the remains of ancient Samaria. Lunch at the Samaria restaurant followed by a visit to Jacob's Well, a church now constructed over the site. In Nablus, we hope of link up with the local Catholic church of St Justinas in Rafidia.

    Four night stay at the Ron Beach Hotel by the Sea of Galilee, with visits to places associated with Jesus' early life and ministry.

  8. Nazareth

    We drive to Nazareth via Cana, scene of Jesus' first miracle. In Nazareth we walk from Gabriel's Church (Mary's Well), via the Synagogue Church to the Basilica of the Annunciation.

    We then visit Nazareth Village, a reconstruction of 1st Century Galilean life. After a biblical style lunch here, we drive to Mount Tabor, navigating its winding road by taxis to reach the beautiful Basilica of the Transfiguration, with its magnificent views over the plain of Armageddon.

  9. The Lakeside Ministry

    Today we visit the sites associated with Jesus' life around the Sea of Galilee, beginning with Magdala. We continue to the north of the lake and visit the ruins of Capernaum and the Church of the Multiplication ('The loaves and fishes') at Tabgha.

    We then drive up to the Convent of Beatitudes' Church and garden, commemorating the Sermon on the Mount. We have lunch here at the convent with plenty of time of wander around this peaceful setting.

  10. Sea of Galilee Boat Cruise

    More Lakeside Visits

    We begin the day with a sail across the lake from the hotel to Kibbutz Ein Gev. We then visit Kursi, Bethsaida and Chorazin. Before lunch we take a walk along the shore of the lake. Lunch at St Peter's Restaurant.

    In the afternoon we visit the site of Mensa Christi. (St Peter's Primacy - the place where Jesus reappeared to his disciples after his resurrection) and celebrate a final mass together

  11. Iconic Petra building

    Homeward Bound or Travel to Jordan

    For those returning home:

    Our coach takes us to the Jordanian Border, before continuing to Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean Coast. We visit the site and enjoy lunch at the Port Cafe Restaurant. Continue to Ben Gurion Airport for our homeward easyJet flight EZY1828 which departs at 20:30, arriving in Manchester at 00:10.

    For those travelling to Jordan:

    We leave Tiberias and drive to the Sheikh Hussein border to cross into Jordan. A long drive today with a lunch break en route to Petra.

    Two night stay at the Petra Guest House

  12. The Rose Red City

    Petra's fame is well deserved and you will be struck by the scale of the site and the extraordinary beauty of the rock-cut tombs and temples. At the time of Jesus, Petra was a magnificent Nabatean city of enormous wealth, which controlled much of the trade that passed through the region.

    We enter Petra through the Siq on foot and then suddenly stand before the rock-cut treasury, hewn out of the red sandstone. We spend the day here with time for visit many of the breathtaking monuments, including some of the Royal Tombs. We lunch in the Basin Restaurant, within the site of Petra. We then visit Ain Musa (Moses' Well) in Wadi Musa.

  13. Kerak Crusader Castle Holy Land Jordan

    Kerak Crusader Castle

    Leaving Petra, we drive to Kerak Castle which we explore before lunch. This afternoon we continue to Amman and an Orientation tour before arriving at our hotel.

    Two night stay at the Amman Regency Hotel

  14. Mount Nebo Memorial of Moses

    Baptismal Site

    This morning we visit Bethany beyond the Jordan, a wonderfully evocative site on the banks of the River Jordan and the site where John baptised Jesus. We continue to visit Mount Nebo, the mountain where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Then on to Madaba where we have lunch and view the mosaic map of the Middle East on the floor of the Church of St George, before returning to Amman.

  15. Home

    We visit the spectacular Roman site of Jerash, the best preserved of all the Decapolis cities. We tour the ruins of the site including the oval forum, the colonnaded street and the theatre.

    Lunch in Jerash, before driving back to the Sheikh Hussain Bridge, in to Israel, where we will be taken to Ben Gurion Airport. Our homeware easyJet flight EZY1828 departs at 20:30, arriving in Manchester at 00:10.

Essential Information

The price you pay is inclusive

The only extras you need to budget for are drinks and shopping. We include lunches, not only for the meal but to give a relaxing break in the middle of the day. We also include all gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.

Single Supplement: £580, Travel Insurance Premium: £79/£119, Masada optional excursion: £70

Included

Flights, Hotel accommodation, Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Sightseeing programme, Entrance fees & guiding, Gratuities

Not included

Travel Insurance, Single Room supplement, Masada optional excursion

Touring information

You will be accompanied by a local experienced guide, and touring is done by air-conditioned private coach. Days usually begin at 8am, and generally returning between 5pm, with dinner served from 7pm onwards. Touring days feature morning and afternoon excursions, with an organised lunch stop to break up the day.

How strenuous

You do not have to be super fit to participate in this tour, but expect a good deal of walking on uneven terrain. If you are in any doubt at all, please give the McCabe office a call or have a chat with your GP.

Travel Insurance

The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. The premium for a Holy Land & Jordan pilgrimage is £79. Travellers over 75 pay £119. We also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options available including annual policies. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.

A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.

You can read the full policy wording here.

Airlines

This itinerary is made in the knowledge that flights from Manchester Airport with easyJet,  currently only operate on Monday & Thursday. However, easyJet operate daily flights from London Luton Airport, and other airlines are available from other London & regional airports.

Hotels

Most pilgrim parties are accommodated at our partner hotels in Jerusalem, the Golden Walls and in Tiberias, the Ron Beach. These properties have looked after McCabe groups with great care and attention for over thirty years. They are in excellent locations, privately owned and managed, and offer good food and accommodation with private facilities. We also use the Manger Square Hotel in Bethlehem, along with the Petra Guest House and Amman Regency Hotel in Jordan.

Golden Walls Hotel, Jerusalem Ron Beach Hotel, Tiberias / Manger Square Hotel, Bethlehem

Petra Guest House, Petra / Regency Hotel, Amman

 

Practical information

Passports, visas and health

Passports should be valid for at least six months after the time of travel and a visa is issued free of charge to UK passport holders on entering Israel. There are currently no further requirements for entering the Palestinian territories. Non-British passport holders should consult the McCabe office as they may be required to apply in advance for a visa. No inoculations are essential but we advise travellers to consult their GP regarding personal requirements.

Travelling Alone

Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.

The McCabe Educational Trust

For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full Financial Security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE

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Dates

Upcoming Pilgrimages

We have no tours scheduled to this destination at present.

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