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The Holy Land

8 Day Holy Land Pilgrimage Retreat

February 1st, 2024

Hear about the Historical Jesus &
Experience The Risen Lord

Experiencing a pilgrimage/retreat in the Holy Land will deepen your relationship with God. What St Jerome said in the fourth century remains true today: ‘Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books and the one you will find in the land they call Holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you.’We invite you to this enriching experience, whether or not you’ve visited the Holy Land before.

Not only will we find new sights and sounds to reflect on, but a fresh encounter with God will shape our time in gloriously individual ways. We seek not only to learn about the Jesus from history but to encounter the risen Christ. We’ll do so by visiting the sites where the most important events in Jesus’ life and ministry occurred, in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and further north in Galilee, while we engage in various themed prayer exercises to open ourselves to our loving God. We will learn about Jesus’ earthly life while we welcome an encounter with the living Lord. We will also have the privilege of meeting the ‘living stones’ who make the Holy Land their home – the local Palestinian and Israeli Christians who make up the living church in the region.

We invite you to journey with us and to share in this life-changing opportunity to experience those places we read about in the Scriptures. Reading the gospels will never again be the same.

Itinerary

  1. Travel to The Holy Land (D)

    Transfer to our guest house in Jerusalem and have a guided orientation walk and setting the scene reflection.

    Four-night stay at Paulus Haus close to the Old City and the biblical sites we shall be visiting.

  2. Jerusalem – The Mount of Olives (B, L, D)

    We drive to the Mount of Olives where we view the walled city of Jerusalem, and then we stop to take in the panoramic view towards the Judean Wilderness.

    We visit Pater Noster, which commemorates the Lord’s Prayer. We then walk along the route Jesus took on Palm Sunday, and then to the Garden of Gethsemane where we will have time to reflect. Lunch at St Andrew’s Guest House. Afterwards we visit the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, which traditionally is the site of the High Priest’s house.

    We end the day with Holy Communion at the Garden Tomb.

  3. Jerusalem - Walking The Old City (B, L, D)

    We begin at the Church of St Anne beside the Pool of Bethesda for an outdoor healing service. Time for reflection before we follow the Way of the Cross through the lanes of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We end the morning at the Christ Church and lunch in the Armenian district at the Bulghorji restaurant. In the afternoon we visit the Upper Room.

    We then walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall, enjoying views over the Temple Mount.

  4. Jerusalem - Bethlehem (B, L, D)

    Optional early morning visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to witness the variety of liturgy. Then we cross into Palestinian territory and visit the Shepherds’ Fields, where we will worship together, including time for individual reflection. After lunch there will be time for some shopping for olivewood and gifts in a Christian co-operative. Afternoon visit to Manger Square and visit the Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity and St Jerome's Caves before we return to Jerusalem.

  5. Lazarus Tomb, Jordan River, Sea of Galilee (B, L, D)

    We leave Jerusalem and drive to Bethany and the church and tomb of Lazarus as well as a visit to Jeel al-Amal Boys’ Home, supported by the McCabe Educational Trust. We call at Wadi Qelt before we continue to the desert oasis of Jericho where we have lunch at the Rawditna View Restaurant with an orientation tour around the town, including viewing the Mount of Temptation. We continue to Tiberias via the Jordan River baptismal site. Three night stay at the Ron Beach Hotel by the Sea of Galilee with visits to places associated with Jesus' early life and ministry.

  6. Sea of Galilee Boat Cruise

    Mount Tabor & Nazareth (B, L, D)

    We drive to Mount Tabor to consider the Transfiguration.

    Continue to Nazareth and visit a reconstruction of Biblical Nazareth. We lunch in Tiberias at the Tanureen Migdal restaurant and sail on the Sea of Galilee before returning to our hotel.

  7. Pilgrimage Holy Land Tabgha

    Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes & Sea of Galilee cruise (B, L, D)

    Today we visit the sites associated with Jesus’ life around the Sea of Galilee. We drive to the north of the lake and visit the ruins of Capernaum, Jesus’ Galilean base. After we visit Mensa Christi, where Jesus appeared to his disciples after His resurrection, and Tabgha for Holy Communion.  We visit the Convent of Beatitudes’ church and garden commemorating the Sermon on the Mount.

  8. Caesarea, then depart for the UK (B, L)

    We collect our packed lunch, leave Tiberias and drive to the Mediterranean coast to the Roman capital of Caesarea, where we have time for our final reflections on the beach before we continue to Ben Gurion Airport.

    Please note the itinerary may be subject to change due to local conditions. Flight times may also be subject to alteration but are correct at the time of publishing.

    There will be quite a bit of walking on this pilgrimage. Please  talk to the tour leader or call the McCabe office for advice if you are at all concerned.

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • The Mount of Olives
  • Old Jerusalem, Jewish Quarter and Western Wall
  • Guided stroll of Via Dolorosa "the sorrowful way"
  • The Shepherds Fields with worship
  • Bethlehem - Basilica of the Nativity
  • Lazarus Tomb
  • Jordan River Baptismal site
  • Mount Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration
  • Nazareth Village
  • Capernaum and the Mensa Christi Church
  • Tabgha - site of the feeding of the 5,000
  • Mount of Beatitudes - site of the Sermon on the Mount
  • Sea of Galilee cruise
  • Ancient Roman port of Caesarea

Optional excursions

Please check the brochure of your selected dated departure for any optional excursions. All excursions will usually be included though there may be some dates with a worthwhile optional excursion that is payable locally.

Included extras

  • Hotel baggage porterage
  • Local guide and drivers’ gratuities
  • All restaurant and hotel gratuities
  • Other small local gratuities
  • Personal audio guiding system

Included meals & drinks

Meals: all meals are included. throughout your pilgrimage you will enjoy lunches in local restaurants and dinners, for the most part, will be in your hotels.

Drinks: juices and tea or coffee are available with all breakfasts. All other drinks will be at your own expense.

Our team in The Holy Land

This holiday includes a qualified local guide to bring the holy sites and ancient wonders to life. They will be staying with you and escorting you throughout. Each departure also includes a member of the clergy who will offer optional opportunities for worship and reflection for all during and after these moving visits.

Your journey

Direct flights to Tel Aviv are available from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester. Selected departures use selected airports which you will see in the dates tab.

We can make separate arrangements should you wish to fly from an airport different to the dated departures selected UK airport. If your arrival or departure time is different to the main group, then a supplement for the additional transfer to Jerusalem will apply. UK regional flights to Heathrow as well as flight seat upgrades for additional comfort and ease through the airport can also be arranged on all El Al and British Airways flights from Heathrow.

Flights from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester are with easyJet and do not always operate daily so some departures may be nine or ten day itineraries to allow for this.

Flight times from the UK to Tel Aviv are approximately five hours and mostly daytime flights arriving in the late-afternoon or evening into Tel Aviv.

Your hotels 

Seven nights based in a double or twin room. Stay at the Paulus Haus in Jerusalem, and in Tiberias, the lakeside Ron Beach Hotel. These properties are in excellent locations, privately owned and managed, and offer good food and comfortable accommodation with private facilities.

Paulus Haus/ Ron Beach Hotel, Tiberias

Practical information

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.

Entry requirements

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.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements please consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office travel advice website.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Health & wellbeing

If you haven't had a booster in the last ten years it is recommended that you be vaccinated for Tetanus and Polio. Food and waterborne diseases are more common, so we recommend vaccinations for typhoid (valid 3 years) and Hepatitis A (validity varies). Vaccination, Covid-19 and health information can change so please contact your local health care provider for the most up to date information. We will send up to date information on entry requirements with your final paperwork approximately 14 days before departure.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.

Climate

Israel has a warm, sunny and dry climate. The weather is often sunny and clear in Israel. It is one of the least cloudy and least rainy regions on Earth.

The most comfortable times to visit are Spring (March, April and May) when temperatures are on average in the low 20’s and Autumn (September, October and November) when temperatures are in the high 20’s in the center of the country. Temperatures are generally higher in the south of the country and the Galilee area.

Israel is hot in the summer with average temperatures in the center of the country over 30C and closer to 40C in the south and Galilee.

Clothing

Israel is more liberal than its neighbouring countries, but you should dress inconspicuously and avoid wearing clothes that could be regarded as provocative (e.g. very short skirts, skimpy shorts, strappy tops where shoulders are exposed and low plunging neck lines). Shorts and t-shirts are fine as long as they are not too short and skimpy. Swimwear around hotel pools is perfectly acceptable. For some church visits legs and arms are required to be covered but a headscarf is not necessary, and you will find next to no other restrictions elsewhere throughout your holiday in the Holy Land.

We recommend you take clothing for spring/summer weather and a couple of warmer items such as a fleece or sweater for the evenings when it may be a bit cooler. Sports shoes with fairly thick cushioned soles for uneven pavements are also recommended.

Mobility

There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this pilgrimage so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Local Guide will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell them so they can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.

Whilst this is not a trekking or adventure holiday there will be some walking required where you may be on your feet for up to 90 minutes at some ancient sites and must be able to walk up to a mile. The paving may not always be smooth and seating not always available.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

https://www.holidayextras.com/travel-insurance

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. 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 £20 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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