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The Holy Land

Advent Holy Land Pilgrimage

‘We can hear the language of the trees, read the books of the running streams, hear sermons in the stones, and discover the good in every single thing’.

These words of Shakespeare in his play As you like it are a wonderful introduction to spending time following in the Footsteps of Jesus in the Holy Land. This nine day period in Advent, has been planned to give us space and time out from the complexity and busyness of life to journey and encounter Jesus through the places, the people and the promises of God.

We will spend our time based in Jerusalem and on the lakeside in Galilee. We will experience the land and its diversity which shaped the Biblical story and the ministry of Jesus. We will visit places where Jesus ministered, and will take a day in Jerusalem to travel the journey of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. We will encounter sermons in stones, not just in the archaeology of the land but in the living stones we meet as we travel. Focusing on the I am statements of Jesus in the gospel of John we will take time to creatively pray and be with Jesus individually and as a group as we journey. We will share together in bread and wine.

This is an ecumenical pilgrimage and we invite you to journey with us.

 

Itinerary

  1. View from the Terrace at Golden Walls Hotel

    Travel to The Holy Land (D)

    Meet at London Heathrow Airport, taking EL AL flight LY316 to Tel Aviv, departing at 14:20 and arriving at 21:05.

    Meet your Group Leader at your dated departures selected UK airport and fly to Tel Aviv. On arrival you will be met by our expert local guide and transferred to Jerusalem (approx. 90-minute drive) where you will check-in to your hotel by the Old City walls for a five-night stay.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel. Some late arrivals will have a cold platter in the room on arrival.

    Direct flights are available from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Dublin. 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.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  2. Bethany & The Mount of Olives (B, L, D)

    Morning: beginning at Bethany and the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus we consider these words of Jesus. We travel a short distance to Bethphage, to which Jesus sends the disciples to find a colt to carry him into Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives has many biblical and historical connections as well as being a sacred burial place. It leads to a panoramic view of Jerusalem as well as the Tomb of the Prophets, the Catholic Church of Dominus Flevit, and the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene. At the base we visit the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus frequently went with his disciples to pray and on the night before his crucifixion was arrested after we continue on towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre via the Church of St Anne and its beautiful acoustics.

    Afternoon: included lunch in the Ecce Homo Convent, above the Lithostrotos. We end our day at the Garden Tomb where we will share together in bread and wine.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  3. A group at Shepherds Fields, Bethlehem

    Hebron & Bethlehem (B, L, D)

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  4. Ein Keren & Abu Ghosh (B, D)

    Morning: visit Ein Karem, a beautiful tranquil village and neighbourhood in the west of Jerusalem believed to be the place where Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, miraculously became pregnant and gave birth. During her pregnancy, Elizabeth was visited by a family relative – Mary, who was also pregnant, with Jesus and for this reason the village well is now called Mary’s Well. We then visit the stalactite caves at Soreq on the way to Abu Ghosh, a likely site for the village of Emmaus.

    Afternoon: we end our day at the Israel Museum where we can see a scale model of Jerusalem around the time of Jesus, a victory stele mentioning the house of David, evidence of crucifixion, and the Pontius Pilate stone found at Caesarea Maritima. There will be free time to explore other aspects of the museum including the art, exhibitions, and the Shrine of the Book that houses some of the Dead Sea scrolls, or time just to rest and have a leisurely lunch (not included today).

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  5. Floating in the Dead Sea

    Jerusalem – Masada & the Dead Sea (B, L, D)

    Morning: drive to Qumran, located on the north-western shore of the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, known as the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Continue to Masada (Hebrew for fortress) that sits atop an isolated rock-cliff overlooking the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea. Masada has become one of the Jewish people's greatest symbols as the place where the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood.

    Afternoon: included lunch by the Dead Sea and a chance to bathe and float in its briny waters. After continue to view Wadi Qelt, a beautiful oasis of waterfalls and towering rocks, located deep inside the Jordan Valley. The route passes one of the oldest synagogues in the world, and St. George’s Monastery, one of the oldest continuously active Greek Orthodox monasteries.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  6. To Galilee & The West Bank (B, L, D)

    We move on to Galilee. On the way, we visit Jericho and take a cable car up to the Temptation Monastery where we can look down at the valley that would have been part of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. We then travel to Nablus – ancient Shechem. Here Abraham received God’s promise and Joseph is buried. We visit Jacob’s Well, and consider the story of the Samaritan woman and of Rebecca.  We have lunch in Nablus. We hear from a member of the Samaritan community based in Mount Gerizim. We travel on to Galilee where, after settling in to our hotel, we have the opportunity of joining with the local congregation at St Andrew’s Church for their evening service. We stay for three nights at the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias, by the Sea of Galilee.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  7. Sea of Galilee Boat Cruise

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

    Morning: enjoy a relaxing cruise across the Sea of Galilee on a traditional wooden boat. A great time to contemplate the path you have followed these last days. Visit Capernaum where Jesus lived after being driven from Nazareth and also the home of the disciples Peter, Andrew and Matthew and where several healings took place. We visit the Mensa Christi Church dedicated to Jesus and his disciples down a winding street in the neighbourhood.

    Afternoon: lakeside worship at Tabgha the site of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes where Jesus fed the 5,000. After, continue for lunch in a local restaurant on the Mount of Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. Later, we visit the lakeside location that remembers Jesus’ meeting with the disciples after his resurrection, we spend a leisurely afternoon at Magdala, the possible home of Mary Magdalene, with its two synagogues from around the time of Jesus.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  8. SEPPHORIS & BANIAS (B, L, D)

    I am the good shepherd. We visit three places that help us understand more of the northern ministry of Jesus in its historical context. Sepphoris is about 4 miles from Nazareth, and was a large city in the time of Jesus where carpentry skills would have been welcome. We visit Caesarea Philippi where Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ and where we find one of the spring sources of the River Jordan. We then visit the lush greenery of Tel Dan and see the Canaanite Gate that is thought to date back to the time of Abraham, and end our day with a beautiful (optional) waterfall walk of just over a mile. We lunch in the el-Rawche restaurant.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  9. Nazareth & Home (B, L, D)

    I am the door. On our final day we go to Nazareth, the home town of Jesus, positioned just off the main trade routes of the day. We will go to Nazareth Village and experience life in the first century, seeing some of the Bible stories brought  to life. We share our last meal together – a 1st century style lunch – before travelling to the airport. EL AL flight LY317 departs at 17:15, arriving at 20:45.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • The Mount of Olives
  • Ein Karem - home of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist
  • Bethlehem - Basilica of the Nativity
  • Nazareth and Basilica of the Annunciation
  • Mount of Beatitudes - site of the Sermon on the Mount
  • Sea of Galilee cruise

Optional excursions

Please check the brochure of your selected dated departure for any optional excursions. Most will be included with the exception of Masada and the Dead Sea that in some cases may be a worthwhile optional excursion.

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 10 or 11 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.

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.

This information can change so for the most up to date information please check with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office website.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Your hotels 

Eight nights based in a double or twin room. Most pilgrimages 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 many years. They are in excellent locations, privately owned and managed, and offer good food and comfortable accommodation with private facilities.

Golden Walls Hotel, Jerusalem 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

Our Programme Tour Leader Tour Dates Availability
Advent in the Holy Land Holy Land Advent Departing From Heathrow Prices from £3109 pp Chris and Rhona Knight 04/12/2024 for 9 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry

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