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NEW! The Holy Land Ancient and New (4*) – 10 Days

  • Visit ancient archaeological sites covering Neolithic and Iron Ages
  • Relax the first night in Netanya on the Mediterranean and visit Jaffa Old Port on arrival
  • Three nights in Tiberius on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
  • A nights Bedouin camp experience
  • Four nights  in Jerusalem, in a 4* hotel just outside the old city
  • Four star hotels throughout

This tour is an alternative, or perhaps a 'follow-up' to our classic 10 day Holy Land itinerary. In addition to sites associated with Jesus life, we explore a greater number of Old testament locations such as the archaeological excavations Tel Dan, and Roman sites within the Holy Land. This in-depth exploration give pilgrims a chance to gain greater understanding of both the development of Judeo-Christian theology, and the political and historical contexts of the time of Jesus.  In addition, we also visits Magdala and covers the life of Mary Magdalene, less mentioned on other tours.

As with all McCabe Holy Land pilgrimages, this tour explores the life of Jesus and follows the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles as we take in the sea of Galilee, River Jordan, Mount of Beatitudes and Bethlehem, with our pilgrimage culminating in four nights in the Holy city of Jerusalem.

In addition to a plethora of biblical sites we include an overnight Bedouin camp experience to learn of some indigenous populations and their way of life as you group join together for a night under the stars. Also, we take short hikes in the Golan Heights, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and visit Masada.

Below is a sample itinerary. Do contact us to discuss arrangements for your group. At the end of the itinerary also see other suggestions that may be of interest to create a special individual itinerary.

Itinerary can be based on an early morning flight departing Heathrow at approximately 07:00 or an afternoon flight with a late evening arrival in Tel Aviv. Flights are available direct from Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Luton, Dublin and Manchester. Heathrow flights operate daily. Other airports operate schedules a few times a week which may require additional overnight stays in the Holy Land. 

The 'from' price is based on a departure in January to mid-February, June or November to mid-December at currently quoted room rates and flight prices which can change subject to season and availability.

Itinerary

  1. Fly to Tel Aviv (D)

    Itinerary can be based on an early morning flight departing Heathrow at approximately 07:00 or an afternoon flight with a late evening arrival in Tel Aviv. Flights are available direct from Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Luton, Dublin and Manchester. Heathrow flights operate daily. Other airports operate schedules a few times a week which may require additional overnight stays in the Holy Land. 

    Morning: meet your Group Leader and check-in for your flight to Tel Aviv.

    Afternoon: arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport and be met by your expert local guide who will welcome you and escort you to your hotel in Netanya for an overnight stay. For groups on earlier flights a stop for an hour or two in Jaffa the old port district would be possible on the way to the hotel. Explore the stony walkways and beautiful port overlooking the Tel Aviv skyline, with its art galleries and historic stone buildings. Jaffa is perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean and named after Japhet - one of Noah's three sons who founded the city after escaping from the flood.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel. Late evening arrivals will be offered a cold platter served in the room.

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

  2. Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo & Nazareth Village (B, D)

    Morning: travel to Caesarea built by the Romans and enlarged under Herod. Ancient ruins, beautiful beaches and modern residences sit side-by-side. Continue to beautiful Mt Carmel with its Druze villages and lush vegetation and the home of Elijah's challenge.

    Afternoon: visit the ancient town of Megiddo overlooking the Plain of Esdraelon  After continue to Tiberius and check-in to your hotel for a two-night stay. Excavations have shown that the first town there was built in the early 4th century. In modern times Megiddo gave its name to an important battle won by the British general Edmund Allenby, who commanded the British forces in Palestine during the latter part of World War I. Later visit Nazareth Village, an authentic first-century farm and archaeologically accurate re-creation of the hometown of Jesus with real ties to the life and time of His friends, family and fellow Nazarenes. Also you will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation where Mary the mother of Jesus was first visited by the Angel Gabriel.At the end of the afternoon check-in to your hotel in Tiberias for a two-night stay.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

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

  3. Galilee cruise, Tabgha, Capernaum and Magdala (B, L, D)

    Morning: start the day with a gentle cruise across the Sea of Galilee on a traditional wooden boat. Then take in lakeside worship at Tabgha the site of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes where Jesus fed the 5,000. Here we visit the Church of St. Peter's Primacy, the location of Jesus' reinstatement of Peter as chief among the Apostles.

    Afternoon: included fish lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to the Mount of Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered followed by a visit to Magdala, believed to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.  Archaeological excavations have uncovered an ancient synagogue, called the "Migdal Synagogue", dating from the Second Temple period.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

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

  4. Tel Dan, Golan Heights, Mt. Bental, Jordan River Baptismal site (B, L, D)

    Morning: visit Tel Dan with its archaeological highlights from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Ages including the site possibly where Jeroboam's golden calf once stood. After, travel to Upper Golan and Banias National Park for a short walk to the Banias Waterfall that provides water to the River Jordan. Mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, under the name of Caesarea Philippi, as the place where Jesus confirmed Peter's confession that Jesus was the Messiah. After, continue to 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. After, continue to Mt. Bental for views across the entire region.

    Afternoon: visit the Jordan River Baptismal site and visit where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. A very moving site located south of the river's outlet from the Sea of Galilee.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

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

  5. Beit Shean, Qumran, Ein Gedi nature reserve (B, L, D)

    Morning: visit the ancient city of Beit She’an in the northern Jordan Valley is an immensely impressive archaeological site with remains dating back mostly to the Roman and Byzantine period. Beit She’an gained a Biblical reference when the Israelites under King Saul were defeated at the Battle of Mount Gilboa – it is said that the body of Saul was hung from the city’s walls, along with the bodies of his sons.

    Afternoon: continue 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. Then visit Ein Gedi, a nature reserve and archaeological site, where you will enjoy a short hike to the 'David Falls' After continue to your Bedouin camp, for an overnight stay, and take a camel or donkey ride the final section to find the camp tucked away in the Kana`im Valley in the Judean desert between the city of Arad and the ancient citadel of Masada. Your picturesque desert resort features spacious lodges made of local stone and fabrics and many relaxing spots to unwind among palm trees and captivating nature.

    Evening: dinner under the stars (weather permitting) with your Bedouin hosts.

    Note that the Bedouin camp can be replaced with a night in a hotel on the dead Sea where you just have dinner under the stars at the camp.

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

  6. Masada & Bethlehem (B, D)

    Morning: drive 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. After, continue to the Dead Sea for a float in its briny waters.

    Afternoon: journey to the Shepherds Fields the site where an angel of the Lord came and said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy’. A thoroughly moving experience. After, we visit the Basilica of the Nativity in Manger Square, the oldest complete church in the Christian world, which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It replaced the original church of Constantine the Great, built over the cave venerated as Christ’s birthplace, and dedicated in AD 339. Then, continue to Jerusalem and check-in to your hotel for a four-night stay.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

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

  7. Mount of Olives and the Palm Sunday Path (B, L, D)

    Morning: visit the Mount of Olives and look down over Jerusalem, then follow the Palm Sunday Path into the city. Visits will include the Chapel of Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested; the Church of St. Peter de Galicantu then enter the city through the Lion's Gate. Inside the city walls visit the Church of St Anne and the pool at Bethesda, identified as the scene of one of Jesus’ miracles, the healing of the paralysed man who had waited for 38 years for someone to help him into the pool “when the water is stirred”

    Afternoon: stroll the Via Dolorosa “the sorrowful way” in which Jesus travelled on the day of his crucifixion from the judgement seat of Pilate to Mount Calvary. We include a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

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

  8. The Temple Mount and old walled city (B, D)

    Morning: visit the Temple Mount and see the outside of the Dome of the Rock a holy site for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people. Within the area of the Temple Mount, there are about 100 different structures to see spanning different time periods, including prayer locations, arches, and fountains. After, continue to visit the City of David Hill and National Park, Hezekiah's Tunnel and Mt. Zion; the highest point in Jerusalem. The final stop will be at the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, also called Wailing Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place of sacred prayer and pilgrimage. It is the only remains of the retaining wall surrounding the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. You will stroll the ramparts of the wall before free time for lunch.

    Afternoon: this afternoon is free. Wander the old city and enjoy the local atmosphere. Lunch (at own cost) in a local restaurant or sample the array of fascinating Jerusalem street food.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel followed by the Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David Museum. Watch the walls of the Citadel become the stage for a nighttime show celebrating Jerusalem’s 4,000-year-old history through sights and sounds.

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

  9. Israel and Yad Vashem Museums and Garden Tomb (B, D)

    Morning: visit The Israel Museum. The focus of the museum is on the art, Judaica and ancient artifacts of the Land of Israel and beyond, featuring the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archeology in the world. The museum has a collection of nearly 500,000 objects, representing a full scope of world material culture. Also, visit of Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial, which sits on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem. Opened in 2005 its nine galleries of interactive historical displays present the Holocaust. It uses a range of multimedia including photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos. Finish at The Garden Tomb, a possible location for the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

    Afternoon: free in Jerusalem maybe try wandering the Mahne Yehuda Market/Shuk with over 250 vendors selling fresh produce and handmade goods.

    Evening: Farewell dinner in the hotel.

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

  10. Depart for the UK (B)

    Free before departing for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for your return flight to the UK after this ten day tour covering both biblical and archaeological wonders.

  11. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR YOR GROUPS HOLY LAND EXPERIENCE

    There are a number of things that we can offer to the main tour programme to create your groups individual experience in the Holy Land. Some may require additional night stays and always subject to availability. When contacting us do enquire. Some suggestions would be...

    • Worship opportunities with local communities
    • Visit a Druze community
    • Spend Sabbath dinner with an Orthodox Jewish Family and be welcomed into their home
    • Stay in a Kibbutz near Galilee instead of Tiberias
    • Stay in Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem
    • Add a stay in Tel Aviv
    • Visit of McCabe Educational Trusts sponsored projects
    • Stay 15 minutes from Jerusalem instead of in the city and Neve Ilan in the Judean Hills with great views.

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • Ancient Roman port of Caesarea
  • Nazareth Village and Basilica of the Annunciation
  • Megiddo archaeological site
  • Sea of Galilee cruise
  • Capernaum and Tabgha - site of the feeding of the 5,000
  • Mount of Beatitudes - site of the Sermon on the Mount
  • Magdala archaeological site
  • Banias Nature Reserve and the Golan Heights
  • Jordan River Baptismal site
  • Masada including cable car
  • Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and 'David's Falls'
  • Swim in the Dead Sea
  • The Shepherds Fields with worship
  • Bethlehem - Basilica of the Nativity
  • The Mount of Olives
  • Palm Sunday Path & Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Guided stroll of Via Dolorosa "the sorrowful way"
  • Old Jerusalem, Jewish Quarter and Western Wall
  • Israel & Yad Vashem Holocaust Museums

Optional excursions

None! All excursions, entrance fees and extras as listed above and below are included.

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: half-board and four lunches. Your lunches will be in local restaurants. 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 itinerary 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.

Your journey

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

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, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways flights from Heathrow.

Flights from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester are with easyJet and do not always operate daily so some itineraries may need to be longer to allow for this.

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

The transfer from Tel Aviv Airport to Jerusalem is approximate 90 minutes and to Tiberias approximately two and a half hours.

Your hotels 

NETANYA: RAMADA HOTEL & SUITES (4*)

Situated half a nile from the centre of Netanya on Israel's Mediterranean coast.

Hotel facilities: elegant spa, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, bar, lounge and restaurant.

Your room: all come with terrace balcony with partial sea views, equipped with air-conditioning/ heating, mini-bar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board and complimentary WiFi.

Your bathroom: bath or shower, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.

TIBERIAS: LEONARDO CLUB (4*)

Situated in the city centre next to the promenade on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and just a 10 minute stroll to the Old City Bazaar and harbour area with its café’s and boutique shopping area.

Hotel facilities: outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre, bar, lounge and restaurant.

Your room: all come equipped with balcony, air-conditioning/ heating, mini-bar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary WiFi.

Your bathroom: shower over the bath tub, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.

 

ARAD: KFAR HANOKDIM DESERT CAMP

Tucked away in the Kana`im Valley in the Judean Desert, between the city of Arad and the ancient citadel of Masada, there is a green oasis: Kfar Hanokdim. The picturesque desert resort features goat hair Bedouin style tents, spacious lodges made of local stone and many relaxing spots to unwind among palm trees and captivating nature.

Camp facilities: gathering area to listen to local music after dinner, breakfast room and dining room decorated with traditional fabrics and rugs.

Your lodge: you will stay in a lodge made of local stone and fabrics and very simply furnished but equipped with an electric kettle. These are designed for six or eight people but we only place four maximum in each lodge and only of the same sex.

Your bathroom: nearby shower block with shower and toilet cubicles.

 

JERUSALEM: GRAND COURT HOTEL (4*)

Five hundred metres from the Garden Tomb and the Damascus Gate which enters into the old walled city and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The new Jerusalem light rail stops just across the street and can easily take you around the city.

Hotel facilities: roof-top swimming pool, fitness centre, bar-lounge and restaurant.

Your room: all come equipped an additional seating area, air-conditioning/ heating, fridge, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary WiFi.

Your bathroom: shower over the bath tub, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. Ample towels are provided for both bathroom and pool use.

Practical information

Single supplements and 'twin to share' rooms

Where possible we try to keep single supplements to a minimum. We charge the basic price and accommodate your member with a person of the same sex from your group who has requested shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with them, they 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 peak season is 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. Winters are milder so the lower seasons of November, December, January and February will still be much warmer that the UK. Hotel and flight prices at these times are better and offer a greater value for money tour for your group.

Israel is hot in the summer months with average temperatures across country over 30C.

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 as well as climb two to three flights of stairs. 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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