Project Description

CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE

To walk in the Holy Land, to experience “the Fifth Gospel” of pilgrimage, to meet and engage with the local people, the “living stones” of the Holy Land….is far more than an exciting tour. It is a rite of passage in one’s faith journey that will define life before and after. The tour programs of Holy Land Trust began nearly 20 years ago with a historic retracing of the “Journey of the Magi” from Iraq to Bethlehem, and have carried the same mark of authentic, individual and purpose-made pilgrimages for people of all faiths ever since.

Our Pilgrimage programs range from open-brochure bookings to custom-made experiences for faith communities, small groups, and families, couples, and individuals. Each program offers a unique experience designed for the specific needs of the pilgrims or pilgrim. Members of every faith, denomination, and confession are welcome to join us, based on their needs, interests, length of time, and price range.

Jordan River baptismal site where Jesus was baptized.

  • Spiritual Focus – While a pilgrimage is personal in nature, it is unpacking this spiritual journey with those around you that makes it transformative.
  • Authentic Experiences – The Holy Land is one of the most visited places on Earth. There are tourist traps around every corner. But being locally based, with the staff being born and raised in the Christian faith, we know how to navigate this land, so it doesn’t feel like a one-off tourism trip. We understand the importance of creating a spiritually, fulfilling journey.
  • Focus on God – The stories of Jesus define this land for so many. For the Christian community here, we understand how important it is to make a trip that focuses on the life, times, and message of Jesus Christ in ways that give you a deeper understanding for your calling.
  • Ungoing community – For many people, a journey like this can be life-changing, with new questions opening up. When you join a Holy Land Trust tour, you aren’t just taking a trip, but entering into a family of believers. We know what it is like to live in this space and wrestle with some of the exestential questions of life.
  • Time to reflect – While our tours a packed with historical, cultural, and religious events – we also understand that the times of silence and solace are crucial in creating a space to connect with the Divine. We know how to balance getting in as much in a possible, but being able to savor and relish the moment.

A brief look at the itinerary and the costs

Here is a look at a sample schedule of a Christian Pilgrimage. But every tour is different. We understand how important it is to customize the needs of the group, working tirelessly in dialogue to find the perfect program. Some groups like to focus more on churches and Palestinian Christian leaders. Others like the historical and archeological sites. Others prefer meeting with an array of different institutions. Whatever your group’s needs are, Holy Land Trust will make it happen.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Christian Pilgrimage Sample Schedule
Day 1 Day 2
Arrival at Tel Aviv Airport, meet and head to Bethlehem for dinner and briefing.  Bethlehem
Day 3 Day 4
Ein Gedi, Dead Sea & Jericho Jerusalem
Day 5 Day 6
Bethlehem Caesarea, Megiddo & Mt. Carmel
Day 7 Day 8
Nazareth & the Sea of Galilee Nablus & Mt Gerizim
Day 9
Depart

Total: 3399 

  • Round trip Economy class air flight ticket from USA to Tel Aviv
  • All necessary land transportation during the tour includes airport pick up and transfer
  • Sightseeing in deluxe private air-conditioned motor coach
  • Accommodations for 6 nights in Bethlehem – 2 nights in Nazareth specified in the itinerary in 4 Star Hotels
  • Breakfast and dinner at Hotel daily
  • Coffee, tea with breakfast daily
  • Service charges, portage and taxes for accommodations
  • Daily Lunches  with soft drinks
  • Cultural dinner in a Bedouin style restaurant
  • Services of a licensed English-speaking guide (daily)
  • All entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Boat ride at Sea of Galilee
  • Entry to Dead Sea
  • Honorarium fees for speakers and organizations
  • Tips for driver , tour guide, restaurants
  • 1 Free person every 20 paying passengers

Does not include 

Travel insurance,  lunches on arrival and departure day, costs for items not on table d’hôte menus such as water or other beverages at dinner. Laundry, telephone calls, or services other than those specifically mentioned.

Check on “Early Bird” rates and special assistance rates. Email Encounter@Holylandtrust.org

Up To Date Curriculum

As new historical discoveries emerge in the Holy Land, as the social landscape changes in your own communities back home, Holy Land Trust ensure that each tour is updated to reflect the most pressing issues of your group. We spend as  much time as it takes to ensure we are building just the right package for you.

The life and times of Jesus, while short, was expansive, rich, and diverse. From his time in the Galilee to his final days in Jerusalem, this tour covers a lot of ground. We unpack the history of Christianity in the Holy Land and firmly place in the larger regional context, while making the intimate connections to personal spiritual growth.

As it is in any country, there is a multitude of different perspectives on the life of Christ. The Palestinian Christian community is not a homogenous unit, but rather a rich culture that has sprung to life from their own unique history and theological underpinnings. Exploring the rich tapestry of the local Christian Palestinian communities will prove to be an enlightening experience.

While this tour is specifically about the spiritual dimensions of this land, it is impossible to separate the Christian communities, their culture, and history from the political dynamics of this land. While it isn’t heavily integrated into the program, there is always open space for you to dig deeper into these urgent questions.

One of the unique features of our program is our integrative “homestay” approach to long-term living here. Over the course of your time here in the Holy Land, we house you with local families, so you have space where authentic, and long-lasting relationships can be fostered into a commitment to pursuing justice. Our experience has been, that is through these homestays and the friendly and intimate environment that it provides, it creates a situation where stories that otherwise might not be shared are opened up. It gives you a deeper insight into how the average Palestinian experiences and navigates life in this matrix of complexities and contradictions. While the homestay are optional, they are always highly recommended.

What to expect after your Christian Pilgrimage?

For many Christians, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a life-changing and an affirmation of their faith journey. These tours bring to the surface important theological considerations and new questions about how the life of Christ applies to the individual. It opens up altogether different understandings of the Bible by giving you a physical context to play the stories and homilies in.

  • Explore all the essential geographical areas of the life of Christ: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee.

  • Meet the longest living Christian communities in the world and explore how the histography of Jesus has remained at the heart of families for thousands of years.

  • Not to be taken lightly, the Palestinian cuisine is something of an experience all unto itself – particularly home-cooked meals!

Additional Tours

Olive Harvest

Join us in the Palestinian communities during this sacred time. Stand in solidarity with the local villages as they harvest their crops. 

Join Us

Iktashef

This summer-long journey is specifically geared for those looking for a deeper investment into the dynamics shaping the Holy Land. 

Join Us

House Rebuilding

We are called to be a light. Rebuilding a home for a Palestinian family is a tangible way you can give hope for all future generations. 

Join Us

Christian Pilgrimage

For many, a chance to visit the Holy Land on a pilgrimage and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ represents a turning point in their spiritual journey.

Join Us

Fact-Finding Tour

Our 14-day Fact-Finding Tour gives you a schedule with meeting with religious leaders, politicians, and community activists tools for peacemaking.

Join Us

Meet the staff

 
Elias Deis
Executive Director
Holy Land Trust’s E.D., Elias Deis has worked for over a decade at Holy Land Trust. He was formally the Travel & Encounter Program Director and serves on the Beit Sahour City Council.
Lara Mitri
BLF Director
Lara Mitri is the Bethlehem Live Festival Director, ensuring that the festival creates an inclusive space that promotes a message of social justice on a global scale.
Said Zarzar
Creative Manager
Said Zarzar is the Creative Manager of Holy Land Trust, organizing the event planning for Bet Lahem Live, as well as the lead coordinator for the Travel & Encounter Department.
Sami Awad
Sami Awad
Founder | Programs Developer
Sami Awad, the founder and former executive director of Holy Land Trust, has spent a lifetime working the infield of community development and leadership training.

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