company name
  • DISCOVER THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY
  • DISCOVER THE HOLY LAND
  • FIND INSPIRATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT
  • WITNESS THE RICH CULTURAL DIVERSITY
  • EXPERIENCE A NEW BEGINNING
  • FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS
  • ENRICH YOUR FAITH
  • SAIL ON THE SEA OF GALILEE
  • SEE THE SUN RISE OVER BETHLEHEM
  • MAKE THE JOURNEY WITH US TODAY

The Holy Land - General Information

Benefits of booking with us

The best time to travel

The Holy Land benefits from the warmth of the Mediterranean climate - mild in the winter and hot in the summer. Easter is always a special time to go. October is very popular but can be crowded. November is a nice time – less crowded and cooler. Visiting at other times can be just as good and in some respects better - cooler temperatures are more suitable for walking. We have groups travelling all year around from January to December and more often than not they are blessed with good weather, even in January.

Is there much travelling / walking?

There is a fair amount of walking but at a slow pace, this is because all the Holy sites are scattered throughout the Holy Land. Many are located in Jerusalem, so the most walking we do will be in Jerusalem for a day or two. Other sites can be reached by our coach. So it balances out. From time to time you can rest when our guide stops to explain when visiting a Holy site. Our guide and caring driver will drop you off close enough to the site to ensure that you don’t have to walk longer than necessary. If you have a stick, take it with you, it will definitely help in manoeuvring over marbled and uneven ground in Jerusalem. We are sorry that we are unable to take wheelchair users because of the nature of the pilgrimage. Going around the Old City of Jerusalem would be almost impossible. Regrettably, the Holy Land is wheelchair unfriendly. The Holy Land is about the size of Wales (8,000 square miles, 263 miles from North to South and varying between 9 and 71 miles from East to West) and has a smaller population than London. The furthest we have to travel by coach is from Bethlehem to Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), about 2½ hours, however en-route we visit other Holy Sites and in addition, we stop for refreshments and comfort rooms. So it is not as bad as it may sound. Pilgrims find it relaxing sitting in the coach looking out of the window and listening to the guide providing you with vital information on literally everything you could possibly want to hear about the history of the Holy Land – fascinating! If you have not been there yet why not join us. You will not be disappointed.

What to wear

Being in the Holy Land visiting Holy Sites, it is vitally important that you are dressed appropriately and respect the Holy Places that we are visiting (remember you are not on a holiday, you are on a pilgrimage). You will not be allowed to enter the Holy Sites dressed in shorts or sleeveless tops or if displaying bare shoulders. For ladies, skirts or dresses have to be below your knees.

Do I need a visa for the Holy Land?

A visa is not required for citizens of the EU, United States, Australia and some Asian countries. Further information and the list of which countries require a visa can be obtained at the following:
Embassy of Israel,
2 Palace Green,
London W8 4QB
Telephone: 020 7957 9500
Note: the Consular telephone hours are from 14:30 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday. Accurate information can also be obtained at www.embassies.gov.il/london/ConsularServices If a visa is required, once your tour has been paid in full, we will provide you with a letter of proof that you are travelling with us. You will need to present this together with other relevant paperwork to the Israeli Consulate. The Consulate staff will be more than happy to assist you in every way. Please note that if you are extending your visit beyond Israel to Jordan or Egypt you will need a multiple entry visa if the itinerary calls for a crossing back in to Israel.

Itineraries

All the Holy Land itineraries in our brochure are generalised and the most popular for all Christians, particularly Catholics. However, depending on the organiser/Parish Priest he/she may request a different itinerary. So if you have a Holy site you wish to visit that isn’t mentioned in our brochure please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you to see if this can be included. For a specific date/pilgrimage we issue a full itinerary leaflet detailing what is included, please contact us and we will happy to send one out to you. If you require further information just pick up the phone and call us on Freephone 0800 612 7975. It will be our pleasure to assist in any of your requirements.

Our guides in the Holy Land

Our priority is to support Catholic and other Christians in Bethlehem so it is only wise that we work with professional Catholic and Christian guides resident in Bethlehem. Bethlehem has long been associated with our faith, the place where Jesus was born. Needless to say we also have excellent professional guides available working with us from outside Bethlehem if need be. They too understand that caring for our pilgrims is our number one priority.

Joining us from outside the UK / Ireland

You can either arrange the flights yourself to Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion airport and we charge you only for ground arrangements including transfers, or you can join the group in the UK, in which case your package will include flights. People coming from the United States tend to use the latter option. In the event of joining the group in the UK please ensure that you have plenty of time for your connecting flights. If you need advice on a suitable airport hotel for an overnight stay or if you have any other queries please contact us, we will be happy to help. Travel insurance is compulsory and must be purchased in your country of residence.

How much does it cost?

Our prices vary depending on when you travel – high or low season (low season is the last week of November to mid-February, except Christmas), the airlines we use, the rating of the hotels and even when you book can affect the cost of your pilgrimage. Generally the earlier you book the better the price. Prices start from £729 for a winter (low season) pilgrimage.

Where we fly from and flight duration

We use British Airways and El Al from London Heathrow, easyJet and El Al from London Luton, easyJet from London Gatwick and easyJet from Manchester. All our flights from the UK are direct to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion airport). Flight time is approximately 4½ to 5 hours. Currently there are no direct flights from Scotland to the Holy Land; however flights are available from Glasgow connecting with the easyJet flight from London Luton to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. Alternatively, overnight coach to Manchester airport or overnight here then fly with easyJet direct to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. From Ireland / Northern Ireland there are a number of flights from Dublin or Belfast to London and Manchester that will connect with your flight to Tel Aviv. The Holy Land is two hours ahead of UK time.

What is the best currency to take?

The local currency is the shekel, but literally everything in Israel is priced in US dollars, so this is the best currency to bring. Even when paying in dollars you will be given your change in shekels. You may need shekels for incidental expenses such as paying for the use of public toilets, as not all of these are free to use. If you have Sterling or Euros these are also accepted in restaurants and shops, however the conversion rate they use to dollars will be in their favour, not yours. Credit cards are accepted only by larger shops.

Group organisers and leaders

Generally we provide one free place for twenty paying pilgrims, two for forty and three for fifty two. Itineraries can be tailored according to your specifications. It is advisable for group organisers to book their group at least 10 months in advance. This will give everyone time to save up for the trip. There is plenty of organising involved in preparing for your pilgrimage. Last minute decisions could lead to panic, cost overrun and other unnecessary problems. So why not enquire now? We understand that some organisers are loyal and will continue to use their tour operator regardless of how much they charge because it is easier and seems safer than having to look elsewhere and compare prices. But in these difficult economic times it pays to shop around. Our promise to you is that, like for like, you will not find a better value for money pilgrimage. We use the same excellent quality local guides, in many cases the same hotels (and we can quote using a particular hotel if you have one in mind), the same airlines, and offer the same level of financial protection (ATOL) as larger operators. We are confident that we can beat the quote of other tour operators on any comparable tour. The money you save will be welcomed by your people. Without them, your pilgrimage might not go ahead due to lack of participants and this sometimes happens. That extra money that you are able to save them will pay for extras such as lunches, insurance, etc… Our loyalty is with you and your people. We will tell you whether our price is competitive enough and will refer you to other tour operators if need be to get the best price for your group. If you are thinking of organising a group to the Holy Land this year or the next please enquire now. The earlier you enquire the better the value of your pilgrimage. Why not contact us for details. You will not regret it.

Travel times in the Holy Land

The following will give you an idea of driving times in the Holy Land. These times assume normal road conditions.
From TEL AVIV BEN GURION AIRPORT to:
Bethlehem: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Nazareth: 2 hours
Tiberias: 3 hours
From BETHLEHEM to:
Jerusalem: 25 minutes
Jericho: 45 minutes
Nazareth: 2 hours
Tiberias/Sea of Galilee: 2½ hours
From NAZARETH to:
Tiberias/Sea of Galilee: 45 minutes
Mt Carmel/Haifa: 40 minutes

Supporting the Christian community in the Holy Land

We normally stay in Bethlehem for the first 5 nights of your pilgrimage. This is our way of supporting the Christian community here. The hotels we use here are owned and run by Catholic Palestinian families. Some younger generations work two jobs (day and night) to support their families and there are many where several generations live together under one roof supporting each other. We spoke to some of them and they said ‘we have no choice, working one job is not enough to support our families’. We are not seeking donations, we are merely expressing our humanitarian concern by doing what we can to help them keep their jobs and support their families without having to compromise your pilgrimage with us whatsoever. As we specialise in the Holy Land we have a very strong relationship with our business associates here and caring for our pilgrims, providing you with good service is always going to be our number one priority.

Travelling alone or from outside a Parish group

If you are an individual pilgrim joining an organised pilgrimage from a parish group or an organisation, we do understand that you could be reluctant to travel on your own, perhaps a fear of being ignored and isolated. PLEASE DON’T BE, we will make you feel very welcome. Part of our mission is to show compassion and understanding and we aim to provide you with a wonderful experience and a pilgrimage that you will remember and cherish for many years to come.

Vaccination requirements

We are not aware of any particular requiements when travelling to the Holy Land. However, it is always advisable to contact your GP.