Check that everyone in your group has proper insurance for the trip. As a result of circumstances, some holy land travel companies have become very proficient in designing special insurance policies for pilgrimage groups, and even very elderly participants can be insured. Make sure to talk to one of our representatives for the proper insurance plans. Also, take into account one free day per week for rest or individual pursuits. Most pilgrims undergo an intense emotional experience and absorb a great deal of information. A common request is simply for ''time to think, reflect and absorb ...." We also strongly recommend an extra day of leisure upon arrival. This way you have one full day of rest before your tour begins.
The length of a pilgrimage tour may be determined by a group's special interest, which could lead to the addition of a number of extra days. A farming group may plan to combine a pilgrimage with an agricultural study tour. Music-lovers may include one of the many secular or ecclesiastical music festivals in their touring program, or if they are a performing group, may even consider giving concerts during their stay. (Israel Tourism Consultants along with The Israel Ministry of Tourism can help organize such events). Some groups may decide to combine the pilgrimage experience with regular touring and vacation time, or even explore medical tourism opportunities in Israel, based on a medical infrastructure that is among best in the world and at rates lower than in most Western countries. In any case, it is a good idea to take in at least a few of the "secular" sights.
Israel is a colorful Mediterranean country that offers the visitor an endless choice of holiday opportunities - beautiful beaches, vibrant cities such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, fascinating archeological and natural wonders such as UNESCO's World Heritage Site of Masada, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee, a warm friendly population of rich cultural diversity, and above all, an all-embracing blend of ancient and modern that adds an extra dimension every step of the way. Consultation with an Israel travel professional can be very useful in helping you decide upon the ideal length for the pilgrimage you or your groups are planning.
Getting around, long forgotten are the difficult, lengthy journeys pilgrims undertook to the Holy Land centuries ago. Today, Israel can be reached in a matter of hours from every corner of the globe. Travelers have their choice of any of the major airlines, flying either non-stop from home, or via convenient transit points and now more than ever in the internet era, tourist, including many that eventually arrive as part of groups, before making a final decision regarding how to travel.
Israel’s location at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea makes it a highly convenient gateway for regional tours. Holy Land packages many times combine visits to two or more destinations- Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece. This is specially true for pilgrim travelers flying from North America, it makes economic and logistic sense to visit more then one country on a trip to the Holyland.
The ancient world spread across several different lands, and of special interest to pilgrims are tours highlighting places of biblical significance in the entire region. The great majority majority of visitors to Israel arrive by air, however, the number of cruises including Israel as a port of call has been on the increase, enabling cruise tourists to include one- day guided bus tours to Jerusalem/Bethlehem and the Galilee on their itinerary, or even one-night stay. Overland travel from Egypt and Jordan is one other option, and pilgrimage groups visiting Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of Santa Katarina in Egypt can cross the border at Eilat, the resort city at the southernmost tip of Israel. Israel has an excellent public transportation system, reaching virtually every corner of the country, Important to remember is that except for Haifa and Nazareth, buses do not operate on the Jewish Sabbath (from late Friday afternoon until Saturday evening after sunset).
Ideal touring and transportation is to join a holy land group tour with luxury air-conditioned motor coach with driver during your stay in the Holy Land- not even a navigational device can beat a well trained driver and government certified Israel tour guide. Pay extra and hire a private car with guide for convenience, this is a good option for small groups of 4-9 people. There are also domestic flights which link Tel Aviv to Eilat, for those wanting to relax under the sun by the Red Sea. There are special transportation, desert touring vehicles, jeeps, boat rides along the Sea of Galilee and along the Red Sea and Mediterranean coastlines. Not to mention traveler’s pair of legs! whenever possible, there is no substitute for intimacy and knowledge of a place acquired by the person who walks. For pilgrims especially following in the footsteps of Jesus, it’s an unforgettable experience walking in the Old City of Jerusalem, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.