When you think of Catholic pilgrimages to the holy land, what clicks in your mind? Well, here is a list of tours that offer the best pilgrimage experiences for the Catholics and more.
Visiting the birthplace of Jesus and walking where He and the disciples walked is every Christian’s dream. As the place where Christianity was born, the Holy Land, therefore, holds a significant place in the hearts of all Christians, no matter the denomination.
Catholic pilgrimages to the holy land are nothing new, and thousands, if not millions of pilgrims, embark on these tours each year. Numerous Catholic Holy Land tours are planned each year to provide the best spiritual gratification for the pilgrims.
I know as a traveler, you want a chance to visit the place of birth of Christ, walk on the same streets he walked, and even visit the place of his death and resurrection.
For this reason, we have compiled some of the best catholic holy land tours to help make that dream come true.
Best Holy Land Tours for Catholics
Kicking off with the birthplace of Jesus seems like a great idea. This half-day tour to Bethlehem is meant to give you a complete experience of the town our Lord was born. You remember the Manger, right? You get to visit the Manger square, a city square named after the manger where Jesus Christ was born.
Also, you’ll have the chance to enter the Basilica of the Nativity that stands around the “Holy Grotto,” and which is believed to be the exact birthplace of Jesus. Here, you can enjoy the amazing architectural features of this historic church and the stunning works of art. In fact, you will even see some parts of the beautiful mosaic floor – the original one.
And, the tour doesn’t end here. It takes you further to the Church of St. Catherine, where you explore the underneath ancient grottoes, reviewing altars, tombs, and even visiting the place where the Hebrew Bible was first translated to Latin.
The tour ends at approximately 13:00, after leaving Bethlehem and passing through Shepherds Field, as well as the Field of Ruth, back to Jerusalem.
Other features of the tour include:
- Guaranteed departure
- Tour language options
- Hotel pick-up (No drop-off)
- Entrance fees
This is another excellent Holy Land tour package. You get a full-day experience of the places Jesus walked and visited during his lifetime for an affordable price.
Through this tour, you will follow in the paths, and the Lord’s footsteps, as you ascend the Mount of Olives to visit the Church of the Ascension. This is the place where it’s believed that Jesus ascended to Heaven. Also nearby, there’s the “Church of the Pater Noster,” the origin of the Lord’s Prayer.
This tour also takes us to Dominus Flevit, the Church of all Nations, and the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane is the last place Jesus was with his disciples before Judas brought the Roman soldiers to arrest him.
Other sites we visit during this tour include:
- Via Dolorosa
- The Pools of Bethesda
- Convent of the Sisters of Zion
- Church of Saint Anne
From walking on the Mount of Olives, through Gethsemane, and Via Dolorosa, we get to experience the painful journey of Christ to Calvary. It is an undeniably spiritual journey to the birthplace of Christians’ faith.
Main features of this holy land tour for Catholics:
- Hotel pick-up and Drop-off
- Fully licensed tour guide
- Comfortable air-conditioned transport vehicle
Note: This is a tour of some of the holiest places in the Christian faith. So, modest dressing is required – covering both knees and shoulders. Also, there will be some reasonable walks, thus the need for comfortable shoes.
This pilgrimage tour helps Christians commemorate the historical day that Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations. During this Passover, the Messiah came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey and was welcomed by huge crowds waving palm branches, laying them down for him to walk on. This was the origin of the famous Palm Sunday on the Christian calendar.
The tour comes one Sunday before Easter, to help Christian pilgrims retrace the Messiah’s route to Jerusalem, back in c.33 AD. This pilgrimage tour involves a walk starting at the Mount of Olives, all the way to the Church of Saint Anne, in the Old City.
Lots of singing and praying accompanies this walk, with the procession making several stops at:
- The Chapel of Bethpage
- The Ascension Church,
- Dominus Flevit,
- Gethsemane, and into the Old Jerusalem
The last stretch will be the Via Dolorosa, after which you leave the Old Jerusalem. Your transportation will be waiting just beyond the Muslim Quarter.
See Related: Best Religious Tours of Italy
If you are looking for some incredible Catholic tours to the Holy Land, this one might just be what you need. The tour includes 10 full days of experiencing the Holy Land, following the Messiah’s footsteps, and visiting some of the places he performed various miracles.
It gives you a perfect chance to experience how things were back then when Christ walked those streets. You’ll also get to learn and see how His life impacts today’s lives.
What does this tour entail?
- A visit to the Caesarea Marítima, which was among the three largest Roman ports. It is here that St. Peter baptized Cornelius, the first gentile convert.
- Visiting the Roman Theater, the Hippodrome, and seeing Herod’s Palace.
- A tour to Mt. Camel and praying at the same cave that Elijah hid during his run from Jezebel.
- Walking the same route as Jesus did in the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane.
- A walk through Via Dolorosa all the way to Calvary.
And, this is just a tip of the many places you’ll visit, and the amazing activities planned for you.
See Related: What to Wear to the Vatican
This is a 16 days tour that takes you through three main destinations: Israel, Rome, and Assisi. Although it’s not an exclusive holy land tour for Catholics, it’s still among the best Catholic pilgrimages to the Holy Land that you’ll come across.
The actual tours to the various sites start on the third day after your departure, as the first two days involve your travel. You’ll have a chance to visit Bethlehem (the birthplace of Christ), Jerusalem, Nazareth, and some famous sites in the bible like:
- Mount of Olives
- Via Dolorosa
- Dead Sea
- The Transfiguration site
In Rome, you get to visit:
- Peters Square during the Papal Audience with the pope.
- Peter’s Basilica – built where the Romans martyred St. Peter.
- The Vatican Museum
- Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Catacombs
The tour is planned in a way that relieves you of all the pressures that accompany such travels. This allows you to have the best time during this long pilgrimage tour.
See Related: Best Christian Tours for Travel
If you want a tour that offers more than one destination, this tour is among the Catholic pilgrimages to the holy land that does just that.
Not only will you get a chance to visit Israel and see actual places as mentioned in the bible, but also have a few days in Paris.
Just like several other tours on this list, this one also takes you through the sites that are most significant in a Christian’s faith. These will include:
- Bethlehem (the birthplace of Christ)
- Nazareth – where Jesus grew up
- Jerusalem – including the Old City
- Gethsemane – the place where Jesus was captured
- Via Dolorosa – the route the Christ took to Calvary, etc.
Once we land in Paris, the first stop will be at Sacre Coeur Basilica for a Mass, and later another Mass at the Crypt. From Paris, the tour heads to Lisieux, with a visit to the Basilica of St. Therese, one of the greatest Saints of contemporary times.
The entire tour is designed to bring Christians closer to their origin and the Christian faith’s early days.
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This is yet another awesome holy land tour for Catholics. The 10 days pilgrimage tour to Israel starts on 12th April 2021, with jet services from Dallas-Fort Worth, New York, Charlotte, or Cincinnati.
Upon arrival to the Holy Land, you’ll have eight full days to see and visit all the places you’ve been longing for, in Messiah’s homeland.
Some of the main sites will include:
- Abu Ghosh – the place where King David made the famous dance, which saw his robes fall.
- Jerusalem – the Basilica of St. Ann, Mount Zion, and the Western Wall.
- Bethlehem – the Church of the Nativity, which stands on the exact place where Christ was born.
- Jericho – visit Elisha’s Fountain and the old town of Jericho.
- Via Dolorosa – take a walk through the last path that Christ followed to his cross.
- Nazareth – see the place where Mary, the mother of Jesus, met Angel Gabriel.
- Tabor – have a unique experience at the Mount of Transfiguration.
All these sites and many more form a unique spiritual journey for Christians as we come into contact with our origin of faith.
Catholic pilgrimages to the holy land are usually one of the best ways to inspire believers to keep their lights shining. Through this tour, Catholic pilgrims visit the actual places of origin for their faith or have experiences that connect them even more to their faith.
If you are a Catholic believer, you now have a chance to put your eyes on the places you’ve only read in the bible. Walk to the Mount of Olives or visit the Garden of Gethsemane, and connect to our Lord’s doings or moments spent there.
Get to see the exact birthplace of Jesus, at the Church of Nativity, or take a walk through Via Dolorosa to Calvary. All these activities are well planned to ensure that you have the best spiritual experience of the Holy land.
What this tour package covers:
- Round trip tickets
- Accommodation at 4* hotels
- Daily Dinner and breakfast
- One paid-for lunch on the 5th day
- Mass arrangements
- Professional, Christian tour guide
Everything is set to suit your faith and practices.
Want to experience the Birth, Life, and Death of the Messiah first hand? This is one of the Catholic pilgrimages to the holy land that helps you do exactly that. The tour that takes you to Bethlehem, Galilee, Jerusalem, and Nazareth, gives you a complete picture of the life of Jesus, from before birth and even after the resurrection.
You’ll physically enter the Church of Nativity and see the Holy Grotto where the birth took place. The Sea of Galilee brings back memories of the many miracles of Jesus, including walking on water.
You also get to swim in the Dead Sea’s saline waters, which are over 8 times saltier than the average ocean water. And Jerusalem crowns it all with a visit to Golgotha, the Mount of Olives, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall.
After this trip to the Holy Land, reading and understanding your Bible will never be the same again.
The tour package includes the following:
- Round-trip tickets
- First-class hotel accommodations
- Four lunches and four dinners
- Daily Mass
- Sharing the bread, etc.
The last tour on our Catholic pilgrimages to the Holy Land guide is the 11 days pilgrimage from 12th April 2021. This is a comprehensive tour of Israel and the places where the Messiah and his disciples lived and started ministry.
Right from Bethlehem, where Christ was born, to Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jericho, Galilee, and finally to His place of death, the tour has you sorted. You’ll get to walk, see, touch, and enjoy some of the holiest places in the life of a Christian.
Some features of this tour include:
- Round trip air tickets
- Nine nights’ accommodations (first-class hotels)
- Daily open buffet breakfast
- Eight dinners
- An English tour guide
- Sharing the bread
- Daily Mass
These and more guarantee you an experience you’ll live to remember.