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14 Best Pilgrimage Tours for Holy Travel

Are you planning to take a pilgrimage tour any time soon? Well, here is a list of the world’s best pilgrimage tours you should try out.

While some people travel for pure fun and unwinding purposes, others travel for a greater purpose – for instance, religious pilgrims.

Pilgrimage tours are pretty popular around the globe, with believers from various religions and faiths, traveling for even thousands of miles to visit specific shrines and places of worship. You may have saved up your rewards miles for years to simply take the trip of a lifetime. A pilgrimage is just that.

A good example is the over 2 million Muslim pilgrims that make their journey to Mecca each year, or the over 3.5 million Christians, who travel to the Holy Land, annually.

So, it’s important you do your significant research in advance before you jump into booking a trip or tour group.

With so many people traveling like this, planning for such a trip and getting to visit all the places you want, might be a bit tricky.

That’s why you should seek the services of reputable travel companies that offer pilgrimage tours services.

In this article, we have compiled some of the most amazing pilgrimage tours and routes that you might want to try on your next travel.

 Best Holy Land Pilgrimage Tours

holy land pilgrimage

Contrary to what many people may think, the Holy Land is not only a sacred place for Christians.

In fact, although Israel is the birthplace of Christianity, it also permits all other faiths and religions.

For instance, the holy land is holy to five main faiths, including:

  • Christians
  • Muslim
  • Jews
  • Druze
  • Baha’i

So, no matter which faith you profess, you are not in any way barred from visiting the Holy Land.

If you wish to make that travel soon, or in the future, here are some incredible Israel pilgrimage tours you should try out.

The best way to see most of the sites and experience history is to book a tour that will give you an all-encompassing experience.

  1. Classical Israel Tour Package, 8 Days

The Temple Mount - Western Wall and the golden Dome of the Rock mosque in the old town of Jerusalem, Israel
Horváth Botond / Shutterstock

If you have a few days to spare, an 8 days tour can be a perfect option for you. This single tour allows you to have a comprehensive experience of the Holy Land. Right from visiting the birthplace of Jesus (Bethlehem), to spending some time at the famous Sea of Galilee, this package has you sorted.

While 8 days might seem long for some people, I would say, this is even never enough – there’s too much to see and experience here.

Some of the main sites you’ll visit include:

  • Nazareth
  • Capernaum
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Golan heights
  • Dead Sea
  • Old and New Jerusalem
  • Bethlehem and Jericho, etc.

What does the tour entail?

  • Guaranteed, fully planned travel– this removes all the hassle that comes with travel, offering total peace of mind.
  • A whole free day after landing – this gives you ample time to relax before you start your exploration tour to the numerous gems of Israel.
  • An affordable pick-up service from your hotel, for the best touring experience.
  • Six touring days – fully guided by a professional guide.
  • Seven nights of accommodation with bed and breakfast included

This tour guarantees the best way to tour and experience what Israel has to offer.

  1. Jerusalem Old and New Tour, 1 day

The Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel
Alex Segre /

Jerusalem is one of the most frequented places in Israel. Pilgrimage tours in Israel cannot be complete without stopovers at both the new and old Jerusalem. This tour gives you a chance to catch the panoramic view of the city from the peak of “the Mount of Scopus.

You also get to pass-by the famous Garden of Gethsemane, as well as the Kidron Valley, which is home to numerous monumental Jewish tombs. And the tour doesn’t end there – if you have a prayer request you want to make while in the Holy Land, you’ll have a chance to leave a prayer note at the sacred Western Wall, between those ancient stones.

The main sites during this tour include:

  • Byzantine Cardo
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Muslim Quarter
  • Christian Quarter
  • Via Dolorosa
  • Mount Scopus
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Western Wall
  • Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

And this is what you get from this pilgrimage tour package:

  • Tour language of your choice
  • Affordable hotel pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Fully professional guided tour
  • Visit some of the most religious landmarks
  1. Caesarea, Acre and Rosh Hanikra Tour, 1 day
Roman amphitheater in the national park Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast of Israel
vesta48 / Adobe Stock

For the best pilgrimage tours, Israel is never short of amazing opportunities for you. This tour takes you through Israel’s coastal cities (north of Tel Aviv), making the first stop at Caesarea. Here, you get to see what remains of a once vibrant Roman city, including ancient temples, and palaces.

Further north, you’ll make a stop at Haifa, where you can see the Baha’i Gardens as you learn more about this new faith at Mt. Camel. The tour ends by traveling back south to Acre (Akko), the Crusader city, where you interact with the 12th century Crusader fortress and the Ottoman structures.

The main citings during this pilgrimage tour are:

  • Rosh Hanikra
  • Baha’i Gardens
  • Acre Old City Market
  • The Amphitheatre of Caesarea
  • The Underground Crusader City Acre
  • Caesarea National Park

What does the package entail?

  • Assured travel that makes planning easy and gives you peace of mind
  • Guided tour of the Holy Land, with a tour language of your choice
  • Hotel pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Entrance fees
  1. Masada and Dead Sea Tour, 1 day

Dead Sea seashore with palm trees and mountains on background
vvvita / Adobe Stock

This one-day tour of the holy land, takes you to the southern region of the country, via the Judean Hills all the way past “the Inn of the Good Samaritan.” From here, you travel all the way down, to have a glimpse of the famous Dead Sea.

The tour makes its first stop at Masada, giving you a chance to enjoy a ride on the cable car, and tour the 2,055 years old remains of King Herod’s palace. During this tour, you also get to visit the historical origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And, you enjoy the rest of your tour, sunbathing at one of the magnificent Dead Sea beaches.

Also, if you thought ocean water was saline, it’s not a match for the water on these beaches. The salinity levels here go as high as 8.6 times more than the average ocean water, and it’s an experience of a lifetime.

What does the tour entail?

  • Preferred tour language
  • Assured travel
  • Hotel pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Entrance fees
  1. Golan Heights Tour, 1 Day

Golan Heights, Landscape view of the Golan Heights from fortress Nimrod - the medieval fortress, Israel
Finn stock / Shutterstock

A tour through the beautiful Plain of Armageddon, all the way to Galilee will definitely offer you an experience of a lifetime.

From the rolling hills, vineyards, and farmlands, to the iconic Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights Tour has more historical places to visit than you can imagine.

You also get to cross the River Jordan and have a first-hand experience of the enthusiasm and joy that the biblical children of Israel had when Joshua led them across the river. Other sites that will capture your interest during this tour include:

  • Golan Heights
  • The hot springs of Hamat Gader – an incredible spot used by both the ancient Romans and the contemporary spa-lovers.
  • A panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee from the Shalom Observatory all the way down.
  • Golan Antiquities Museum – get to see all the Golan’s archaeological discoveries.
  • A visit to Mt. Bental – explore the remains of various Syrian bunkers and trenches, which Israelis captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Even if you won’t visit any other place during your time here, this is one of the pilgrimage tours that give you a complete taste of the Holy Land.

  1. Jerusalem and Bethlehem Tour

The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem is illuminated by the light from the dome overhead
searagen / Adobe Stock

If you don’t have enough time to book the 8-day Classical Israel Tour Package, you need not worry. This one day tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem will certainly suffice. Through this tour, you get to visit some of the most sacred destinations on the Holy Land, and the world at large for Christians.

Starting at Mt. Scopus, which gives you an incredible view of the holy city of Jerusalem, you also get to pass through the place where Jesus said his last prayer before being captured by the Roman soldiers – Gethsemane.

From here, the tour takes you all the way to the Old City, through the Kidron Valley, right after visiting the Church of All Nations.

Other incredible sites you’ll visit include:

  • Church of Nativity
  • Byzantine Cardo
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Via Dolorosa
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Christian Quarter
  • Muslim Quarter
  • Western Wall

You even get to walk through the route that Jesus followed carrying the cross, up to his point of crucifixion – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Some of the tour features include:

  • Pick-up & drop-off services from your hotel
  • Fully guided tour with a certified guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Transport via a comfy air-conditioned vehicle
  1. City of David & Underground Jerusalem Tour

Tourists on a Jerusalem Guided Walking Tour
Abraham Tours / GetYourGuide

Imagine rediscovering the original City of David that is over 3,000 years old and laying hidden underground. This, plus numerous other sites and history teachings, makes the tour both charming and inspiring.

Your journey starts at Mount Scopus, where you enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Holy City, with a great view of Gethsemane, and the Old City.

You’ll access the Old City from the Zion Gate, after passing through some ancient Jewish tombs found in the Kidron Valley.

Other amazing features of the tour include:

  • Armenian Quarter
  • Jewish Quarter
  • The Western Wall

You’ll also have a great view of numerous ancient tunnels curved on the rocks to direct water to the city all those years ago.

  1. Islamic Heritage Pilgrimage Tour

Hisham's Palace Stone Decoration in West Bank city of Jericho, Old city in Palestine, Israel
Andrea Lolli Web / Adobe Stock

For the Muslim pilgrims, this is one pilgrimage tour that helps you to trace the Islamic faith, as you visit various historical sites between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. It is a dedication to the Islamic heritage and faith in the Holy Land.

The tour combines both the popular shrines and sites, with the less known ones for a more tailored experience.

You’ll enjoy visiting the following Islamic sites, and more:

  • Qasr Hisham
  • Mosque of Qubbet al-Sakhra
  • Haram Ash-Sharif
  • Maqam An-Nabi Moussa
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque
  • Tomb of Rabiya Al-Adawiyya
  • Mosque of An-Nabi Yunus bin Mata
  • Maqam Sheikh Ali As-Sayyid
  • Maqam An-Nabi Samuel, etc.

If you want a tailored tour that perfectly suits your team, you should definitely try this one out.

Pilgrimage Tours Italy

  1. Catholic Shrines of Italy Tour

Pilgrimage tours Italy

This is not only among the most famous pilgrimage tours to Italy, but also the most extensive ones. Through this tour, Christians, especially catholic believers, get a chance to visit some of the most revered, cities, shrines, and sanctuaries in the Catholic faith.

Starting from Rome, through the Vatican, and all the way to Milan, this Catholic tour offers a breathtaking spiritual journey for Catholic pilgrims. As you tour the various sanctuaries and shrines, you also get to meet and interact with dozens of saints, which only makes the tour even more fulfilling.

Whether you are taking this tour alone or with your parish members, the sites and activities planned for it are undoubtedly inspiring.

Some of the main places to visit during this tour include:

  • Rome – St. Mary Major basilica, St. John Lateran Cathedral, the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and the Domitilla Catacombs.
  • Vatican – Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the tomb of St. Peter.
  • SAINT PADRE PIO – the sanctuary of St. Pio, and St. Pio’s tomb.
  • Monte Sant´ Angelo – tour the Grotto, the place where Michael Archangel used to appear.

Note: These are just a tip of the iceberg, with even more divine and inspiring places to see while there. It’s one of the best Catholic tours.

  1. Best of Italy Christian 8 Day Inspirational Tour

Aerial view of Lady of Mount Carmel church, St.Paul's Cathedral in Valletta city, Malta
aapsky / Adobe Stock

For non-Catholic Christians, this tour can be a great inspiration for you. It helps you to explore both the historical and contemporary Roman history, although from a Protestant viewpoint. Not only will you get a chance to see numerous sites paramount to the church history, but also a few places that inspired the biblical letters to Romans by St. Paul.

You’ll see numerous sites, and even have first-hand experiences of Paul’s Christian journey, as well as learn what led him to visit Italy.

The main sites and activities during this tour include:

  • A visit to the charming “Mediterranean Island of Malta.”
  • A tour to Valletta – enjoy the over 7,000 years’ worth of history.
  • Visit the site of Paul’s shipwreck, and follow the route he took and places he preached.
  • Tour the Catacombs a place where numerous Christians were supposedly buried

By the end of the 8 days tour, you’ll have visited, seen, and interacted with numerous things and places you’ve only heard of.

  1. Italian Pilgrimage Tour

View of a Fountain before St. Peter's Cathedral
KKulikov / Shutterstock

Anyone interested in Italy pilgrimage tours, knows pretty well, the essence of time in making getting the most out of these tours. The place is so rich in history and amazing sites that a few days tour, might never suffice.

However, this tour has meticulously planned it all for you. It allows you to get a glimpse of almost every important aspect of Italy’s history and beauty. Right from visiting famous churches, museums, and well-preserved ruins, you’re guaranteed of an exceptionally inspiring tour.

Some of the main sites and activities of this tour include:

  • Vatican city – the Basilica of St. Peter, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Museums
  • Rome – visit the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, Trajan’s column, and the Arch of Constantine
  • A visit to the Ancient Catacombs
  • A tour to the Basilica di San Antonio in Padua
  • The preserved Pompeii ruins, etc.

This is one of the best tours allowing you to explore Italy’s most iconic churches and shrines fully.

India Pilgrimage Tours

  1. Islamic Pilgrimage Tour, 7 Days

Red Forts, Delhi

If you are looking for a Muslim pilgrimage tour to India, this is certainly one option you should consider. You get to visit numerous spiritual sites, including:

  • Humayun’s tomb
  • Red Fort,
  • Ajmer’s temple of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
  • Jama Masjid in Delhi,
  • Dargah Sharif,
  • Amber Fort

The tour is planned to ensure that your visit to India in search of Islamic history, culture, and heritage, is perfectly catered to. It covers almost every important aspect of the Islamic faith, be it mosques, palaces, or fortes, which touch on Muslims.

See Related: Best Kayaks for Travel 

  1. Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour, 10 Days

Dhamekh Stupa and ruins in Sarnath, India
saiko3p / Shutterstock

With this Buddhist pilgrimage tour, you not only get to be gratified spiritually, but you’ll also get a glimpse of some incredible structural designs, art collections, and the amazing Indian culture. This tour features numerous Buddhist sites that you’ll love to visit, such as:

  • Varanasi – visit Sarnath, the place where Buddha gave his first speech.
  • Lumbini – “the birthplace of Lord Buddha.”
  • Kushinagar – the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Lord Buddha breathed his last.
  • Bodhgaya – Where the Lord Buddha attained his status.
  • Sravasti – the place where Lord Buddha is believed to have stayed for his 24 monsoons.
  • Lucknow

This tour and everything it offers allows you to learn more about the life of the iconic Lord Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama).

It is a trip through the inner Buddhist teachings, the tranquility, and the peace that accompanies it.

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  1. India And Nepal Buddhism Tour

Aerial view of Kathmandu
Welcome Nepal Treks P.Ltd / GetYourGuide

This is a 17 days Buddhist pilgrimage tour that covers almost the entire life of Lord Buddha. It’s one of the most comprehensive Indian Buddha pilgrimage tours, allowing you to follow this spiritual leader’s steps, and visit places he visited both in India and Nepal.

Gautam Buddha who lived in India around the 6th century BC, and taught “the concept of four noble truths,” is one of the most prominent figures in the Buddhist faith. Walking in his footsteps and visiting places he is believed to have been, makes this entire tour the best spiritual tour for the Buddhist followers.

You have a whopping 17 days to visit various places like:

  • Patna,
  • Nalanda,
  • Vaishali,
  • Rajgir,
  • Bodhgaya,
  • Kushinagar,
  • Varanasi,
  • Lumbini

The tour is well-planned, guaranteeing that you have a safe, stress-free, and fulfilling experience.