Day 1- Walk from the Ben Shemen forest to Neve Shalom-Latrun (13 km)
Day 2- Walk from Neve Shalom to the Sataf spring (20 km)
Connect to the Jerusalem Trail.
Day 3– Walk from Sataf spring to Mount Scopus (21 km)
Day 4– Walk from Mount Scopus to Hindak spring (20 km)
The program will focus on creating an environment for reflection in order to deepen your connection with God. This retreat is open to people of every demographic. A typical day will look like this:
Morning: Pilgrims usually rise shortly after daybreak to enjoy the crisp morning air. We will begin the day with a short facilitated meditation on the inspirational theme for the day followed by an orientation for the hike ahead. Breakfast will then be on your own, based on your own needs and desired departure time. The morning will be spent walking, with rests and lunch along the way.
Afternoon: After walking 4-6 hours, you will arrive at your overnight destination sometime in early to mid-afternoon. Everyone is permitted to walk at their own pace, with or without a companion. Afternoons will be spent showering, resting, journaling or doing laundry. Before dinner, you will have the opportunity to debrief the day with the group over drinks, if desired.
Evening: You may choose to eat dinner with our cohort, a smaller group, or on your own. Afterward, there will be an optional brief meditation before bedtime.
The program above describes a typical day and the opportunities that will be available to you. While we hope you will participate in some of the group sessions to enrich the experience of others, it is not required because we realize that every person’s pilgrimage is unique. Each person comes with different questions, hopes and needs. We want to respect and honor where each person is at. The intent of the program is to provide a basic rhythm that pilgrims can follow as desired.
The Jerusalem Trail
Jerusalem has attracted millions of pilgrims over the millennia due to its religious significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. It holds a central spot on ancient maps of the world. The very walls and stones of the city whisper stories about its eventful history. A Jerusalem pilgrimage promises an unforgettable spiritual experience with profound insights and overpowering emotions.
The Old City, located at the heart of Jerusalem, has four quarters pertaining to the Jews, Armenians, Christians and Muslims. Millions of pilgrims visit the Western Wall and slip written prayers between its crevices. Outside the wall is the Jewish quarter with the City of David to the south, the incredible site from which Jerusalem was born offering fascinating archaeological findings.
The Christian quarter shelters about forty religious monuments. The Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus took to Golgotha Hill, is a prominent site. Faithful pilgrims follow his footsteps through the fourteen stations of the cross. It ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which hosts significant relics.
The area of Mount Zion houses the Last Supper Room and the Dormition Abbey which contains a statue of a sleeping Mary in its basement. On the Mount of Olives you will find the Ascension Church, Dominus Flevit Church, and Mary Magdalene Church. Mary’s tomb is located in the Kidron Valley at the foot of the mountain.
If you want to experience traveling to Jerusalem on foot just like the pilgrims of old, this is an ideal pilgrimage for you. The trail starts from the Ben Shemen hill (near Ben Gurion Airport), continues to the Ayalon Valley and then to the terraced groves of the Judean Mountains. After two days, this first trail links up to the Jerusalem Trail which takes you past green groves and ancient agricultural terraces before leading you into the city of Jerusalem.
March and April are ideal months to travel.