Day 1 – Arrive in Nazareth for orientation.
Day 2 – Walk from Nazareth to Cana via Sepphoris (15 km)
Day 3 – Walk from Cana to Kibutz Lavi (17 km)
Day 4 – Walk from Kibutz Lavi to Moshav Arbel (15 km)
Day 5 – Walk from Mount Arbel to Capernaum via Mount of Beatitudes (15 km)
Day 6 – Departure
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 3-4 hours, you will arrive at your overnight destination sometime in early 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 Jesus Trail
The Jesus Trail traces a route Jesus may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry. The biblical reference for the trail is based on the synoptic gospel accounts which describe Jesus moving at the start of his ministry from his hometown of Nazareth, located in the hills of Galilee, down to Capernaum, a lakeside fishing village on the Sea of Galilee. It is here that Jesus called his first disciples. According to the Gospels, Capernaum became the home base for Jesus’ ministry.
The trail is geared for Christians who seek a pilgrimage route that allows for a more personal experience of sites from the life of Jesus, while still integrating historical sites from other eras. You will start in the center of Nazareth at the Church of the Annunciation and climb to a ridge overlooking the city. From there the trail goes through agricultural fields before arriving at Cana, the site of the gospel account of Jesus turning water into wine. After leaving Cana, the trail weaves through forests and fields until it arrives at the modern Jewish agricultural commune of Lavi. The next day you will travel over hilltops to enjoy the panoramic view at the Horns of Hattin. You will also ascend Mount Arbel and climb down the cliff to a fertile agricultural plain adjacent to the Sea of Galilee. The trail then circles around the northern shore to a church at Tabgha which commemorates the New Testament account of Jesus feeding the multitudes. From there it leads to the Mount of Beatitudes, where a church commemorates the Sermon on the Mount, before finally arriving at the ancient lakeside fishing village of Capernaum with its extensive ruins and modern church.
As you walk this route of breathtaking panoramas, you will gain a new understanding of the life of Jesus. And as you grow in your understanding of his historical context, hospitable encounters with locals and pilgrims along the trail will enlarge your view of the contemporary context of the Middle East.