DECEMBER 16th – December 27th 2024

Led by Fr Matt Blake, OCD and Fr Kelvin Ekhoegbe, OCD

Carmel: A Space for Encounter Pilgrimage

Join us in this adventure of a life transforming pilgrimage which is an invitation to journey with the God of Encounter. We will share 12 days together journeying around Israel towards Mount Carmel. In addition to all the places mentioned on this leaflet; we will also visit: Beersheva, Timna, St Peter in Gallicantu, Dominus Flevit, Via Dolorosa, Shechem, Jezreel & Muhraqa.

Day 1: Travel to the Holy Land

Meet your group Leader at Heathrow airport and fly to TEL AVIV. On arrival you will be met by our expert local guide and transferred to accommodation centre in Bethlehem where you will check-in and settle into the Retreat Pilgrimage.

Evening: Dinner at the accommodation centre

Day 2: Shepherd Fields – Church of the Nativity

Joyful Day: Fairer than the Sun at Morning was the Star that told his Birth

The little town of Bethlehem opens up a new experience to the birth of Christ, which ushers the birth of salvation, the birth of friendship and the birth of reconciliation. The church of the Nativity will bring us to encounter the divine Child who has become our friend and advocate  before the Father, the doorway to transformation. The Shepherd Fields provides a space to hear the echo of this Good News of Joy to the World. The surrounding countryside provides many quiet places of prayer.

Evening: Dinner

Day 3: Jericho – Dead Sea – Jerusalem

Watchful Day: Jesus entered Jericho…and Said: “Today I must stay at your House”

Traveling through the Judean desert we will reach the Dead Sea region. There we catch a glimpse of Qumran, site of the Essenios, where the famous manuscripts of the Dead Sea were found. Prayerful exercise around the Dead Sea region for the experience of floating in the most salty waters of the World.

Our journey brings us to Jerusalem and in solemn prayer make a visit to the Holy Sepulchre. The site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is identified as the place of both the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

Evening: Dinner

Day 4: Pater Noster – Gethsemane – Dominus Flevit – St Peter in Gallivanttu

Prayer Day: Our Father who art in Heaven…

 In this place an ancient tradition which seemingly goes back to the late Byzantine period (C6-7 ad) locates Peter’s denial and subsequent shedding of tears. (Matt 26:75; Mk 14:72; Lk 22:62). From it we look out over the ancient ruins of the city of David clinging to the slopes of the temple mount. Here we enter David’s prayer of humility and repentance. In this same garden is still visible the ancient stepped way by which Jesus is said to have walked on his way from the cenacle to the mount of Olives. The garden also provides an ideal prayer setting. The splendid view from Dominus Flevit spot embraces a whole panorama of Jerusalem. We shall stop here to pray in the spirit of the prophet Jeremiah, overlooking the city which he loved so much (Jer. 15:5), and where he exercised his ministry which cost him so much suffering.

Evening: Dinner

Day 5: Via Dolorosa / Yad Vashem

Visitation Day: The Rising Sun shall Break upon us…

Via Dolorosa / Yad Vashem One of the great moments on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem is the experienced when Christians relive along the streets of the Old City the journey of Jesus carrying his cross to Calvary. The Yad Vashem is situated 5 Km west of the Old City, on the top of a hill just north of Ein Kerem. It provides pilgrims with suitable spots for collecting their thoughts prayerfully to reflect on contemporary tragedies in the light of the passion of Jesus, which still today gives meaning to every human suffering.

Evening: Dinner

Day 6: Mount Tabor – Nazareth

Transfiguration Day: And in their presence he was transfigured…

This perfect breast-shaped mountain inspires awe and wonder as it rises majestic and beautiful from the Plain of Yizreel to the height of 600m. It has the aura of a sacred mountain where people worshipped from time immemorial. The Christian tradition locates here the transfiguration of Jesus. Tabor soars aloft in silent isolation and in spite of the numerous visitors who throng the basilica, it has many adjoining places suitable for quiet prayer.

Evening: Dinner

Day 7: Basilica of the Annunciation – Mary’s Well

Annunciation Day: The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a woman called Mary…

Descending the mountain, we contemplate the life of Jesus in Nazareth where one discovers the grotto of the Annunciation and under the altar one can read: “here the Word was made flesh” (Jn 1: 14). Nazareth, the name probably derives from a root which signifies a “branch” or a “shoot” or a “blossom”. It never appears in the Old Testament, and in the first century the town was regarded as insignificant and even contemptible (Jn 1:46). Upon the Mountains of Nazareth we contemplate the greatest message in human history, the announce of the dawn of salvation.

Day 8: Nazareth – Galilee -Caphanaum – Magdala

Blessed Day: Prayer of the poor in Spirit…

The day will include a boat trip on the Sea of ​​Galilee. Then, bordering the Lake, visits to Tabgha, place of the Miracle of the Multiplication of Breads and Fish; Of the Primacy of St. Peter; Visit Capernaum called “the City of Jesus” where Jesus preached, the ruins of the house of St. Peter and the ruins of the ancient synagogue of the fourth century A.D.

Evening: Dinner

Day 9: Nazareth – Cana – Haifa

Day of Change: And there was a wedding at Cana and Jesus was invited…

The transformation of water into wine at the wedding at Cana opens a new perspective to understanding the power of God’s transforming love. However, there is the invitation of Jesus to the feast and the surrounding sites offer a serene space to say a prayer of invitation to Jesus who transforms us from within.

Our Retreat pilgrimage then ascends to the height of Carmel, the place of encounter with God.

Evening: Dinner

Day 10: MuhraqaStella Maris

Day of Presence: The Heights of Carmel: The Transformative Encounter

The dramatic contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, narrated in 1Kg 18:20-46, and sometimes referred to as “the sacrifice on Carmel” is traditionally located at the eastern extremities of the Carmel range, on a peak overlooking Yokneam. This site is known as Deir El-Muhraqa. The crypt of the monastery erected there and the pleasant surroundings provide a most suitable place to evoke the prayer-life of Elijah as it suggests withdrawal and detachment and invites to silent prayer. Ascending the height of Carmel, one experiences an ideal setting in which to read the primitive Carmelite Rule and savour its spirit of silent prayer.

Evening: Dinner

Day 11: Garden of Carmel – Wadi-es-Siah – Bahai Gardens

Beauty Day: The Heights of Carmel: The Transformative Encounter

The Wadi offers an ideal setting in which to read the primitive Carmelite Rule and savour its spirit of silent prayer and recollection. The brand expanse of the sea which stretches out before us from the Wadi and from the height of Stella Maris can easily evoke “the distant islands” (Ps. 65:6) and with it the universal mission of every Christian to be witnesses of prayer in the power of the Spirit.

Evening: Dinner

Day 12: Haifa- Tel Aviv – London

Day of Rejoicing: They returned Rejoicing

The Blessing of the retreat pilgrimage is gathered in a joyful space of prayer and the journey home begins.

What is Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation – 11 Nights
  • Breakfast and dinner daily,
  • Pilgrim Kit,
  • Entrance fees & guiding,
  • Gratuities

Not included

  • Lunches,
  • Travel Insurance,
  • Single Room supplement
  • Personal Travel Expenses

Pilgrimage information

You will be accompanied by friars in collaboration with a local experienced guide, and travelling is done by air-conditioned private coach. Days usually begin at 8am, and generally returning between 5pm, with dinner served afterwards. Each day features morning and afternoon sessions with prayerful time, with an organised lunch stop to break up the day.


El Al flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv. When we book El Al flights, we include a 23 kgs baggage allowance and allocated seat. For Flight times please contact the administrator (

Flights Inclusive

This option offers the opportunity to join others on the booked flight from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv. Each person is advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure time. As stated above, baggage allowance is 23kg.

Flights Exclusive

The option of excluding flights offers the opportunity for those joining the Pilgrimage from different countries so arrange their flights and other logistics from the airport to the accommodation centre. However, should anyone wish to join the coach from the airport to the accommodation centre, prior arrangement is to be made and flights arranged to align with the “official” pilgrimage time of arrival as the coach leaves immediately.


As the Retreat Pilgrimage entails the Ascent to Mount Carmel, we will be staying at different accommodation centres such as: Paradise hotel Bethlehem, Mary’s Well and Stella Marris hotel Haifa.

Single Occupancy

Single Occupancy offers an accommodation for one person in a room.

Double Occupancy

Double occupancy is open to couples, family and friends who desire to share a room with twin beds. However, individuals who wish to share a room with someone else who may want that option should contact the administrator to check availability. (

Dates and How to book

Our programmeLeadersDatesAvailability
A retreat-PilgrimageFr Matt Blake16th Dec – 27th Dec 2024Download poster:
Holy Land 1.1Download

12 Days of Prayer encounter on Mount CarmelFr Kelvin EkhoegbeSee options below
On Mount CarmelMake an enquiry

How to book

1. Click on the “Purchase Now” button and pay £150 non-refundable deposit to secure your participation.
2. Flexible payment available, however, final balance to be paid by August 31st 2024. Contact us for details.
3. You can choose to pay the full payment at registration.

Holy Land Excluding Flights

£150 (non-refundable deposit)
£1635 (double occupancy full payment)
£1935 (single occupancy full payment)

Holy Land Including Flights

£150 (non-refundable deposit)
£2140 (double occupancy full payment)
£2480 (single occupancy full payment)