19 April - 30 April 2018

Please note that these are but a few of my delightful memories of Israel! Some of the places on the itinerary I have been to and others I am hugely excited to make more memories with you in Israel! WooooHoooo!

On Thursday the 19th of April we meet at OR Tambo International! And our Retreat to the Holy Land of Israel begins! Gifts will be handed out. :-)

Day 1.

We land in Tel Aviv on the morning of Friday the 20th of April 2018 and with great excitement, we meet Irma, our tour guide! Then find our comfy, air-conditioned bus, pile our luggage in and drive to *Caesarea to begin our epic journey through Israel! Next, we go to Zichron Yaakov, nearby in the mountains. This is our first moshav, one of the oldest towns in the modern history of Israel. A first for me, very exciting!! We overnight at the delightful Dan Panorama Hotel in Haifa and prepare body, soul and spirit for the joy that lies before us!

Cesarea took me back to the ancient times as I had imagined them and as this was our first stop in Israel it set the tone for me for the rest of our visit. So much of Israel has naturally evolved to the modern day as we know it and there are times when you have to use your imagination in reflection upon what it was like. But Cesarea features so many ruins in good condition that this site is an archaeological goldmine. Therefore it built up my excitement and anticipation for what was to come!

Day 2.

Our first visit today is to Stella Maris, where Elijah lived in a cave, and then a short tour of Haifa, the third biggest city in Israel after Jerusalem and Yafa.(Haifa is also Irma’s hometown - Irma is our very wonderful, ‘fountain of knowledge’, tour guide.) And then on to Nazareth to see the *Church of Annunciation, and a stroll through a little, colourful market.

Akko is our next stop, an ancient port and the Crusader Kingdom. Next is Rosh Hanikra on the border with Lebanon, and then we drive to the glorious Sea of Galilee. We overnight at the beautiful Kibbutz Maagan on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Time for reflection. And one-on-one time with coach Stella.

The Church of Annunciation opened my mind to the international flavour of Israel! The open corridors with mosaic pictures hanging on the walls of many countries of the world were magnificent and the grandeur of the church was breathtaking!

I found that during these first two days I was like a sponge, just absorbing… I WAS IN ISRAEL… and as we drove through modern Israel, then seeing glimpses of the ancient Holy Land, my soul began to sing deep inside of me, and I knew that by the end of this awe-inspiring journey I would have a yearning to come back to Retreat with ‘soul sisters’!

Day 3.

We start this day with my personal best: a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee with time for reflection, so there’s no rushing this soul-stirring moment! VERY SPECIAL! We then visit Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, inspiring tender moments with tender musings.

On to Tabgha, traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. We also go to Capernaum, located on the North corner of the Sea of Galilee, the centre of Jesus and His disciples' many activities. Next is Domus Galilee (or Mount of Beatitudes) up on the hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Overnight again at Kibbutz Maagan, with reflection and healing time on the shores of Galilee.

The boat pushed off and I was on the Sea of Galilee, a dream come true! In fact, it was beyond my wildest imagination, I had goosebumps on top of my goosebumps as these were the very waters that Jesus and His disciples sailed on. And here I was! To say it was intensely moving is an understatement as the tears began to flow down my cheeks and they still do when I speak or write about that day on the boat. I knew in that moment that I had to sail on these waters again! So much has changed since Jesus walked the earth, but the Sea of Galilee is the same water that Jesus walked on and called Peter out of the boat to walk with Him!

Day 4.

This morning we Drive to Tel Dan and take a walk along the source of the River Jordan. Tel Dan is a Nature Reserve and is such a green tranquil contrast to the desert areas of Israel! Very Beautiful! We then visit Kalhat Nimrod, a Mamluk castle on the Golan, and drive along the Golan Heights. Next is a visit to Yardenit where baptisms take place in the Jordan River. Overnight at Kibbutz Maagan, with time for one-on-one with coach Stella.

Day 5.

After breakfast, we drive down the Jordan Valley and stop at the amazing *Qumran…. with some time for reflection…. SO GOOD! And then it’s time for the phenomenal swim in the Dead Sea… this is a once in a lifetime experience! Next, we visit Masada, going up the mountain by cable car! Again a breathtaking experience that I am very excited to be repeating! Overnight at Kibbutz Ein Gedi*… Healing and reflection time with coach Stella.

Ein Gedi was an Oasis in the desert for me and I am delighted to be going back. The trees and gardens that have been established there over a long time, are soothing to the body & the soul and of course, very easy on the eyes! Beautiful!

Qumran was a place that stirred my soul deeply! There is a sense of going back in time in the desert and just being there! I felt a knowing inside of me. The raw beauty and harsh heat of the desert left me almost speechless & humbled as I contemplated the conditions in which the ancients lived. I am looking forward to taking time here to absorb the uniqueness of the Qumran Caves and to let the desert be a part of the strengthening of my soul!

Day 6.

Today we drive to Mitzpe Ramon and visit the Machtesh… a geological window showing the creation of the Universe. Overnight at Kibbutz Mashabai Sadeh, Beer Sava region, in the desert mountains, with time for strolling through the gardens and one-on-one time with coach Stella.

Day 7.

After breakfast, we drive via the scenic Dead Sea Road up to *Jerusalem - the Eternal Capital city of Israel….. a very special part of our journey! The Dead Sea Road is the Lowest Road in the World: Road 90. It runs the whole length of Israel, from the Kiryat Shemona in the far north to Eilat in the far south.The Mount Of Olives is our first stop… with glorious views over Jerusalem. We walk to Dominus Flavit…. where Jesus wept. Then on to Gethsemane, and the Olive Tree garden where Jesus was betrayed. Before sundown, we head to the *Western Wall… a Holy prayer site for the Jewish people, a unique and very moving experience. We overnight at Ramat Rahel, a kibbutz hotel with glorious views over Bethlehem.

As we entered the Holy City a song began to play…. “Jerusalem Jerusalem Lift up Your Gates and Sing”…. it played loudly through the bus, but the soft touch of the Spirit of God swept over my heart and I sobbed into my hands, overcome by His great Love for me! And the memories of my dad singing this song made it all the more poignant for me!

Also known as the “Wailing Wall” or the Kotel and one of the most moving & yet celebratory sites that I visited. We will be there on Friday evening, Shabbat, to witness the Israeli people; families, soldiers dancing, couples dressed to the nines, little ones laughing & playing, all celebrating Shabbat. As lively as it is, there is a solemn & deeply respectful atmosphere as you get closer to the Wall. This is where one may write a prayer on a small piece of paper to be put into one of the cracks. As a visitor I felt ‘at home’, welcomed & connected in my soul! I do believe you will too!

NB: Jerusalem and all that we do and see there… has to be EXPERIENCED, with all of our senses… words fail me (which is rare:-) when I try to describe the diversity, the history and the people!

Day 8.

Our first stop today is the Holy Sepulchre. Then on to Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre. And the Marketplace: I’m so excited to spend some time here, I have heard it is extremely vibrant & exhilarating! FUN FUN FUN! Ahhhh …. the Garden Tomb… so special! The magnificent Sound and Light show at David's Citadel in the evening. Overnight at Ramat Rahel.

Yad Vashem - I will never see history in the same light again. The way this museum has been built and presented is spectacular, respectful and honours the many who suffered and died. Very moving!

At the Garden Tomb, there was a sense of celebration in the air! And so it was only fitting for us to break bread together here and sing a few classic songs of praise for the New Covenant of Jesus that was made possible by His death on the cross and His resurrection. In the midst of the bustling Metropolis of Jerusalem, this was an oasis of peace and joy. My soul soared as if on wings of eagles when this day was done.

Sound and Light show can be described in one word - WOW! Yes, it is just WOW! I have no doubt that you too will be ‘blown away’!

Day 9.

Free day!

Surprise? Perhaps? Definitely :)

Day 10.

We relax after breakfast in the beautiful Ramat Rahel gardens, before packing our bags, in preparation for our drive to Tel Aviv. We take time for reflections, on the Tel Aviv coast and beach near the Yarkon River, either as a group or individually. As we drive to the airport for our evening departure to Johannesburg, we say our goodbyes to each other and to Israel, knowing that the ‘Well of our Soul’ has been filled with sweet, fresh water from the Holy Land of Israel.

The Restore Your Soul Retreat in Israel includes:

  • Airfares
  • 9 nights in beautiful Hotels - 10 full days in Israel
  • Breakfast & Dinner everyday
  • Air-conditioned bus as per itinerary
  • Israel’s favourite tour guide, Irma, (and mine too:-)
  • Entrance to all sites we visit
  • All tips where applicable
  • A small and intimate group of lovely ladies
  • Personal one-on-one coaching from Stella, before, during and after our Retreat as per a schedule I will create close to the time
  • And of course, there will be special surprises along the way

Please note:

  • There is a single supplement charge
  • No visa required for South African Passport holders
  • Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Israel
  • There may be changes to the itinerary if recommended
  • Fluctuations in airfares, airport taxes & exchange rates will be calculated at the time of confirmation and final payment
  • 10% deposit is required upon confirmation of booking, a further 10% on the 31 January 2018, with the final payment 6 March 2018
  • Please contact us for the price.