Imagine the focus that comes from remote surroundings and a view of the Sea of Galilee. Church groups looking to tour interesting places around the world, but also want to rejuvenate their faith life can choose any of these picturesque, yet simple Christian retreats around the world.
Beit Bracha Guest House
What better place for introspection than a guesthouse near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus himself once walked and taught some of his most powerful messages. Run by the Anglican Church, the guesthouse offers accommodations for up to 30 people. Visitors can watch the sunrise over the Golan Heights while feasting on a community-style Israeli breakfast. Guests can join for prayer and Bible study or just explore the hotel’s lovely grounds. Terraces overlooking the Sea of Galilee, gardens and quick access to the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum and Tabgha make this hotel popular a popular retreat for people of all Christian denominations.
Rocca di Papa
With a view of the slopes of Monte Cavo and the pristine Lake Albano, this former Franciscan monastery in the province of Rome lets guests stay close to the busy city of Rome, but in a natural, more reflective setting. Run by the Venerable English College, a Catholic seminary, the hotel welcomes tourists and pilgrims alike to its rooms. Don’t think you’ll have to rough it at this monastery, since the grounds features a large swimming pool.
North America: New Mexico, United States
Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center
This interfaith retreat center features views of red rock cliffs in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Run by the Presbyterian Church, but open to the general public, the ranch sits next to a stream that juts through the surrounding canyons and gorges. With a desert landscape for inspiration and contemplation, groups can come for self-led or guided programs.
North America: California, United States
Ben Lomond Quaker Center
For groups looking to find God in nature, visitors can find a memorable setting amid 80 acres of a redwood forest at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center in Ben Lomond, California. Surrounded by giant trees two hours south of San Francisco, the retreat welcomes all faiths to stay for contemplation or to attend a guided retreat. In the Quaker tradition of service, all participants share set up and clean up responsibilities.
Africa: South Africa
Bridges Retreat Centre
Situated in the stunning Franschhoek Valley, Bridges Retreat Centre in Franschhoek, South Africa, lets groups enjoy a nondenominational Christian facility. The tranquil property surrounded by vineyards and mountains welcomes retreats of all kinds with recreational facilities including a swimming pool, trampoline and conference room.
Australia: New South Wales
Anglican Franciscan brothers operate this hands-off retreat for groups of all beliefs in Stroud, New South Wales. An hour from Newcastle, the facility hosts optional daily prayer services, spiritual guidance and a large library. Twenty acres of bush and rolling hills ensure an atmosphere of solitude and reflection.