Parts of the West Bank in Judea and Samaria are under Palestinian control since the 1990’s. Being so, a tour to those sites can only be done with an Arab or Palestinian guide, and a tour car insured accordingly. This private tour offer is especially desgined to take you to two significant Biblical sites in the West Bank – Bethlehem and Jericho. Prepare your passports!
Explore Biblical Bethlehem
Bethlehem ( inebrew – “House of Bread”), is just 15 km south of Jerusalem. However, being under Palestinian control, you will need to show your passports at the security points leading into the city. Although Bethlehem was the hometown of King David, the Christian world associates it mostly with the birth of Jesus. Being so, the main point of interest, for most visitors to Bethlehem, is Church of Nativity. This marvelous church, first built in the 4th century CE, is said to be over the exacat spot where Jesus was born.
A more humble church in an alley nearby is associated with the breast feeding of the new pot (The Milk Grotto). East of the city a small but remarable Roman-Catholic church is built over the site of the Shepherds’ Field.
Dig into Jericho
A beautiful scenic ride through the Judean Desert will lead us towards Jericho. Inhabited as far back as 10,000 years ago, Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is mostly famed however for the Biblical detailed account of its conquest by the Israelites. The Biblical Mound (Tel es-Sultan) has been intensively excavated, since the 19th century, in search of the “Wall that cam tumbling down”. Unfortunately, no clear evidence were found of this Biblical account to this day.
A Cable car ride above the mound will comfortably lead you to another significant site placed on a cliff above Jericho – Monastery of the Temptation. Here, by Christian tradition, Jesus resisted some Satan’s temptation after his Baptism by John the Baptist.
Immerse in Sacred Water
Near Jericho, on the bank of the Jordan river, lies one of the most signifcant sites in the Christian world – the Baptism site. Called in Arabic Qasr El-Yahood, this site said to be where Jesus met John the Baptist. He was baptized by him, and a heavenly voice confirmed his messianic role. It is from this moment on that Jesus began his public ministry as Christ. for centuries by Christian pilgrims venerated this site. However, in parts of the 20th century the site was in areas of conlict and impossible to reach. But today the Baptism site is open again for visits. A narrow road among mine fileds leading to the sacred spot.
From the Baptizm site you can also see in the Distance the caves where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and Mount Nebo, the burial site of Moses.