Massar Ibrahim Al-Khalil

Massar Ibrahim Al-Khalil/The Abraham Path: Hiking Trail

Palestine Between History, Culture and Nature

 

11 days – 10 nights

 

Day 1: Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem

Arrival at Tel-Aviv airport. Welcome and reception by a member of our team transfer to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Jerusalem

Day 2: Jerusalem

After breakfast, visit the Old City of Jerusalem. In the Old City you will encounter oriental charm and be plunged into the souk’s colourful alleys, which take you to the meeting places of the three major monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Visit the Via Dolorosa, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion, the Holy Sepulchre which houses both the place of Calvary and the tomb of Christ. Passing through the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Armenian districts, you can contemplate the vestiges and the religious and architectural imprints left by the different peoples who lived there. Continue the visit by taking the ancient Roman road, the Cardo, located in the heart of the old city, up to Mount Sion where you will discover the Dormition Abbey, the cave of the Last Supper and the tomb of King David. Visit the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicante, also known as the “Rooster Church”. The day ends walking in the Armenian quarter to the Jaffa gate. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Day 3: Jerusalem – Bethlehem

After breakfast, visit the Wailing Wall, the holy place of Judaism, then the esplanade of the Haram Al-Sharif; the third holiest religious site in Islam. It contains the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the gem emblematic of the Holy Land, with its golden dome shining brilliantly on the Jerusalem skyline. Then visit the Mount of Olives, with its 827m altitude, it offers a wonderful panoramic view of the old town and has places of great importance for the three monotheistic religions. Visit the chapel of Dominus Flevit, recalls the Gospel incident in which Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. Descent from the Mount to the Garden of Olive Trees with the Church of All Nations, Gethsemane, the place where Jesus would have prayed before his arrest. Departure for Bethlehem located 10 km from Jerusalem to discover the Basilica of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world, built above the cave where Jesus was born. Visit the Milk Grotto and the historic city center, walk through the old quarters and market. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 4: Bethlehem –Jericho – Dead Sea – Aqabt Jabr

After breakfast, departure for a green oasis near the Dead Sea – Jericho – which was made famous by the discovery of one of the oldest cities of the Levant dating from the eighth millennium BC. Cross the canyon of Wadi Qelt to admire the monastery of St. George, which is situated on the ochre cliffs of the mountain. Continue to Jericho to see the Monastery of the Temptation. It was built on the slopes of the Mount of Temptation 350 meters above sea level, situated along a cliff overlooking the city of Jericho and the Jordan Valley. Visit Tell Al Sultan with the archaeological site of the oldest cities in the world that has remained permanently inhabited from the 10th millennium BC, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Hisham Palace, built in the 8th century CE, and place of one of the greatest cultural treasures of Jericho, an 850 square meter floor mosaic from the Umayyad period, the largest and best preserved in the Middle East. Travel to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, 400m below sea level, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the indescribable feeling of floating on the unusual waters of the Dead Sea.  Transfer to the guest house in the camp of Aqabt Jabr and spend the night.

Day 5: Aqbat Jaber – Wadi Qelt – Sea Level

This hike starts at Aqbat Jaber Camp near Jericho. It is a long and beautiful hike that leads through the picturesque Wadi Quelt where walkers will have a chance to discover the ruins of King Herod’s winter palace and then see the clinging to the side of the rocky canyon Deir al-Qelt (St. George’s Monastery). The view transports visitors to the 4th century when the earliest desert-dwelling monks sought lives of faithful seclusion. The wadi offers a unique variety of flora and fauna. The road becomes easier as it leaves the monastery and heads towards the Roman aqueduct – another spectacular landmark located along that section of the Massar. Then the trail passes through the remote lands and the wilderness of the Jordan Valley, to lead to the historic road from Jericho to Jerusalem and reach the Bedouin’s camp located exactly at the sea level, you will learn more about the Bedouins, their culture and life style, dinner and overnight. Walking Distance: Approximately 20 km. Walking Time: 6 -7 hours. Difficulty: Moderate.  Elevation: -250m/+450m

Day 6: Sea Level – Nabi Moussa Khirbet Al Mard – Mar Saba – Tal al Qmar

After breakfast, transfer to Nabi Mousa, the desert sanctuary of Nabi Musa, dating to the 13th century CE, remembered as the final resting place of the prophet Moses in the Islamic tradition. The site consists of the tomb and a mosque and a spacious compound built around them. The walk begins in the eastern desert, and ends up at Mar Saba, the Greek Orthodox desert monastery. Mar Saba is among the most ancient and wondrous desert monasteries in the Holy Land. Women have not been allowed into Mar Saba for fifteen centuries but can admire the monastery from over its exterior walls.  Descend the valley and then up to the monastery after resting for some time in the top, enjoying the views and atmosphere. Continue through the canyons up to Tal al Qmar, where the path is mostly mountains and canyons. There in the middle of the wilderness, can be found a guesthouse with a Bedouin-themed atmosphere where hikers can have a homemade meal, relax and overnight. Distance 18 km. 6h-7h. Difficulty: Medium – Hard. Elevation: +450m/+650m

Day 7: Tal Al Qmar – Wadi Jihar – Rashaida & Bedouin Camp

Transfer to the south of Bethlehem, It stands on the top of a hill that is covered with olive trees, always looking green and beautiful and forming a fantastic landscape for visitors, start hiking to the village of Al-Rashayda, The path descends into the spectacular Wadi el-Jihar, a deep limestone canyon in the desert. The caves there have been used for homes for a long time. Arrival at Bedouin encampment village Al-Rashayda, located in the desert region between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea. And continue walking from the encampment to beautiful sunset view of the Dead Sea. By off-road vehicle, ride back to evening and night in Bedouin camp. Distance 19km. 7-8 hrs. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Day 8: Bedouin Camp – Ein Gedi – Bedouin Camp

We continue our trek through the desert, to view some of the most beautiful panoramas of the Dead Sea. Our goal hike: Ein Gedi, a little paradise lost with a beautiful waterfall and lots of greenery. We descend to the nature reserve (located at -400 m) through a magnificent canyon then arrive at the waterfall. The small lagoon that has formed around this waterfall offers the possibility of swimming, conditions permitting. Then return to the Bedouin camp of the previous day after having climbed the canyon through the same route. Dinner and overnight at the Bedouin camp. Distance 15 km 6h Difficulty: Medium – Hard. Elevation: +400m/-400m

Day 9: Al-Rashayda – Bani N’eim

This is one of the wonderful stages that everyone should try walking. It extends from Al-Al-Rashayda, which is located 18.7km south-east of Bethlehem, to Bani N’eim, 7 kilometers to the east of Hebron. It is a rocky and uneven road, but worth walking. One of the amazing spots in Al-Al-Rashayda is the archeological site called Al ‘Erishah area, which overlooks the Dead Sea from above. After leaving the desert, you will head towards Beni Na’im, a tranquil village famous for the grape groves surrounding the area. Dinner and overnight, family home-stay in Bani N’eim. you will have the opportunity to try a traditional Palestinian meal at one of the homestays there. Distance 20 km. 6h-7h. Difficulty: Moderate

Day 10: Bani N’eim – Hebron – Bethlehem

After breakfast transfer from Bani Neim to Hebron, the terrain Is rocky and uneven before reaching Hebron, the home of the Tomb of the Patriarchs which contains the tomb of Abraham and the mosque of the same name, part of which has now become a synagogue. The Kasbah offers visitors many surprises including the famous ancient glass factories and colorful Eastern ceramic workshops. Transfer to Bethlehem, visit Dheisheh refugee camp. Tour of the Separation Wall built to restrict the free movement of Palestinians to Jerusalem and around the West Bank; also referred to as the Wall of Shame and Apartheid Wall by Palestinians. View graffiti created by Palestinians and international artists such as the famous artist Banksy and others. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 11: Bethlehem –Tel Aviv

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for the return flight.

Rates on request

Price includes:

Reception and transfer: airport – hotel – airport.

All transfers and excursions as mentioned in the program.

All transport of luggage.

Half-board accommodation; includes breakfast and dinner.

Local guide.

Light meal at noon and bottled water.

Price do not include:

Tips for guide, driver & hotels.

Other services not mentioned.

The best period for this program is from the middle of September to May.

Recommendations:

Physical level: good physical condition to perform recommended hiking 5 to 7 am daily.

Equipment:

. Sunglasses

. Thermos flask (1 L min.)

. Flashlight and / or headlamp (waterproof)

. High protection sunscreen

. Folding knife (to put in checked baggageș no military-style knives)

. Toiletries (preferably biodegradable products)

. Toilet paper (biodegradable if possible)

. Quick-drying hand towel

. Hat or cap covering over the neck

Toilet Facilities: Bathrooms and shower in the hotel rooms. Simple sanitary facilities and collective showers in guesthouses, Bedouin camps and homestays.

 

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