9 Days Archaeological Tour

Day 1

Arrive to Tel Aviv airport

In the arrival hall you will meet by your tour guide and driver

Coach to Bethlehem, 53 km. Pass through the ‘Separation Wall. Check-in at the hotel

Dinner  and overnight at the hotel

First of four nights in Bethlehem

Day 2

Bethlehem

Breakfast at the hotel

Coach, Bethlehem to Herodium, 10 km

Herodium,  Palace complex built by King Herod 24–15 bc, (open 8–16)

Coach, Herodium to Solomon’s Pools, 9 km

Solomon’s Pools , Herodian reservoir system. Please be aware there are a number of steep and narrow steps at this site

Coach to Bethlehem, 8 km. Lunch at Panorama Tent Restaurant, Bethlehem

Coach, Bethlehem Jacir Palace to Mar Saba, 19 km, changing to minibuses from the Theodosius Monastery to Mar Saba.

Mar Saba Monastery (open 9 to sunset, closed Wed, Thur, Fri). There is limited access for women.

Minibuses and COACH back to Bethlehem, 19 km.

Coach to Beit Sahour

Dinner in the Tent Restaurant, Beit Sahour

Second of four nights in Bethlehem

Day 3

Bethlehem

Breakfast at the hotel

Coach from the hotel to Hebron, 36 km

Haram Al-Khalil (Tomb of the Patriarchs)  (Tombs of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and wives. Herodian perimeter wall, Crusader church within, now divided between Muslim and Jewish areas.)

Visit to a glass workshop.

Coach to Bethlehem. Lunch at Manger Square Hotel.

Church of the Nativity. (First church dedicated 339 CE. Some floor mosaics survive, rebuilt after 529 AD.)

Some free time to explore the centre of Bethlehem.

Dinner is independent this evening. The guide will be happy to recommend a restaurant or make a table reservation for you.

Day 4

Bethlehem

Breakfast at the hotel

COACH, from the hotel to Jerusalem Old City, 16 km.

Temple Mount (Haram ash-Sharif)  (open to visitors 8–11am except Fridays and religious holidays). Enter through the Bab al-Magheriba.

— Al Aqsa Mosque.  Built ad 700/720, rebuilt 1033 and 13th cent. (Crusader), patched up periodically.

— Dome of the Rock.  Built ad 688–91

Leave through the Suq al Qattanin (Cotton Merchants’ Market) and return to the Jewish Quarter.

Short refreshment break.

Lunch at the Austrian Hospice.

Visit the Rockefeller Museum  (open 10–15) formerly known as the Palestine Archaeological Museum.

Coach from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, 16km

Falafel Dinner  at Afteem Restaurant

Fourth and final night in Bethlehem

Day 5

Bethlehem

Breakfast at the hotel

• Check-out and luggage on the coach.

Coach from Bethlehem to Jericho

Cable car to Monastery of Temptation  (13th Century Greek-Orthodox monastery, 350m above Jericho).

Cable car down the hill.

COACH to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel

Lunch  provided in the hotel restaurant.

Coach within Jericho

Visit Tell as-Sultan

Hisham’s Palace  (8th Century, Umayyad). We are joined by Dr Mahmoud Hawari, reserach associate at the Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford.

Dinner  in Rawda Restaurant, Jericho.

First of two nights in Jericho

Day 6

Jericho

Breakfast at the hotel

Coach from the hotel to Wadi Qelt, 12 km

Monastery of St George,  Wadi Kelt (open 9-13 most days), 19th Century Greek Orthodox monastery overlooking the Wadi. Access to the monastery is by walking only.

Coach from the monastery to Jericho 11 km.

Some free time. Lunch  is in the hotel restaurant

Visit to the Dead Sea and float in the sea

Coach to Qumran, 16km. Qumran  (open 17–8) caves of the Dead Sea scrolls.

Coach from the Dead Sea, 17 km.

Visit Nabi Musa  (open 8–sunset) according to tradition, this is the site where Moses is buried. Mamluk and Ottoman building phases.

Coach to Jericho, 12 km.

Dinner  in Limonah Restaurant, Jericho

Final night in Jericho

Day 7

Jericho

Breakfast at the hotel

• Please see that your luggage is on the coach.

Coach from the hotel to Sebastia, 133 km.

Visit Samaria-Sebastyieh

Lunch  served at Samaria Restaurant.

Coach to Nablus, 14 km.

Visit Jacob’s Well  (closed 12–14, open from 14–16.00)

Coach within Nablus. Visit Tell Balata  (open) Canaanite site, destroyed and reconstructed over the ages.

COACH to the outskirts of Nablus, 6 km.

Visit Mount Gerizim  (panorama of Nablus area, 5th Century church, remains of mosque and castle of Salah ad-Din era)

Coach to East Jerusalem, 65km.

Check-in at the hotel

Dinner  in the hotel restaurant

First of two nights in East Jerusalem

Day 8

East Jerusalem

Breakfast at the hotel

WALK to the Old City

The Christian Quarter: Rampart walk, from Jaffa to Damascus Gate

Visit Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Fragments of the Constantinian church survive in the present, largely Crusader Romanesque building.

Lunch  is at Bulghargi restaurant.

WALK to the Ecce Homo Convent,  portion of Hadrianic arch and subterranean structures.

Church of St Anne , 12th century, and Bethesda Pools,  archaeological site revealing cisterns and other structures of several periods. We are accompanied by Shimon Gibson, Senior Associate Fellow at the W.F.

Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Coach from St Stephen’s Gate (also known as Lion’s Gate) to the Mount of Olives for panoramic view.

Dinner  at the hotel.

Second and final night in East Jerusalem

Day 9

East Jerusalem

Breakfast at the hotel

• Check-out and luggage is on the coach.

Coach from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport, 56 km.

Flight back home