Visit some important historic and Biblical sites on the Bethlehem and Jericho Holy Land Tour from Tel Aviv.
At the start of the excursion, you will be picked up from your hotel in Tel Aviv at around 0720h (07:20am). You will travel in an air-conditioned coach and will be accompanied by an English speaking guide (English /German, English/French, or English/Spanish as per your choice).
Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes after leaving Tel Aviv, you will arrive at the outskirts of the holy town of Bethlehem, which lies just 8km (5 miles) south of Jerusalem. The town was the childhood home of the biblical King David and is known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It has long been a major site of Christian pilgrimage.
At the entrance to Bethlehem, you will see Rachel’s Tomb, where the Abrahamic matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside" (Gen. 48:7).
In Bethlehem you will visit the Church of the Nativity, the place where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born and one of the holiest sites in Christendom. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches.
At the Church you will see the Door of Humility, built so low that even the most important visitors had to dismount from their horses, as well as Crusader paintings, Byzantine mosaics, the Grotto of the Nativity (the actual birthplace) and the Chapel of the Manger.
Adjacent to the Church of the Nativity is Manger Square, the hub of Bethlehem’s religious activity and the site of Christmas Eve festivities every year. Other buildings around the Square are the Church of St Catherine, the Mosque of Omar and the Palestinian Peace Center.
You end your tour of Bethlehem with a view of Shepherds' Fields, the place identified since ancient times with the shepherds who saw the Star of the Nativity. This area is also believed to be where the Hebrew matriarchs Ruth and Naomi gleaned in the fields behind the harvesters on their way to Bethlehem from Moab (Ruth 2-4).
Your tour of Bethlehem lasts from 1 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours and on leaving the town you will head for Jericho. On the way you will drive past Jerusalem and Inn of the Good Samaritan. This is a 19th century caravanserai at a site which Christians believe is similar to that described in the ‘Parable of the Good Samaritan’. The journey from Bethlehem to Jericho takes around 40 minutes. At an appropriate point in the middle of the day there will be a stop for lunch (payable direct).
Situated in a lush oasis at 258 m (839 feet) below sea level, Jericho is the lowest city on earth. It is also believed to be the oldest. Some tales from its long and eventful history are the stuff of legend. Remember the Bible story (in the Book of Joshua) about the walls of Jericho ‘tumbling down’ after the Israelites walked round it seven times and blew their trumpets?
You will stop at the Zacchaeus Sycamore. This is said to be the spot where Zacchaeus the tax collector climbed a tree (probably a sycamore-fig tree) to get a view of Jesus over the heads of the crowd (Luke, Chapter 19). You will also see views of Mount Temptation, the hill in the Judean Desert thought to be the place where Jesus was tempted by the devil. Atop the mount is the Monastery of the Temptation.
You will visit the Mount of Ancient Jericho, overlooking the Jericho oasis, where excavations have uncovered the remains of around 25 ancient cities. Some of these existed as long ago as 9000 BC. They include the remains of the world’s oldest walled town dating from the Neolithic period (around 7000 BC).
You will spend around 2 hours altogether in Jericho. The day-long excursion takes between 10 hours to 11 hours. At the end of your tour you will be dropped back at your hotel in Tel Aviv.