Boutique tour operator Crooked Compass is offering a unique eight-day walking tour of Palestine, exploring untouched and time-frozen regions of this ancient land on foot.
Commencing 13 September 2017, travellers will arrive into Israel before being transferred to Nablus, a bustling and vibrant metropolis with a beautiful Old City. Explore the nearby hilltop remains Roman Sebastia, visit the olive oil soap factory, walk to Tel Balata, continue on to the Greek Orthodox church and enjoy tea in the Balata refugee camp.
The journey continues from Awarta village onto Duma. Traverse dirt tracks and ancient paths, passing shepherds and their flocks, olive groves, wheat fields and historic limestone villages, learning about plant medicines before enjoying a traditional lunch with a local family in Aqraba. The evening in Duma is made complete with Palestinian music and socialising with locals around a camp fire.
Day four makes its way to Kufr Malek, where the tour passes through the village of Mghayyar and the natural springs and archaeological site of Ain Samia before continuing on to Taybeh, the only Christian village left in Palestine, where Jesus sought refuge shortly before his crucifixion.
The village is also famous for its ‘Taybeh’ beer, which is promoted as the ‘finest in the Middle East’, and time permitting, you’ll have the chance to savour the Palestinian beer at the local Beer Factory.
Following the Wadi Auja canyon from Ein Samia, you’ll be welcomed into the Jordan River valley by members of the Bedouin community. Their way of life has remained unchanged for centuries and you’ll learn about their culture and traditions, and spend the night in the traditional tents.
The following morning, you will transfer to Herod Palace in Jericho, a fantastic fortified palace, before setting out on foot along Wadi Elqult – a stream that runs from Jericho to Jerusalem, and arriving at Wadi Qelt, home to a several Christian sites and monasteries, including what is believed to be one of the oldest synagogues in the world.
Explore the old city of Jericho and then continue on to the incredible Dead Sea. At 400 metres below sea level, it is the lowest point on Earth and boasts the highest content of minerals and salts in the world, making it a famous source of anti-inflammatory properties and therapeutic purposes.
Day seven heads south through the stunning desert landscape that rises to the west of the Dead Sea, bringing you to the edge of the Kidron Valley, a deep limestone canyon from where you’ll see the spectacular desert monastery of Mar Saba. Following the shepherds’ tracks deep into the canyon, across the riverbed and back up towards the monastery, you will then transfer to Bethlehem and visit the Nativity Church and Manger Square.
The very last day is yours to enjoy at leisure, before your onward departure flight.
Crooked Compass’s Walking in Palestine tour includes return airport transfers, meals, local driver and guide, entrance fees and seven-nights’ accommodation, ranging from boutique hotels to local guesthouses. The tour can also be tailored for a more personalised experience.