I visited the Dead Sea from the Israeli side but I put it in this page anyway as the Dead Sea is also in the West Bank.
This is a typical tourist attraction but it is still worth it, it is a very unique experience. The Dead Sea is so salt that fish and other organisms can't live there. The salt gives you the ability to float on top of the water, so it doesn't matter if you can't swim, there is no way you will sink. But, DO NOT splash the water or try floating on your stommack, if you get the salty water in your eyes or mouth, it is PAIN! For the same reason, don't shave legs, armpits or whatever the day before either, any small wound you have will burn in the water....
The Dead Sea mud is supposed to be very good for your skin so have fun and roll yourself in mud..
Wadi Kelt is very close to Jericho, St Georges Monastery Clings to the cliff overlooking the Wadi (valley).
There was first a building on this site early in the 4th century AD. The first building named after St George was in the 5th century. The Monastery has had quite a turbulent history with being taken by one or another, Persians, Crusaders, Hermits, and finally Greek Orthodox Monks laid claim and restored the buildings in the early 20th century.
Apart from the buildings & views, there are paintings, icons, Tomb of St George to be seen, plus the skulls of the 14 Monks who were murdered here by the Persians.
The Monastery of Temptation is built around the site, where in the Bible Jesus was tempted by the devil, and where he fasted & refused to turn the stones in to bread.
The Crusaders called tis place Mont Quarantana (Mount of Fourty), The Arabs Qarantal and it is known today as Mount of Temptation.
This Monastery was also restored by the Greek Orthodox Church in the early 1900's.
Bethlehem, is probably the most famous place in Palestine. The town itself is nothing special or out of the ordinary, but obviously people visit Bethlehem for the Church of the Nativity.
I visited Bethlehem a few times whilst I was living in israel, some of the times it was so quiet, we were almost the only people there,surprisingly one of these occasions was christmas day! Other times it was heaving with coach tours. ..........Im trying to say try to pick your time to visit! (~_~)
visit Al-Haram al-Ibrahimi Mosque. Al-Khalil, as Hebron is called in Arabic, means 'The Friend of God'. In ancient times it was known as Mamre and Kirjath Arba, 'The town of four' because of its position on four hills. Situated at an altitude of 3,000 feet, Hebron has been continuously settled for at least 5,000 years. It is regarded as holy by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike because the Patriarch Abraham is buried there.
Go to the top of the Mt. of Olives, in East Jerusalem, right in front of the Seven Arches Hotel, overlooking the Old City. Do this on a Friday during noon prayers! I actually never got to do this, even if I did live there for 4 years. But my friend told me it was stunning to hear the prayers of thousands of people rising up from the dome of the rock compound! Or go to the same spot at 4 am in the morning before sunrise to hear the first birds chipper away to the tune of the morning's call to prayer...pretty haunting actually. Better not to go alone, especially if you're a woman (unless you know how to handle harassing men!)
Eerie, haunting and bittersweet...but it makes you forget about the conflict. Plus you get a neat view of the Jewish burial grounds below. It's a great photo opportunity too...
When in Israel Palestine WHATEVER, do head down to the lowest point on earth when there's a full moon; watch the sun set behind you while watching the full moon rise over the mountains of Jordan...
It's sheer magic.
The Jordan River is an unusual stream that flows from 3,000 feet above sea level at Mt. Hermon in Syria to the Dead Sea at 1,300 feet below sea level. With an average width of 100 feet, the Jordan River twists and curves for 160 miles but covers a straight-line distance of only 65 miles. Jesus came to the Jordan River from Galilee to be baptized by John. Since then, the river has been important to all Christians, the many of whom get baptized there.
Wadi Kilt & Monastery of St. George (Deir al-Qelt)
Wadi Qelt is a natural rift in the hills with high, sheer rock walls, extending 45km between Jerusalem and Jericho. Hermits have inhabited the Wadi since the third century. Today, it is a wonderful place for hiking tours, especially in the winter. The Monastery of St. George is carved out of the rock and clings to the canyon walls impressively. Built in the fifth century, the monastery was destroyed during the Persian invasion of Palestine. Most of the present monastery dates back to the 1901 restoration by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Tell as-Sultan (ancient Jericho)
The ancient city of Jericho is located 2km from the northwestern outskirts of Jericho. Situated on a mound overlooking the Jericho oasis, excavations at Tell al-Sultan uncovered 23 layers of ancient civilizations, dating back to 9000 BC. Many structures are visible, including the oldest known stairs in the world, the oldest wall, and the massive defense tower, dating back to 7000 BC.
Deir Quruntal and Monastery of Temptation
The summit of Mt. Temptation, rising to a height of 350 meters above sea level and commanding a magnificent view of the Jordan Valley, is the site where Jesus spent forty days and nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan. A monastery was built in the sixth century over the cave where Christ stayed. The path leading to Deir Quruntel is very steep and difficult to climb, but is well worth the walk. The nearly 30-40 caves on the eastern slopes of the mountain have been inhabited by monks and hermits since the early days of Christianity.
Located 20km south of Jericho, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, is the site where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The discovery of the Scrolls was made in 1947 by an Arab shepherd looking for a stray goat in the western region of the Dead Sea. Seven scrolls were found, the most famous being the scroll of Isaiah, which is one foot wide and 24 feet long. Excavations at the site found more than 900 pieces of scrolls in more than 30 caves. Except for two scrolls written on copper, all the scrolls were written on leather and papyrus. Covering a period of 300 years, the writings in the scrolls include the birth of Christ and offer insights and a background to the teachings of Christ.
Nabi Musa in Arabic means 'the prophet Moses' who is recognized as one of the great prophets of Islam. Maqam Nabi Musa has been the site of an annual pilgrimage festival since the time of Salah ad-Din. Set in an awe-inspiring landscape 20km east of Jerusalem, Maqam Nabi Musa is a splendid example of medieval Islamic architecture. The present shrine, mosque, minaret, and some of the rooms were built in 1269 AD while successive additions brought the site to its present day shape in 1475 AD.
The site is 2km north of Jericho and was built by the Omayyad Calif, Hisham Ibn Abdul Malek. The remains are of a magnificent winter palace which was destroyed by an earthquake in 747A.D. shortly after construction. The site contains royal buildings, a mosque, water fountains and spectacular mosaic floors.
At a maximum depth of 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is by far the lowest spot on the surface of the earth. Its high salt content of about 25 percent above that of an average sea makes it impossible for any form of life to live in its waters. However, it makes swimming an extraordinary experience, as it is impossible to sink! The mud and minerals of the Dead Sea are natural healers of skin diseases and invigorate healthy skin.
Jerusalem Hebron Road, PO Box 1167, Bethlehem
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Jericho Jerusalem Road, Jericho
Good for: Solo
Nablus Road Albireh, P.O.BOX 2169, Ramallah
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Good for: Business