On this day tour we will visit the Christian holy sites of Bethlehem and Jericho. We visit Bethlehem’s Manger Square, the Church of Nativity, the Grotto of the Nativity where Jesus was born, Zacchaeus’ Sycamore tree and much more.
We depart towards the Judean Desert, stopping en route to visit the Inn of the Good Samaritan. From the Inn of the Good Samaritan we overlook the breathtaking view of the moon-shaped landscape of the Judean Desert. We make a short stop when we reach sea-level and then proceed to Jericho, The City of Palms.
In Jericho we stop at the Zacchaeus Sycamore, a very old sycamore tree, climbed by Zacchaeus to see Jesus passing by. We will then visit the Tell es-Sultan, (Sultan’s Mound), also knows as the Mound of Ancient Jericho, where 25 consecutive settlements were uncovered and excavated, the first one dated to as early as 9000 BC.
This special UNESCO-listed archeological site offers a unique picture of the different historical and pre-historical settlements of this region.
Leaving Jericho, we drive towards Judean Mountains to the city of Bethlehem, via the Nativity Circle and visit Bethlehem’s Manger Square. Manger Square is home to the Church of the Nativity, one of the world’s oldest-standing churches still functioning to this day. We will visit the main Basilica of the Nativity, designed in the typical Roman-style and constructed on the ruins of its predecessor in 565 AD, as well as the Catholic Church of St. Catherine, adjoining the Basilica of the Nativity.
Underneath the Church stands the Grotto of the Nativity, the cave in which Jesus was born, the exact spot of birth is marked by a 14-pointed star of silver set into the floor.
Our last stop in Bethlehem will be to a beautiful overview of the Shepherds’ Fields, and the special Church of the Shepherds’ Fields.
The tour include a visit at Qasr al-Yahud, the place on the Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. Qasr al-Yahud became accessible to visitors wishing to be baptized there.
* Due to visitor overload, a visit down to the Grotto of Nativity might not be possible because of tour time schedule.