Explore Palestine

MASAR IBRAHIM AL KHALIL

ABRAHAM PATH

Brochure

masar ibrahim logoWe welcome you to walk in the footsteps of Abraham to explore Palestine’s serene landscape, flora and fauna, to experience our rich history, culture and traditions, and to discover the warmth and hospitality of our people.

It is not a coincidence that National Geographic Traveler chose Palestine’s Abraham Path as its #1 walking trail in 2014.  The Masar Ibrahim al Khalil runs from the Mediterranean olive groves of the highlands to the silence of the desert, from the winding streets of Jerusalem to the oldest monasteries in the world.  This is more than just a hiking trail, it is a walking cultural path, which leads deep into the memory and heritage of the Palestinian people, inviting you to discover family life of the villages, the proud ways of the Bedouin, and the age-old traditions of hospitality that lie at the heart of Palestinian life. Our main aim is boosting socio-economic develop of rural communities.

 

We have placed Palestine on the map as a destination for hiking, walking, cycling through amazing landscapes, opportunities to interact with local residents, bringing about cultural exchanges, creating links between Palestinians and people from around the world.  The best kept secrets, in terms of archaeological and holy sites are brought to light either on foot or on two wheels.  Adventure Travel ‘Hot List’ names Palestine as one of the top 10 most exciting Adventure Travel destinations to visit in 2015.

In this brochure, you will find our walking, hiking and cycling routes which will allow you to discover and explore Palestine, its landscape, history, culture, cuisine and our authentic hospitality.


 

TWO DAY ITINERARY

  1. SANUR TO NABLUS

Day 1: Sanur to Sebastia

This long but rewarding day passes over Mounts Hureish and Bayzeed, each with a shrine at the top, which was first used for signal fires, and later inhabited by holy men.  The ancient hilltop city of Sebastia is home to several important archaeological sites which date back to the Canaanite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine cultures.  Overnight:  Sebastia Guesthouse

Day 2: Sebastia to Nablus

This final day follows the Roman route from Sebastia, passing a hilltop Sufi shrine, to the city of Nablus. The path continues through Zawarte, past a bubbling spring.  Wander the Old City streets and browse through historic markets.  Enjoy an optional Turkish bath – at participant’s own expense. Finally, marvel at the Greek Orthodox church built over the Jacob’s well.

 

  1. NEBI MUSA TO BETHLEHEM

Day 1: Nebi Musa to Mar Saba

You will likely see Bedouin camel and goat herds along this ancient pilgrimage route through the desert. The path curves up a steep trail and over the Kidron Valley to the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Saba, which is among the most ancient and wondrous desert monasteries in the Holy Land.  Only men are allowed into Mar Saba – moderate clothing is required for entering the religious compound. Men belonging to the Greek Orthodox faith can stay overnight at the Mar Saba Monastery. Otherwise, a local Bedouin family can provide camping tents and meals near Mar Saba.  Overnight:  Bedouin camp

Day 2: Mar Saba to Bethlehem

From the desert monastery, the path meanders steeply up the hills towards Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and home to many holy and historic sites such as Manger Square, the Church of Nativity and Shepherd’s Fields.


 

THREE DAY ITINERARY

  1. NABLUS TO TAYBEH

Day 1:  Awarta to Duma

Depart Awarta (a village near Nablus) by way of Mount Arma through the villages of Aqraba, Majdal and Bani Fadil. Take in breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley, and enjoy the challenge of the hilly terrain. Dinner and overnight with host families.

Day 2 : Duma to Kafr Malek 

The path from Duma passes the village of Mughayyir and the natural springs and archaeological site of Ain Samia.  Dinner and overnight with host families.

Day 3 :  Kufr Malek to Taybeh

The path from Kurf Malek follows the edge of a high plateau with lovely views. The day ends in the Palestinian Christian town of Taybeh. Visit the ruins of the 5th century Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, tour the old city and finally the Taybeh Brewery. In the later afternoon, a private van will provide transport back to Jerusalem or to Bethlehem.

 

  1. TEQUA’ TO HEBRON

Day 1:  Tequa’ to Rashaydeh

This is the longest section of the Abraham Path in Palestine.  The trail winds through the bed of Wadi Jihar, a stunning rocky valley with many ancient cave dwellings, and oftentimes a glimpse of grazing goats and camels.  Views of the Dead Sea.

A Bedouin family in Rashaydeh offers jeep tours to the Dead Sea, and provides overnight accommodation

Day 2 : Rashaydeh to Bani Naim 

Heading deep into the desert wilderness, this is the most challenging walk of the path in Palestine with almost a constant walk uphill.  Be prepared for a challenging day and be sure to bring plenty of water. This stage is still in development, and may be difficult to follow. The route was one that monks used to reach the many ancient desert monasteries and other shrines such as Khirbet ed-Deir, Khirbet al-Qasr, and the shrine of Nebi Yakin – the ruins of some can still be seen.

Day 3 : Bani Naim to Hebron

The final walk to the burial place of Abraham is as easy on the feet as it is challenging to the mind. You will set off from Bani Naim, which is a mountain area from which Abraham watched the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Jordan Valley below. The terrain is rocky and uneven before reaching Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank.  Wander through the Old City; observe how locally made pottery and glass products are made, visit the Ibrahimi Mosque – Tomb of the Patriarchs.  Hebron offers hotels, as well as family stays for accommodation.  A variety of restaurants and shops are available.


 

FOUR DAY ITINERARY

BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON

Day 1:  Bethlehem to Tequa 

Explore Solomon’s Pools, part of an impressive ancient water system of underground springs and aqueducts, as well as the architectural and cultural heritage of Artas, which hosts the Latin Hortus Concluses Convent.

A hosting family in Tequa offers overnight accommodation and meals.

Day 2:  Tequa to Rashaydeh

This is the longest section of the Abraham Path in Palestine.  This is a wonderful desert hike through the Jerusalem Wilderness, descending into the spectacular Wadi Jihar, a deep limestone canyon that winds down into the desert – a stunning rocky valley with many ancient cave dwellings.  Emerge from the valley reaching the tents and hospitality of Rashaydeh.

A Bedouin family in Rashaydeh offers jeep tours to the Dead Sea, and provides overnight accommodation in Bedouin tents and traditional Palestinian meals.

Day 3:  Rashaydeh to Bani Nain

Heading deep into the desert wilderness, this is the most challenging walk of the path in Palestine with almost a constant walk uphill.  Be prepared for a challenging day and be sure to bring plenty of water. This stage is still in development, and may be difficult to follow. The route was one that monks used to reach the many ancient desert monasteries and other shrines such as Khirbet ed-Deir, Khirbet al-Qasr, and the shrine of Nebi Yakin – the ruins of some can still be seen.

A family stay at Beni Na’im provides overnight accommodation and meals.

Day 4:  Bani Naim to Hebron

The final walk to the burial place of Abraham is as easy on the feet as it is challenging to the mind. You will set off from Beni Naim, which is a mountain area from which Abraham watched the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Jordan Valley below. The terrain is rocky and uneven before reaching Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank.  Wander through the Old City; observe how locally made pottery and glass products are made, visit the Ibrahimi Mosque – Tomb of the Patriarchs.  Hebron offers hotels, as well as family stays for accommodation.  A variety of restaurants and shops are available.

 


 

BIKE TOURS

DAY 1: Arrival

On the first day of the cycle tour, you will be met at 12:00 noon at the Jerusalem Hotel, located in Nablus Street, close to Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, opposite the Garden Tomb. From there a service bus will take you to the El Beit Guesthouse in Beit Sahour for a brief orientation. After that, our driver will transfer you to Jenin, where you will get acquainted with our local guide, discuss any special needs, and any other relevant information before the tour begins.  Dinner and overnight in a local hotel.

DAY 2: Jenin to Nablus

Cycle from Jenin towards Sebastia, the ancient Canaanite, Hellenistic and Roman city.  Starting at the hotel, cycle towards the village of Zebabdeh, towards the village of Missilieh.  Continuing to the village of Sanur and its beautiful plains. Onwards towards the villages of Yassid and Beit Imrin by hilly roads. Arrive at the hilltop village of Sebastia.

Sebastia is believed to be the place where John the Baptist was beheaded.  After lunch, explore the ancient city, and meet the local community.  Cycle to Nablus, tour the old city markets, taste the sweet ‘kanafeh’ which Nablus is famous for.  Optional:  Visit the medieval hammam (Ottoman bath house). Dinner and overnight in the Al- Yasmin Hotel, in the old city of Nablus.

DAY 3: Nablus to Taybeh

Start cycling in the old city of Nablus towards the south passing the villages of Huwarah and Beita. Continue towards the village of Aqraba – take in the beautiful views of the Jordan Valley. Continue towards Majdal Bani Fadil, and rest in the village of Duma. Afterwards, cycle towards Mughayyar and Khirbet Abu Fallah villages. Next, push the bikes up the highest hill in the Ramallah area. With the support vehicle in attendance, head towards the villages of Kufr Malek, and then Dier Jarir. Arrive in Taybeh in the late afternoon.

Tour the old village center and visit the ruins of the 5th century Byzantine church of St. George.  Visit the Peace Lantern Factory,

Palestine’s first microbrewery, and enjoy dinner with local families. Overnight in the Church Guest House in Taybeh.

DAY 4: Taybeh to Jericho and Dead Sea

Cycle to Jericho.  The easiest day in the entire tour, mostly downhill.  Visit Hisham’s Palace and the Mount of Temptation.  Cycle through the Jerusalem Wilderness to the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight in the Jericho Resort Village.

DAY 5: Jericho to Mar Saba

Cycle part of the way to Bethlehem. Visit Nebi Musa, and then walk the dirt road to the Greek Orthodox Mar Saba Monastery.

Enjoy the wilderness and experience the dramatic landscape. After visiting Mar Saba Monastery, cycle to Bethlehem.  Dinner in Bethlehem, and overnight in El Biet Guesthouse in Beit Sahour.

DAY 6: Bethlehem to Hebron

Cycle around Bethlehem. Visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Field.  In the afternoon, cycle to Hebron and visit the old city. Transfer by mini-bus back to Bethlehem. Farewell dinner party in a local restaurant in the Bethlehem area. Overnight in El Beit Guesthouse, Beit Sahour.

DAY 7: Bethlehem to Jerusalem

An easy ride from delightful Bethlehem to the divided city of Jerusalem.  Visit Jerusalem’s Old City. Enjoy an alternative political and cultural tour in the late afternoon.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil

ATG

Email: info@atg.ps