11 – 18 November 2017 Kufr Malek to Tuqu, Thru Walk 2017

From USD 500

Start your journey on Masar Ibrahim from a close encounter with the nature. Palestine’s central position at the crossroads between Africa, Asia and Europe makes it a pathway for the biannual migration of over half a billion birds making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Then a demanding yet exciting path will take hikers through Al-’Auja Valley, home to an impressive array of plant and animal life - watch your step to spot a Mediterranean turtle.

In Al-’Auja meet the Bedouin communities, learn about their habits and traditions. Later visit famous Jericho - the lowest and one of the most ancient cities in the world. Delicious Medjoul dates grown in the area are a must thing to taste. In the following days, you will enjoy the Bedouin hospitality, their delicious food and serene desert landscapes stretching from the Sea Level Community towards the area of Bethlehem.

Along the way you will have a chance to spend a night in the Cave located in middle of a desert - a place where you will realize that stars can shine so bright. Towards the end of the journey, will await you a breathtaking view on the Mar Saba Monastery clinging to the edge of the Kidron Valley. Far behind the valley is located Bethlehem, where you will encounter the hospitality of the host families waiting for the hikers with a place to rest and a warm meal.

From USD 500

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Day One: Saturday 11/11/2017 Kafr Malik to Al Auja.

Following a small road from Kafr Malek to Ein Samia Valley. After that the path drops down into Wadi al-’Auja, a deep, rugged wadi that runs from Ein Samia (Samia Spring) down to Ein al-’Auja in the Jordan Valley. From Ein Al-’Auja, the trail follows the wadi and ancient Roman aqueducts, used divert water from Ein al-’Auja to Jericho, past the ruins of a Byzantine church and onto the Al-’Auja Bedouin community as to have a great cultural night with a delicious traditional meal .

  • Length:      14.10 km
  • Duration:    4 - 5 hours
  • Category:   Difficult
  • Dinner and Overnight at the Bedouin Community

Day Two: Sunday 12/11/2017 Al Auja to Jericho

The section begins in the broad plains of the Jordan Valley and passes by the tents of the Bedouin community of Wadi al-’Auja. The trail enters Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world.  Its calm atmosphere and rich heritage is a true oasis to all walkers. Visitors can enjoy a visit to the Mount of Temptation, Tell es-Sultan, and the winter palaces of Hisham and Herod the Great. Nearby Jericho, members of the Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp Women’s Center invite hikers for warm home-cooked meals and offer overnight stays in a 0ne-of-a-kind mudbrick guesthouse. Hikers can also have their passports stamped at the guesthouse.

  • Length:      16.30 km
  • Duration:    3 - 5 hours
  • Category:   Moderate
  • Dinner and Overnight at the Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp Women’s Center

Day Three: Monday 13/11/2017 Jericho to Sea Level

A long and beautiful hike leads through the picturesque Wadi Quelt where walkers will have a chance to discover the ruins of King Herod’s winter palace and then see the vines and foliage clinging to the sides of the rocky canyon Deir al-Quelt (St. George’s Monastery).

The road becomes easier as it leaves the monastery and heads towards the Roman aqueduct - another spectacular landmark located along that section of the Masar. Then the trail passes through the remote lands and the wilderness of the Jordan Valley on the historic road from Jericho to Jerusalem and leads to the Bedouin’s camp located exactly at the sea level.

  • Walking distance: 18.70 KM
  • Walking time: 5 - 7 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Dinner and Overnight at the Bedouin Community

Day Four: Tuesday 14/11/2017 Sea Level Community to Khirbet al-Mird

This section of the trail begins at the desert sanctuary of Nabi Musa, dating to the 13th century. According to Islamic tradition the site is the final resting place of the prophet Moses; After that the journey follows through large uninhabited areas, The trail starts in a deep valley along old pilgrim routes. Then from the mountain which overlooks Jericho and the Dead Sea hikers can view beautiful landscapes below. Along the route hikers will meet Bedouins with their camels and sheep. At the end of this section of the trail awaits Khirbet al-Mird (Hyrcania in Greek), the mysterious fortress commonly attributed to the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus, who is said to have built it toward the end of the second century BC.

  • Walking distance: 15.10 KM
  • Walking time: 5-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Dinner and Overnight at the Grotto in Khirbet El Mard

Day Five: Wednesday 15/11/2017 Khirbet al-Mird to Tal El Qamar

The winding trail takes hikers down into the Kidron Valley full of various in size caves that in the Byzantine times were inhabited by monks. The spectacular Mar Saba Monastery and a few Byzantine wilderness monasteries are found here; the cluster was named after Saint Saba (439-532 CE), who settled in a cave opposite the site to live in complete seclusion. The area is a perfect spot to take a break and enjoy the view and the atmosphere. The trail then takes walkers through hills and valleys leading to the Tal al-Qamar area.

  • Walking distance: 11.20 KM
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Dinner and Overnight at Tal El Qamar

Day Six: Thursday 16/11/2017 Tal El Qamar to Bethlehem

Starting at Tal al-Qamar the trek will lead across the serene landscapes of the Jerusalem Wilderness towards Bethlehem. On the way, hikers will climb some rocky hills but will also have some time to sit, close their eyes, and feel the relaxing atmosphere of the surrounding space.

After leaving the Bedouin desert, the Masar will take walkers step by step through rural Palestinian life. Here you will discover the meadows and serene villages. More urban life awaits in Beit Sahour and Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’ birth. There are many historical and sacred sites to visit such as the Church of the Nativity, the Milk Grotto, and Shepherds Fields.

  • Walking distance: 14.60 KM
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Dinner and Overnight in a guest house

Day Seven: Friday 17/11/2017 Bethlehem to Tequ

Our walk will start with a city walk from the Manger Square in Bethlehem towards Artas to visit the monastery and the spring.   Then leisurely continue walking on mainly flat terrain with only one ascent to enjoy stunning views from Khirbet Tequa.  The walk will then continue through the fertile valley until we reach Tequa’.

  • Length:      14.50 km
  • Duration:    4 - 5 hours
  • Category:   Moderate
  • Dinner and Overnight with local families in Tequ.

Day Eight: Saturday 18/11/2017 Departure Day 

 

Price include:

  • 7 overnight including dinners and breakfasts (3 night at local Bedouin community, 2 night at the guesthouses in Jericho and Beit Sahour, 1 night in homestay in Tequa, 1 night at Kherbet al-Merd Grotto)
  • Light lunches during the walk from 11-17 November 2017
  • Experienced local hiking guides
  • Luggage transfers during the walk

Not include:

  • Transfers to/ from the starting point and ending point.
  • Optional 12 November 2017 Bike rent (20$)
  • Optional: 15 November 2017 star-gazing at Tel al-Qamar
  • Optional: 16 November 2017 dinner and cultural night at Grotto Restaurant (18$)
  • Other expenses

Highlights:

  • Natural wonders - two natural valleys
  • Bedouin hospitality
  • Visit to Jericho and Bethlehem
  • Adventurous climbs in the Jerusalem Wilderness
  • Famous landmarks: Nabi Musa Sanctuary, Wadi Quelt Monastery, Mar Saba Monastery
  • Sleep in a Cave

Route

  1. East Jerusalem