24 September 2017, Sunday. Sebastia to Nablus

This walk begins from Sebastia which is 12 kms northwest of Nablus. Sebastia is home to a number of important archaeological sites. The ancient site of Samaria-Sebastia is located just above the built up area of the modern day village on the eastern slope of the hill. The ruins dominate the hillside and comprise remains from six successive cultures dating back 10,000 years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine. Reaching to Nablus, which is located 49 kilometers north of Jerusalem, you will have the chance to try the famous Nabulsi Kenafeh, as well as its olive oil soap.  Nabulsi, meaning "from Nablus", is used to describe items such as handicrafts (e.g. Nabulsi soap) and food products (e.g. Nabulsi cheese) that are made in Nablus or in the traditional Nablus style. Nablus lies in a strategic position at a junction between two ancient commercial roads; one linking the Sharon coastal plain to the Jordan valley, the other linking Nablus to the Galilee in the north, and the biblical Judea to the south through the mountains. The city stands at an elevation of around 550 meters above sea level, in a narrow valley running roughly east-west between two mountains: Mount Ebal, the northern mountain, and Mount Gerizim, the southern mountain. Walking distance:         10.1 km Walking time:               2 - 3 hours Difficulty:                      Easy What to bring: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 2-3 liters of water and snacks/ Lunch for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera What is included: An experienced local hiking guide Transportation from the Jerusalem anahour and back

24 November 2017, Friday. ADH-DHAHRIYA TO BEIT MIRSIM - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim 2017

The final stage of Masar Ibrahim takes hikers on an interesting 19-kilometer hike between Adh-Dhahriya, located 23 kilometers southwest of Hebron, and Beit Mirsim, located 30 kilometers southwest of Hebron.   Six kilometers down the trail one can see the ruins of a Byzantine church, located about 300 meters east of the village of Anab al-Kabir (22 kilometers southwest of Hebron). The compound served as a main religious center for the neighboring locations and includes parts of mosaic floors and the remains of a wine press and an impressive grain mill.   The masar also passes through populated areas and just next to the primary school of Anab al-Kabir. If you hike on a workday, it is very possible that students on their way home from school will join you for some part of the trek.   After Anab al-Kabir, the trail turns back to the north, leading to the suburb area of Adh-Dhahriya, where small shops can be found – a great place to refill supplies of cold water for the rest of the day. The trek also passes next to an amusement park and garden where hikers can take a break and rest in a shady spot.   The final part of the trail leads through the picturesque Wadi Nufakh, a valley that becomes a river during the rainy season. The slopes of the valley are rich in various shrubs, including felty germander (Teucrium polium), in Arabic jedeh (الجعدة), which is widely used in popular medicine for treatment of stomach ailments. A small olive grove, ideal for taking rest in the shade, is located in the middle of the valley.   Before reaching the village of Al-Burj, famous for housing the remains of a Crusader-period fortified castle and a church, the trail passes just next to the Israeli separation barrier. The Wall is also later visible from Beit Mirsim, the final location on Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil. The village is rich in heritage and includes such historical sites as a Byzantine olive press and a shrine of the Prophet Handal (Maqam al-Nabi Handal). Close to the village lies Tell Beit Mirsim, an ancient archaeological site, dating approximately to the eighteenth century BC. The site is now located on the other side of the wall and is inaccessible from the West Bank. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Burqin Church Walking distance: 19.8 km Walking time: 5 - 7 hours Difficulty: Difficult Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  Transportations from/to Jerusalem/ Bethlehem