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Abraham Path – Northern West Bank Trails (scheduled tour)

//Abraham Path – Northern West Bank Trails (scheduled tour)
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Abraham Path – Northern West Bank Trails (scheduled tour)

$550.00 per person

Tour Schedule

Spring 2017
13-16 March 2017
22-25 May 2017
Autumn 2017
18-21 September 2017

If the dates above are not suitable, you can book a private tour here (minimum 4 people).

For more details on this tour click here.


Please note that above price is per person. You will be charged a non-refundable fee of 9% to confirm your booking. Balance should be paid directly to the tour operators at beginning of the tour.

Upon confirmation, you will receive a confirmation email with the contact details of your tour operator.

Product Description

Abraham Path – Northern West Bank Trails (scheduled tour)

Abraham Path Northern West Bank Trails Itinerary –

DAY ONE

Meet at the Jerusalem Hotel on Nablus Road, near the Damascus Gate for an early morning transfer to Nablus. Tour the ancient city on foot, visiting the olive oil soap factory, and trying Nablus’ delicious ‘kanafeh’. Walk to Tel Balata, site of the Bronze Age city of Shechem, where Abraham arrived in the Land of Canaan, then on to explore the Greek Orthodox Church, which houses ancient Jacob’s well. In the afternoon, transfer to Huwara, on the outskirts of Nablus, then continue walking to 3 Awarta. The village is 8 kms southeast of Nablus, and has been inhabited since Biblical times. Between the 4th and 12th centuries, the town was an important Samaritan center, being the location of one of their main synagogues. Traditional Palestinian dinner will served, and overnight at a local home.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 3 hours
DISTANCE: 10.2 kms
CHALLENGE: Easy
OVERNIGHT: Local host families

DAY TWO

Awarta to Duma Leave Awarta in the morning for a full day’s walk to Duma, visiting Jabal Awurma and the villages of Aqraba. This village is mentioned in the Bible as ‘Akrabbim’. Aqraba in Arabic means “”scorpion”. According to local tradition, the mosque which was built of ancient stones in the village center was originally a Byzantine-era church. Greek inscriptions and a cross are still visible. Walk through Majdal and Bani Fadil along the way. In the evening, rest and enjoy a meal with our host family.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 – 7 hours
DISTANCE: 18.6 kms
CHALLENGE: Moderate – Difficult
OVERNIGHT: Local host families

DAY THREE

Duma to Kufr Malek Walk from Duma to Kufr Malek passing through the village of Mughayyar and alongside the deep, rocky wadi to the natural springs and archaeological site of Ain Samia. Finally, a steep final ascent to Kufr Malek. Local food and evening conversation with the welcoming families of Kufr Malek, and a chance to meet members of the local women’s union.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 – 7 hours
DISTANCE: 14.9 kms
CHALLENGE: Moderate – Difficult
OVERNIGHT: Local host families

DAY FOUR

Kufr Malek to Taybeh Walk from Kufr Malek along the edge of the high plateau with spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley, to the historic village of Taybeh, a mainly Christian village. Tour 4 Palestine’s only brewery. Visit the ruins of the 4th century ancient church of St. George. Late afternoon transfer back to Jerusalem or Bethlehem.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 – 7 hours
DISTANCE: 14.4 kms
CHALLENGE: Moderate – Difficult

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THE TERRAIN

The walk is moderate to challenging. Distances are not too long – never more than 12 miles per day with a maximum total ascent per day of 400 meters. Note that the terrain is often rocky underfoot, with lots of stepping up and down, and there are some significant uphill and downhill sections. Light scrambling is required at some points. The path is a combination of old shepherds’ tracks across rock and thorn scrub, good dirt roads and occasional asphalt. In Jerusalem and Bethlehem, you will be staying in hotels or simple guesthouses with private rooms. While on the trail, you will be staying in family homes in Palestinian villages, meeting the kids, grandparents and extended families, and sharing their home-cooked meals. The Palestinian homes you will stay in all have electricity and running water. However, Palestine is among the most water-poor countries in the world, so please 6 use water with great care. You will be able to have a quick shower or wash after each walk. There will always be plenty of bottled drinking water. Men and women usually sleep separately, on mattresses on the floor of the family’s main living space. A private bedroom should not be expected, although some families may be able to provide one for older married couples. If this is important to you, please make this known at the time of inquiry, so that you can get appropriate advice. It is advisable to bring your own sheets or cotton sleeping-bag liner. You will be eating traditional Middle Eastern food. In the villages, this means home cooking, freshly prepared and local. Meals, including breakfast, usually consist of flat bread, cheese, yoghurt, humus, olives and salads. Dinner will include a typical Palestinian cooked dish, often including rice with chicken or meat. The walks include one or two very simple picnics of bread, cheese and salads.

Palestine is primarily a Muslim country, and so no alcohol will be offered during the walk. Be prepared for endless tiny glasses of sweet tea, often served with mint, and for grainy, delicious Arabic-style coffee after meals. The trail also passes through Taybeh, home to Palestine’s first brewery. If you pass through in October, you might find the Taybeh version of Bavaria’s legendary Oktoberfest in full swing – two days of Palestinian celebration, music and culture. The tours start from Jerusalem. Traveling to Jerusalem is straightforward for European and North American travellers. Arrival is at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel-Aviv, about one hour’s bus ride to Jerusalem. If you are coming from a tour from other parts of the Middle East, you will need to check on specific border 7 crossings and routes.

For the walk, you will need a pair of good boots, walking socks, and a hat or headscarf that covers your head and neck. Because the trail goes through rural areas, both women and men are advised to dress conservatively showing respect to these communities. We advise women to wear long pants, and either wear long-sleeved blouses or carry a scarf in their bag for covering shoulders and arms as needed. It is also best to avoid low-cut shirts, tank tops or sheer clothing. Men can wear shortsleeved shirts, but are also advised to wear long pants. If you are walking in the summer, wearing light fabrics like linen and cotton can help keep you comfortable. In the winter, it can get cold and sweaters and rain gear are recommended. Women are not required to cover their heads except in mosques and other holy places. There are no special health issues concerned with walking in Palestine. The greatest risks are from heat stroke/exhaustion, sunburn, dehydration and traveler’s diarrhoea. Walkers should take the usual health precautions, carry water at all times, ensure that they drink only bottled water, protect themselves from the sun and carry a small personal first aid kit (see ‘packing list’ below). The UK’s NHS Travel Health website offers detailed and reliable information about vaccinations and other travel related health issues.

The Palestinians are a friendly and hospitable people with legendary respect for guests and visitors to their land. The path in Palestine has been established just over a year ago, and since then, several hundred people from many countries, including the USA and UK, have walked all or part of the route without safety or security incidents of any kind. You will be walking in rural areas, and will be accompanied at all times by a professional Palestinian guide who knows, and is held in great respect and affection by the communities along the route. Without exception, travelers on the Masar have been welcomed with warmth and kindness by the people of Palestine. Despite the marked increase in security in the West Bank in recent years, it is clearly not possible for the Abraham Path Initiative or its partners to guarantee the personal safety of every traveler to Palestine. Visit the website of your home government for travelling to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (see below for relevant web links). Travel insurance is the traveler’s responsibility. It is strongly advised to take out adequate travel insurance before traveling, including emergency health care and repatriation cover. 8 Street markets abound in all the major towns selling everything from fruit and vegetables to sweets, toys and small jewellery. Every village offers a roadside shop for drinks, food and snacks. Good quality souvenirs and clothes are best sought in Jerusalem’s Old City where the covered markets offer hours of great browsing, but prices can be higher than in other locations.

MAKE YOUR OWN JOURNEY

Please contact our local tour operator if you wish to arrange a special tour or guided walk that suits your requirements. In general, the price will depend on the perperson cost, which increases with a smaller group size, motor transport and the number and distance of the excursions you require.

WALKING WITH CHILDREN

Although the Palestinian culture is itself very ‘child-friendly’, we do not recommend bringing children under the age of 12 due to the nature of the terrain, which can be challenging. Teenagers, who are more adventurous, and willing to try local food, would probably enjoy the journey. The path in Palestine has proven to be a memorable and even transformational event for some of the young teenagers who have walked the trail.

CARRYING YOUR GEAR

Baggage transfer between villages can be arranged, so that the hikers do not need to carry all of their gear while they are on the walk. It is advisable to bring a small daypack on the walks, and one other small suitcase. If you would like to carry your backpack throughout the trail, we recommend that you keep the weight of the backpack not more than 10% – 15% of your body weight.

• Hiking boots or walking shoes and walking socks
• Lightweight footwear for evenings
• Long sleeved shirts and full length trousers (for protecting limbs against scratches, sunburn, etc)
• Hat or head covering
• Hiking poles (not essential, but very useful on this terrain)
• Water bottle
• Sunscreen – high SPF
• 9 Light fleece or sweater, even in summer, for the evenings
• Light rain jacket (not needed between June – August)
• Cotton sleeping-bag liner, if require
• Light pyjamas
• Small flashlight or head-torch
• Small first-aid kit (Band-Aid, antiseptic wipes, oral re-hydration salts, Compede or other blister treatment) Sanitary items and other basic pharmaceutical goods as required
• Camera
• A journal