Nativity Trail (scheduled tour)
Nativity Trail Itinerary –
Day one: Arrival
Upon arrival to TLV airport or any crossing borders, participants will be picked up and transferred to Nazareth. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth
Day two: Nazareth and Mount Tabor
A tour of Nazareth including the Church of the Annunciation and the house of Mary, drive to the foot of Mount Tabor. Ascend Tabor and visit the monastery of the Transfiguration. Dinner and overnight in Jenin, a city north of the West Bank.
Day three: Faqu’a to Zababdeh. 20 km
Early morning, drive to the village of Faqua. Start walking towards Zababdeh. Across the rolling Eastern hills of Palestine, through the village of Jalbun and Mughayir to Zababdeh, a Christian town on the ancient Roman trade route. Overnight accommodation in Zababdeh.
Day four: Zababdeh to Fara’a 15 km
Through olive groves and forests on the fertile hills of the West Bank, descending to the spring of Ain Fara’a. Walk through the vegetable basket of Palestine. Arrive to Fara’a, visit the archaeological sites of Jacob and his family. Dinner and overnight with local families.
Day five: Fara’s to Nablus: 15 km
Walk through the orange groves to the broad sweep of Wadi Bidan, a picturesque valley system rich in mountain springs. While in Nablus, we will visit Jacob’s well and Tel Balata. After checking into our hotel in the old city of Nablus, we will tour the old city and enjoy bathing in the Turkish Bath. We will enjoy a traditional Palestinian meal at the Turkish bath in addition to traditional Palestinian music. Overnight: in the old city of Nablus.
Day six: Nablus to Duma
Walk through the Huwara checkpoint and continue from the village of Huwara to Awarta, enjoy the beautiful ancient old buildings in the village, visit the famous Maqams and continue to mount Awrma. Before arriving to Aqraba, rest at Mount Awrma and enjoy the scenes of Palestine and the ancient archaeological site. Continue to Aqraba, Majdal Bani Fadil. The trail follows the escarpment separating the fertile highlands from the arid slopes of the Jordan valley, offering the first views of the desert and Jordan before reaching the agriculture hilltop town of Duma with it’s olive groves. Overnight : village accommodation with families
Day seven: Duma to Ain Auja. 18 km
Hike across deep valleys and over high hills inhabited by shepherds before descending a rocky gorge to sea level at Auja Spring, one of the largest water sources in the Jordan valley. Overnight: camping with Bedouin shepherds near Al Auja.
Day eight: Auja to Jericho. 13 km
Desert terrain gives way to orange groves as the journey continues to the Mount of Temptation with its orthodox monastery clinging to the cliffs, then to Jericho, the oldest city on earth. Drive to the Dead Sea and enjoy swimming in its salty water. Overnight: orange grove camping or hotel in Jericho,
Day nine: Jericho to Nabi Musa. 14 km
Up the spectacular canyon of Wadi Qelt to St. George Koziba monastery, then over the arid mountains of the Bethlehem wilderness to the remote and dramatically situated Nabi Musa. Overnight: Nabi Musa guesthouse or camping.
Day ten: Nabi Musa to Mar Saba. 8 km
The original Nativity trail from Nabi Musa involved walking along the road, then taking tracks directly through the desert to the legendary orthodox monastery of Mar Saba in its wild canyon setting. The preferred route is now to drive the road, then follow desert tracks via Hyrcania, one of Herod’s mountain-top fortresses. Much more interesting! Overnight: camping outside the monastery, or with local Bedouin.
Day eleven: Mar Saba to Bethlehem. 9 km
The trail’s final segment ascends the hills of the Bethlehem wilderness to the hilltop suburbs of Bethlehem. The way then ascends on foot or by vehicle through Beit Sahour to Manager Square in Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity on the site where the original journey ended and the Christian faith has its beginning. Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour.
Day twelve: Departure
Accommodations will vary between, guesthouses, hotels, family stay and camping with Bedouins.