Tailor Made: Palestine – Walk the Abraham Path

Code: PAL/WTM/20
Tailor Made Palestine Hiking
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A Tailor-Made Palestine Tour

Note: this is a tailor-made Palestine tour that we crafted for a group of our guests. It can be fully customised – or overhauled – according to your spirit of adventure.

Join us for twelve-days of nurturing hikes on a Palestine tour. The Rocky Mountains of this country are food for soul.

Expect desert gorges, dead seas, surprising oases and the oldest inhabited cities on earth. You won’t just be viewing these landmarks; you will foster a deep connection with the landscape on this Palestine Tour.

This is a rare opportunity to truly experience people’s lives in Palestine: to stay in their homes, eat their delicious food and hear their remarkable stories.

Hike the Abraham Path

 

This Palestine tour will take you along the Abraham Path – known locally as the Masar Ibrahim al Khalil – through the beautiful and varied landscapes of this most historic of regions. We’ll stay with local families in their homes, meet Bedouins, partake of generous hospitality and gain a deep understanding of the local culture.

Visit Jericho

 

This is a two-week Palestine  from the north to south of the West Bank, starting in the village of Rummaneh near Jenin and ending in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world.

Along the way, you will visit Jericho – described as the ‘city of palm trees’ in the Hebrew Bible. Here, you will see the city’s relics from a cable-car perspective, and have time to unwind at your hotel’s swimming pool.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONTel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel
DEPARTURE TIMEPlease ensure you arrive in good time for our scheduled departure from Tel Aviv
INCLUDED
  • Airport transfers in Israel.
  • All food and accommodation. Accommodation will range from good hotels in Bethlehem and Jerusalem to homestays and nights in Bedouin encampments.
  • Drinking water.
  • Luggage transfers each day – leaving you with only a day pack to carry.
  • A superb local guide who intimately knows the route and the people who live along it.
  • Fresh filtered water + a Water 2 Go water filtration bottle, in order to reduce plastic waste
  • Professional route planning and logistics, backed by risk assessments, emergency procedures, satellite communications (where necessary) and medical support. We don’t take risks lightly and we plan for all eventualities, believing it is better to have prepared and not require a procedure than not to plan at all.
NOT INCLUDED
  • International Flights to/from Tel Aviv – we can organise these for you as part of the package – please advise us if you need this.
  • Your Israeli visa if required (UK/EU citizens do not require a tourist visa. Other nationalities may).
  • Extras such as souvenirs and alcohol.
  • Your personal travel insurance

Flexible Dates: April – November

 

On this Palestine tour, you can expect a good walk every day with stupendous views. There is also the potential to see local wildlife and plenty of opportunities to see the layers of ancient history that modern Palestine stands upon.

You won’t find this the Abraham Path in many tour brochures – and that’s what we’re here for.

With images courtesy of Merryn Conaway, Daniel Gerber, Carla Ribeiro and Frits Meyst of Meystphoto.com

1

Day 1

Start Point: Home
Destination: Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel and Tel Aviv
Travel: Air and Transfer by road to Tel Aviv

Flights from the UK (Easyjet or British Airways direct, many others indirectly) or from your home destination will be met today and you will be transferred to your boutique hotel in Tel Aviv for the night.

2

Day 2

Start Point: Tel Aviv
Destination: Jenin
Travel: Car
Notes: 2.5 hours

You’ll have the morning to relax, explore Tel Aviv and have a bite of lunch somewhere before heading off for your walk to begin in Jenin.

The transfer will be by car to Jenin where you’ll settle into a simple hotel for the night and meet your walking guide before you set out tomorrow morning on the Masar Ibrahim.

3

Day 3

Start Point: Rummaneh
Destination: Burqin
Travel: 17.8 km walk
Notes: 5-7 hours

You’ll be driven to the start point in Rummaneh for your day’s walk to Burqin. This stage extends from the village of Rummaneh, which literally means pomegranates, to the village of Burqin – located in the north of the West Bank, 5 km west of Jenin. On this path you’ll see ancient cisterns, shelters and Canaanite ruins, and pass through steep hills shrouded in olive trees and studded with cacti. Stay overnight with a local family.

4

Day 4

Start Point: Burqin
Destination: Arraba
Travel: 15.1 km walk
Notes: 3-4 hours

After a hearty breakfast at the guesthouse, you’ll start your day’s walk to Arraba.
Expect to see Ottoman antiquities, the buzz of agricultural production – including tobacco and various vegetables – and wide ranging views of mountains, plains and valleys. You stay the night in Arraba with a local family

5

Day 5

Start Point: Arraba
Destination: Sanur
Travel: 9.5 km walk
Notes: 3-4 hours

Your day starts at a meandering pace as you have only a small distance to cover, but much to see along your route – including Arraba’s ancient stately palaces, old caravanserai, serene olive groves and orchards, Joseph’s (of Technicolour dreamcoat fame!) Well and plenty of hilly terrain before arriving at a local family home in lower Sanur; your accommodation for the evening.

6

Day 6

Start Point: Sanur
Destination: Sebastia
Travel: 15.6 km walk
Notes: 5-7 hours

The route begins by climbing Mount Hraish which has an elevation of 650 meters and is located near Maythaloon between Sanur and Sebastia.
This landscape shows evidence of 10,000 years of continuous civilisation and there is much to enjoy along your path today. The afternoon includes another climb over Mount Bayzeed before following the terrain around to your evening destination at Sebastia, where you’ll stay in a delightful guesthouse. Sebastia is a beautiful village filled with surprises and we love it here. You’ll be tired after one of your most strenuous days.

7

Day 7

Start Point: Sebastia
Destination: Nablus
Travel: 10 km walk
Notes: 2-3 hours

In the village of Sebastia, you have the opportunity to see the remains of the church of St. John the Baptist, built by Crusaders in 1165 on the site of earlier shrines. History sits here like the layers of an onion, and you’ll walk among the pillars of a Roman basilica and see Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins. Incredible.

A short day of walking along this classical route brings you to the city of Nablus and your hotel for the night. In Nablus you’ll have the chance to try the famous Nabulsi Kenafeh, as well as to buy its olive oil soap. 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 and Mount Gerizim. It’s a spectacular and evocative location to spend the night. The old bazaar is huge and a fascinating place to explore. You are going to love it.

8

Day 8

Start Point: Nablus
Destination: Duma
Travel: 18.6 km walk
Notes: 5-6 hours

You’ll take a short (8 km) transfer to the start of today’s stage at Awarta, which has been inhabited since Biblical times. From there, at an altitude of 560 metres, you’ll trek through the picturesque interlocking hills and cultivated areas of the Nablus region. You finish your walk today in Duma, whose residents still mostly rely on irrigated crops, fruit orchards, olive groves and livestock for food. There are four water springs in Duma that provide water for the residents. You’ll stay this evening with a local family.

9

Day 9

Start Point: Duma
Destination: Taybeh via Kafr Malek
Travel: 17 km walk
Notes: 5-6 hours

A lovely start to your day, the route takes you through a landscape of olive groves, wheat fields and limestone villages among beautiful hills. Besides a few small sections on paved road, this segment takes you alongside a rocky valley. A steep ascent leads up to the welcoming hospitality of Kafr Malek village. You’ll either walk on from there to Taybeh or grab a taxi for the short ride. Your hotel in Taybeh is also home to one of Palestine’s only wineries and breweries.

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10

Day 10

Start Point: Taybeh
Destination: Al Auja
Travel: 13.5 km
Notes: 5 hours

You transfer via a short vehicle ride to re-join the Masar Ibrahim route to walk along the deep Wadi Auja, part of an ancient spring system linked to Ain Samia, which extends along four kilometers from the remains of a Roman city known as “Aram”. Your stroll through history is rewarded at the day’s end by a stay in the warm hospitality of a Bedouin settlement at Al Auja. You are now below sea level and in the desert. Given clear skies we hope you’ll be stargazing around the fire tonight.

11

Day 11

Start Point: Al Auja
Destination: Jericho
Travel: 15.6 km walk
Notes: 5 hours

After your night in the historical Bedouin settlement of Auja, at 240 metres below sea level, you’ll follow the wadi and a hilly pass for the rest of the walk into Jericho. The city’s successive settlement has been shown to date back some 11,000 years, making this yet another of the world’s oldest inhabited cities. You should be able to take the cable car for a visit to the Mount of Temptation Monastery and get back down to the city in time for a late lunch. Then you’ll head-off to your hotel and its very welcoming swimming pool!

12

Day 12

Start Point: Jericho
Destination: Sea Level Encampment
Travel: 22 km walk
Notes: 6 hours

After a short transfer to the Greek Orthodox St George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt, you’ll walk up the gorge of Wadi Qelt this morning. Now that you are in the low lands near to the Dead Sea temperatures will tend to rise. Your destination for the day is the ‘Sea Level’ Bedouin settlement, where you’ll spend your final night out in the countryside.

13

Day 13

Start Point: Sea Level Encampment
Destination: Bethlehem
Travel: 21 km walk
Notes: 5-7 hours

This will be your last day of walking and will bring you to Bethlehem. From the Sea Level Encampment, you will take a short transfer to Mar Saba. This incredible monastery hidden in a deep desert gorge is straight out of Game of Thrones. It is an incredible sight but sadly only permits men, so women must stay outside the citadel walls. Sorry. Your track then becomes a paved road which you will follow into Beit Sahour and onwards into Bethlehem itself, and you’ll probably take a taxi for the final few kilometres if traffic is heavy. Clearly, Bethlehem is well known for having ‘no room at the inn’. But rest assured, there will be plenty of room at your guesthouse accommodation for tonight. There should also be plenty of time for exploring this historic city for those whose legs still have the energy.

14

Day 14

Start Point: Bethlehem
Destination: Jerusalem
Travel: Car transfer

On your way into Jerusalem from Bethlehem, you’ll visit Battir. This village has a unique antique system of man-made terraces, controlling irrigation from seven springs through a series of sluice gates, and there is a remaining spring-fed Roman bath in the centre of the village. You’ll begin today by having a brief village tour and savouring the peace and quiet to be found here, before an onward transfer into Jerusalem itself. You’ll have the afternoon and likely the following morning to explore this most alluring of cities, and tonight we’ll organise a final ‘goodbye’ evening meal, to relax and chat in good company.

15

Day 15

Start Point: Jerusalem
Destination: Home
Travel: Road transfer and Flight home

Whatever time you decide to fly out, we will get you to the airport in good time for your flight home today.

You may decide to spend a few more days exploring Jerusalem, visiting the Dead Sea or heading back up to Tel Aviv.

This trip will almost certainly have given you an entirely new and positive perspective on a part of the world that sadly receives little positive press.

TourStart DateEnd DatePrice
Walk the Masar Ibrahim in Palestine02/04/202030/11/2020£3,200.00Taking Bookings

Where will we be staying?

On this expedition our accommodation will range from good hotels, to homestays and shared space in Bedouin settlements. As it is a tailor made trip, you can pitch up or down the accommodation to suit your own taste and budget.

What will the weather be like?

Spring is generally warm time of year to travel – around 20-25 degrees during the day. But bare in mind that some sharp showers can be expected, that it will be colder as we gain altitude and that nights could feasibly be between 10 and 15 degrees in some places.

What kit do I need to bring?

We will provide you with an information pack after signing up to this trip, and this will detail any particular equipment we think either necessary or useful. For this walking expedition, comfortable clothes, good boots and a day pack are the key ingredients to a happy time!

Is there a back-up vehicle?

Sometimes our expeditions require a back-up vehicle. For our Masar trip, we don’t use a vehicle because daily distances are small, and proximity to medical care is relatively good. We do however employ the services of local drivers to take luggage from our morning departure point to our evening accommodation. This will mean all you need to carry with you in a day pack is your camera, any extra clothes, waterproofs, snacks and water bottle.

How much are flights?

This is a moving feast! It depends on where you are travelling from and how you want to get there. From London, the cheapest flights to Tel Aviv can be via EasyJet or similar carriers. Several major carriers fly direct to Tel Aviv from all over the world. Expect to pay around £300 from London on average.

What will the food be like?

The food in this part of the world can be spectacularly good – full of flavour, spice, fruit and seasonings. In the main, local people eat a lot of maqluba. This is a dish made of rice, vegetables and often chicken, inverted at the point of serving hence the name, which translates literally as ‘upside-down’. This is often served with yoghurt and salads. Breakfasts are often pitta or other flat breads, served with fruits, cheese and other accompaniments. You’ll eat a lot of tasty hummus, babaganoush and olive oil on this trip.

Will I have to share a room?

This is your trip, so you should not need to share a room. If you bring a group of more than 10 people, it might be that you need to share rooms simply due to the size of the places we are staying en route.

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be fit enough to be able to walk on rough and hilly terrain for an average of 12/13 miles per day. If you have any doubts or worries over whether you might not be able, perhaps a trial walk somewhere local to you would be a good idea to gauge your fitness levels before signing up? We have kept daily distances relatively low so as to be able to enjoy the scenery and culture and not feel rushed along.

Do you perform proper risk management on your expeditions?

Yes. We are members of TRIP – the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group – and perform detailed country risk assessments prior to departure, in line with the ISO 31000 international standard for risk assessment. We also maintain close contact with the relevant Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for countries we plan to visit, in addition to making use of the Australian Smart Traveller assessment tool, and the US State Department’s OSAC service. Beyond this, we have a full set of risk management and disaster contingency plans for each expedition and are expedition first aid trained by Crux Medical. For final back up we also use the services of Remote Medical Support that allows us to have a UK expedition doctor on the end of a telephone line wherever we may be. And we always carry a satellite phone if there is any danger of being out of signal in the places we travel through. We really don’t mess around when it comes to safety.

Is this for me?

Although this is an extremely enlivening way to spend two weeks of your life, it’s also potentially tough.

Walking across rough terrain can be dangerous in your own back yard, so being fit enough to walk an average of twelve miles per day on boulder strewn mountain tracks is a prerequisite of this trip.

As you are travelling under your own steam, on most days we can find a place to have you collected if you feel the distance is just too much.

This is a beautiful, enchanting and ancient place to travel through but in many of the areas we will pass through, tourism is in its infancy. This of course, is what draws us – and hopefully you – to travel there in this experiential way.

There’ll be very little Wi-Fi or mobile reception for most of the hike. Shared rooms, local hospitality and simple amenities will be the norm, so if your idea of heaven is starting each day with a full English breakfast and having a swimming pool and a private suite, then we’d suggest this isn’t for you!

Enquire

From£3,200.00