Day Tours

day tours (1)Each year, millions of visitors come to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity to pray at the site of the birth of Jesus and then make the short trip to the Shepherd’s Fields of Beit Sahour where the angels appeared before the shepherds to tell them the news of the birth of the Prince of Peace.

But there’s so much more to Bethlehem.

Bethlehem district is a living tapestry of dozens of cities, villages and communities that illustrate the diversity of the Palestinian people.  More than half of the region’s Palestinian Christian community lives within the Christian cities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, serving as the anchor to an ancient living witness in the place that is at the center of their faith shared by people across the world.  Each of the delightful old city streets and walkways holds centuries of stories, traditions and legends that tell the story of Bethlehem and its people. The villages of Artas, Battir, day tours (2)Al Khader and many others hold their own unique place in history and offer a sample of traditional village life to the traveler. Even the current struggles of the people of Bethlehem as seen through its three refugee camps, the construction of the Separation Wall across northern Bethlehem around Rachel’s Tomb, and Cremisan Valley can offer insight into the crisis of the Holy Land and bear witness to Palestinian sumud, or steadfastness.

Travel & Encounter can offer guided day tours throughout Bethlehem district, including the following:

  1. day tours (3)Guiding walking tours to Nativity Church, the Milk Grotto and the historic Old City.
  2. Blended walking/driving tours across Bethlehem district to Shepherd’s Field in Beit Sahour, Saint Nicholas Church in Beit Jala.
  3. Guided visits to Aida, Azzeh and Dheisheh refugee camps, walking tours of the Separation Wall and 300 Checkpoint, and a stop at the Banksy Walled-Off Hotel.
  4. Driving tours to Herodium archaeological park in Teqoa/Tekoa and the living Greek Orthodox monasteries of Mar Saba and Mar Theodosius in east Bethlehem district.
  5. Faith and fellowship visits to Christian churches and community centers, including participation in worship and social activities when possible.

All Bethlehem Day Tours include transportation in and around Bethlehem, lunches and time for shopping at local handicraft shops and souvenir shops if requested.  Tour supplements can include dinners in Bethlehem as well as scheduled pick-up/drop-off taxi services to Jerusalem.

Take a day out of your travel schedule, and find out what makes Bethlehem special through a personalized tour of the city!

We also offer day tours to the following cities and regions in the West Bank:

Hebron.  No city like Hebron gives visitors a better understanding of the tragedy of the deep-seated conflict.  Visiting the divided Old City, where an aggressive program to expand the Israeli settler presence within the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank has led to a perpetual military presence and conflict.  Meeting with Palestinian, Israeli and international community representatives offers a wide, impassioned range of narratives and thought-provoking encounters of a city perpetually in conflict.

Jericho. The world’s oldest continuously-inhabited city has a surprising number of secrets to share.  Visits to Christian and Muslim places of pilgrimage such as the Mount of Temptation and Nabi Musa, archaeological sites such as the Biblical ruins of Jericho and Hisham’s Palace, and day tours (4)hikes through Wadi Qelt, also known as the Valley of the Shadow of Death as found in Psalm 23, and a trip to the Dead Sea are all part can be all part and parcel of a day in and around the City of the Moon.  Special visits to our regional partners working on preservation and rehabilitation of the fragile, threatened ecology of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea are also a special component of our Jericho/Dead Sea visits.

Nablus and Jenin.  Considered by many to be Palestine’s best-kept secret, the rolling Samarian hills of Nablus and Jenin offer a bit of fresh air from the congestion of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron, as well as an intriguing mix of history, archaeology, religious sites and cultural history.  Nablus’s Old City keeps the spirit of successive eras of Levantine history alive in its lively market, where the rich scents of the spice and produce markets, soap factories and Kanafeh-sweet shops are blended with the sound of the muezzin call to Muslim prayer. Jacob’s Well, Sebastia, Biblical Schechem and Mount Gerazim tell the story of the Abrahamic faiths in the Holy Land, including the enduring Samaritan peoples. Jenin offers a sober reflection on the crisis of refugees with a day tours (5)visit to the expansive and trouble refugee camp, while nearby Burqin is home to one of the world’s oldest Christian churches.

Ramallah. Interim capital of the Palestinian National Authority, Ramallah has transitioned from a sleepy village to the north of Jerusalem to a political, governmental and cultural hub for the Palestinian national project.  Boasting one of the largest number of government, non-government, charitable and political organizations per capita in the world, there’s never a shortage of people to visit and projects to learn about. Neighboring Bir Zeit University is considered one of the best Arab universities in the Levant and a center of Palestinian political activity, while the Christian village of Taybeh is home to the first brewery in the West Bank.  

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