This unique tour which operated from October to May and takes visitors to locations many tourists overlook. The tour takes you east through the Judean Mountains into the arid landscape of the Dead Sea region. The highlight of this tour is a visit to the “City of Palms”, Jericho which features in several Biblical events including the Battle of Jericho where the city walls were brought down by faith. You will visit all the sites in the itinerary although the order in which the sites are visited may vary.
This tour takes you to Tel Jericho, a 21 meter high archaeological mound where the ancient Biblical city of Jericho once stood. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site just 2km northwest of the modern city of Jericho. The town grew up around Elisha’s Spring where the soil was fertile and the people could farm and hunt. Archaeological excavations have uncovered 23 layers of ancient civilizations at this site. The earliest civilization dated back to the 10th millennia BC. Highlights of the site include the oldest fortification system in the world and an ancient Neolithic watchtower (c.8000BC). You will also visit Elisha Spring (Ain es-Sultan) which provided the people of Jericho with water, making it possible for them to survive in such a harsh desert climate just 10km north of the salty Dead Sea.
Another stop on this tour is at the Mount of Temptation. On the western face of the mount a Greek Orthodox monastery was built clinging dramatically to the cliffs. This site was chosen in order to be as close as possible to the place where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the wilderness. It was here that Satan tried to tempt Jesus by offering him the Kingdom of the World in exchange for his faith. On a Jericho tour you will ascend the mount by cable car for a breathtaking views.
Another Biblical site on this tour is Zacchaeus’ Sycamore Tree. The Book of Luke tells us about a time when Jesus visited Jericho and throngs of people came out to greet him. Zacchaeus, a short tax collector wanted to get a better look at Jesus and so he climbed a sycamore tree to see over the people’s heads. You will be able to see, what is believed to be that same Sycamore tree.
Perhaps the most emotional stop on this tour is at Qaser el Yahud; believed to be the authentic site where John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and also where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land. The site is now accessible to visitors who can be baptized here.
This tour comes to an end with some downtime on the shore of the Dead Sea at Kayla Beach. Enjoy the natural therapeutic benefits of the sea’s high concentration of minerals and take an iconic shot of yourself floating on the water reading a newspaper!