Duration: 8 hours (Approx.) | Offered in: English
We meet at Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint if you are coming from Jerusalem: Checkpoint 300 is about 30 minutes from Damascus Gate by bus.
Women should dress modestly and bring a scarf to ensure admission to St. George’s Monastery.
St. George Monastery
Relax in air-conditioned comfort as you drive for around 45 minutes to St. George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt. Along the way, you’ll pass by various religious sites: St. Theodosius’ Monastery, where some believe the wise men hid from Herod the Great after they visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, and al-Eizariya, which many believe to be Lazarus’ Bethany village.
Stroll a short way down Qelt Valley to reach the monastery, which dates back to the fourth century, when monks first settled in the desert. They believed the site was where the Prophet Elijah was fed by ravens. We will explore the complex before driving a few minutes towards Bethlehem to Mar Saba.
Mount of Temptation Monastery
Drive to visit Jericho, the lowest and the oldest city on earth. In Jericho, we will take the cable car to reach Mount of Temptation and then walk the monastery.
After taking the cable car up to Mount of Temptation, you will walk to the Monastery of the Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:8). The cave inside the monastery is where Jesus had fasted and meditated for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:2). From the cable car, you will be able to see the ancient Jericho archaeological site.
Mar Saba Monastery
The largest monastery in the Jerusalem Wilderness, Mar Saba Monastery dates back to the fifth century AD and perches amid the southern cliffs of the Kidron Creek. Founded by Saint Sabas (Mar Saba in Arabic), it’s been extensively expanded and fortified over the years. Please note: women are not allowed to enter the monastery. Everyone will enjoy a panoramic view of the site, but only men will be allowed to go inside and tour the monastery.
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
From here it’s not far to Bethlehem proper, where you’ll start at the famous Church of the Nativity, a UNESCO world heritage site that was built on the spot where many believe Jesus was born: it’s the world’s oldest church in regular daily use. You’ll also visit the Cave of St. Jerome, below the church, where many believe he translated the bible.
Finally, you’ll visit the Church of St. Catherine and the Milk Grotto shrine, and see Banksy’s graffiti pieces, before you drive back either to Checkpoint 300 or your Bethlehem hotel, where your tour will finish around 4 or 5 pm.
The tour will end at Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint.
✓ Private tour
✓ Pick up and drop off from Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint or from your hotel if you are staying in the city of Bethlehem.
✗ Hotel pick up and drop off outside of Bethlehem City
✗ Entrance fees (Where applicable)
✗ Cable car to Mount of Temptation
✗ Gratuities (optional)
Departure & Return
- If you are coming from Jerusalem, you will meet your guide at Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint (known also a Rachels’ Tomb Crossing). It’s about 30 minutes drive from Damascus Gate by bus.
- Your guide will meet you after you cross to Bethlehem side.
- If you are staying in Bethlehem then a hotel pick-up is available.
Returns to the original departure point.
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel.
- Saint Saba Monastery closed on Wednesdays and Fridays
- Women are not allowed inside Saint Saba Monastery
- Modest clothing is required
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Not wheelchair accessible
- If you cancel your tour within (10 days) prior to the date of the tour, the deposit amount is non-refundable.
- If you cancel your tour before (11 days or more) prior to the date of the tour, a full refund of the deposit will apply.
- If you cancel a requested multi-day tour at any time, the deposit amount will be non-refundable.
- If you cancel a requested customized tour that requires arranging/booking any non-recoverable out-of-pocket costs incurred on your behalf such as booking a separate driver, car rentals, admissions, hotel reservations, tickets etc. in less than (10 days) prior to the date of the tour, the amount for any non-recoverable out-of-pocket costs will be non-refundable in addition to the deposit amount.