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Jericho

Jericho

The tranquility, landscapes, and heritage of the Jericho Region offer a truly unique and rich walking experience. In this region, walkers traverse everything from the wide plains and steep cliffs of the Jordan Valley surrounding Auja to the rugged desert wadis that lead to the isolated shrine of Nebi Musa and the remote Mar Saba Monastery.  At the center of the route, visitors can relax and refresh themselves in one of the world’s oldest cities, where spacious streets and houses surrounded by lush gardens provide a soothing atmosphere and where the cool nights encourage locals to stay out late year round.

Inside the city of Jericho, visitors will enjoy the laidback pace of local life. Even in ancient times, the city was a popular site for relaxation and vacation: a number of Roman rulers built winter palaces in the city, and the remnants of those luxurious structures can still be visited today. Winter is, in fact, an excellent time to visit the Jericho Region; when it’s snowing in the mountaintop cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the balmy heat of Jericho provides a welcome escape.

Jericho’s desertous environs, though, have also historically attracted people looking for something other than a refreshing getaway: monks during the early years of Christianity retreated to desert monasteries scattered throughout the region to find holiness in isolation, and Jesus’s forty days of trial and temptation were spent, according to tradition, on the sheer cliffs of the Mount of Temptations just above Jericho.


Stages

Stage 1: Auja to Jericho (12.0 km)
Stage 2: Jericho to Nebi Musa (16.8 km)
Stage 3: Nebi Musa to Mar Saba (19.5 km)

Itineraries

Suggested Itineraries:
Day Hike: Walk from Jericho to Nebi Musa (Stage 2) through the beautiful Wadi Qelt, associated with the “valley of the shadow of death” in the Psalms. Visit St. George’s monastery, follow an ancient aqueduct and end at the Islamic pilgrimage site of Nebi Musa. A beautiful and challenging day hike (16.8km moderate-difficult).

Three Days: Walk the whole Jericho section by starting in Auja and walking to Mar Saba, a delightful Jordan Valley walk which includes the refreshing Auja springs, the fascinating historical sites of Jericho, beautiful Wadi Qelt, and the remote monasteries of St George and Mar Saba.

Blogs
Jericho region blogs:

Read stories from the Jericho region
in the Abraham Path blog

Video

Downloads

For walking in this region, the Masar Ibrahim is recommended. Find detailed resources on: www.masaribrahim.ps

Sites in the Jericho Region:

Jericho City

The oldest city but without any of the urban pressures which one finds elsewhere. To all senses, Jericho is an oasis.

St. George’s Monastery

Hanging on the cliffs of Jericho’s most famous wadi route is an ancient monastery open to all.

Nebi Musa

The desert sanctuary of Nebi Musa is said to be the last resting place for the Prophet Moses. Its white domed roof has been witness to centuries of pilgrimage.

Mar Saba Monastery

Hidden in an uninhabitable valley, Mar Saba desert monastery has provided refuge and solitary isolation to thousands of ascetic monks who dedicate their lives to prayer, their lives and routines largely unchanged for over 1500 years.

Mount of Temptation

Trek up a steep path or take a ride on a cable car to reach the clifftop Monastery of Temptation. There, treat yourself to a breathtaking panoramic view of Jericho, the Jordan Valley, and the bluish waters of the Dead Sea.

Hyrcania

Hike through the alternating hills and valleys of the remote wilderness to reach the ruins of the strategically situated and mysterious fortress of Hyrcania, experiencing the solitude and quietness of the surrounding desert on your way.

Hisham’s Palace

When passing through Jericho, make sure to visit the impressive ruins of Hisham’s Palace, a truly beautiful example of early Islamic architecture and home to one of the most stunning mosaics in the world.