Experience the ancient and biblical treasures of Bethlehem and Jericho on this thought-provoking full-day trip from Jerusalem. Discover fascinating religious history from your guide as you travel to Jericho, the scene of many biblical stories. View Mt Temptation and the tree said to have been climbed by Zacchaeus for a better view of Jesus. Then, head to Bethlehem, to witness its most beloved Nativity sites. Visit the Church and Grotto of the Nativity, see the Milk Grotto, and view the Shepherds' Field, where shepherds reputedly saw the Star of Bethlehem.
Leave your central Jerusalem hotel in an air-conditioned coach and head east toward Jericho. As you travel through the Judean desert, pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the site linked to the Bible's famous parable. Stop at the sign marking sea level and enjoy views over the Jordan Valley, the place where Jesus is said to have been baptized; and Jericho's oasis, as you descend to the world's oldest continuously populated city. Mentioned in the Old and New Testament, Jericho is perhaps best known for the biblical story of its walls crumbling to the trumpet sounds of the Israelite army, and as the place where Jesus is said to have returned after 40 days in the wilderness. Get views of Mt Temptation, the craggy hill that towers over the city, and see the Tel mound and Elisha's Spring, the natural spring mentioned in the Bible. Also, take a look at the sycamore tree that, according to the Bible, was climbed by Zacchaeus so he could see Jesus more clearly as he entered the city. Either stop for lunch (own expense) in a restaurant in Jericho or later, when you visit Bethlehem, depending on timings. Having explored Jericho, relax on your coach ride to Bethlehem, Jesus' believed birthplace. On arrival, walk around Manger Square and enter the Church of the Nativity to see the Grotto of the Nativity, where a star marks the spot of Jesus' birth. Then, visit the Church of St Catherine where Saint Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew to Latin, and see the Milk Grotto, where Mary is said to have nursed Jesus. Leave Bethlehem and view Shepherds' Field, where the bible says the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds to tell them of Jesus' birth. See the modern, tent-shaped church built on the site, and then return to Jerusalem, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.