Travel back through the millennia to some of Christianity's most revered sites on this full-day tour of Bethlehem and Jericho from Tel Aviv. Traveling with an expert guide, drive to Jericho to view its fabled biblical locations, including Zacchaeus' tree and Mt Temptation. Afterward, visit Bethlehem to stand at the hallowed sites of the Nativity, such as the Church and Grotto of the Nativity, and the Milk Grotto. Also, view Shepherds' Field, the scene of one of the Bible's greatest stories, when shepherds were told of Jesus' birth by an angel.
Leave your central Tel Aviv hotel in an air-conditioned coach and travel through the Judean desert to Jericho. On route, see the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the site associated with the much-loved biblical parable. Pause at the sign that marks sea level and get views over the Jordan Valley, the place where Jesus is believed 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's walls were, according to the Bible, felled by the trumpet sounds of Joshua's Israelite army. The ancient city is also thought to be where Jesus returned after his time in the wilderness. Gaze at Mt Temptation, the mountain that towers over the city, and see Tel mound and Elisha's Spring, the latter mentioned in the Bible. Your guide will also show you the sycamore tree that the Bible recounts as having been climbed by the tax collector Zacchaeus to get a better view of Christ. Either break for lunch (own expense) in Jericho or on your visit to Bethlehem, depending on timings. Having explored Jericho, relax as you drive to Bethlehem, Jesus' believed birthplace. When you arrive, stroll around Manger Square and enter the Church of the Nativity. Descend into the Grotto of the Nativity, where a star marks Jesus' birthplace. Continue to 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 the baby Jesus. Lastly, view Shepherds' Field, where a church commemorates the spot where shepherds were reputedly told of Jesus' birth. Afterward, return to Tel Aviv, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.