Experience the biblical cities of Bethlehem and Jericho on this full-day guided trip from Jerusalem. Travel through the Judean Desert to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. See the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the devil and the sycamore tree that Zacchaeus, the tax collector, climbed to get a better view of Jesus. In Bethlehem, see the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born, plus Manger Square, Shepherds' Field and more. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included on this tour.
This full-day Jericho-and-Bethlehem tour begins with a Jerusalem hotel pickup in an air-conditioned coach. On the main highway between Jerusalem and Jericho, in the Judean Desert, pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan, mentioned in the New Testament's parable of the Good Samaritan and the famous roadside sea level marker. From here, enjoy a view of the Jordan Valley where Jesus was baptized. In Jericho, the oldest city in the world, look for the sycamore tree that Zacchaeus, the tax collector, climbed to get a better view of Jesus when he was there on his way to Jerusalem. Above Jericho is the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus, after praying and fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, was tempted by the devil. At this halfway point of the tour, stop for lunch (own expense) in a restaurant in Jericho before making the trip to Bethlehem. In Bethlehem, explore the Church of the Nativity and the Grotto, a holy place with the cave in which the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is said to have occurred. Manger Square is where the majority of religious activity in Bethlehem takes place, with the Church of the Nativity and the Mosque of Omar, the oldest and only mosque in the old city of Bethlehem and a site of great meaning for those Muslims who live in the city. See where Jesus was placed in a manger after his birth. Tradition has it that while Mary was nursing Jesus here, a drop of milk fell to the ground, turning it white. Stop by the local Greek and Catholic churches before going to Shepherds' Field, where Luke 2:8 declares: 'Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.' It is believed an angel announced the birth of Jesus here. The tour concludes with a return trip to the Jerusalem hotels.
The tour was good, although the Bethlehem part was disorganized. There were guides giving explanation in two languages and that made it hard for people to follow well. The guide in Bethlehem found it hard to keep people together. But this was not a terrible problem. The guide assigned to the whole tour, Yoav, was superb. He was respectful of different traditions and gave excellent and clear explanations of many things. It was obvious that he cared for people in the group. He even brought water to every table so that we could keep hydrated. He was especially attentive to us since one of us had difficulty walking. He offered his help right away. This was thoughtful and it caused us an excellent impression. Yoav is an excellent guide.
We had the opportunity to spend time in Bethlehem and in Jericho. In Bethlehem we had ample time to go through the Church of the Nativity even though it was extremely crowded. We visited the Shepherds Field Church with excellent explanation by the Guide and time to enjoy the beauty and for pictures. Then on to Jericho, the oldest City in the World, and viewed ruins dating back 10,000 years. Lunch is on your own and the place we stopped was lovely but not impressed with the food. As with most restaurants, a bit pricey for lunch. I would certainly recommend this tour if you have a few days in Israel.
I have already reported this to Viator and I am waiting a response. The company was over an hour late picking us up to start the trip and by the time everyone else was gathered, we left almost 2 hours late. Our guide in Bethlehem was wonderful. When we went to Jericho, we didnt visit the all of the places including the monastery even though we were told we would drive up to the Mount of Temptation. Even though we left two hours late, we were still driven back to Jerusalem by 5:30 so the guide and 2 others could be transported to Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, the bus driver wasnt very fluid in English and he failed to take us back to our pickup point. When I asked him, he told us we could take a taxi and we got off the bus. Not a good way to spend my wifes birthday. This was such a bad experience, we called Viator as we didnt want to go the next day with this same company to Nazareth. I was told i would hear something within 24 hours but it has been a few days.
This was an exceptional tour not because of the sites scene but because of the tour guide. His years of experience provided a valuable historical foundation for the tours. He was culturally skilled and presented the information eloquently and in a manner that left you wanting to know more. He was open to questions and responded well. I've been on several Viator tours, in several countries, and we older travelers can be dismissed by the younger tour guides. This tour guide welcomes travelers of all ages and wants you to become part of his tour guide team. It was because of his service that I booked a day long trip in Tel Aviv though Viator. Kudos to this tour guide !
I take many tours but this one was by far the worst ever! The pick up is awful. We are transferred from bus to bus and waiting for people from other buses. We went to Bethlehem, saw Nativity Church but never saw Manager Square which was in the brochure. But the guide made sure to take us to a souvenir shop rather than take the time to see the sights. Then we went to Jericho, literally viewed an old Sycamore tree, boarded the bus again and walked on a pile of dirt that was being excavated. The guide left us at a gift shop again and disappeared. He wouldn't let us take the cable car for which we all would have paid. There was a movie about the excavation but we never saw it. He deserted us when we returned to Jerasulem and left us to the bus driver. Again we had to transfer people from one bus to another and wait for people from other buses. It was a total waste of a day basically sitting on a bus.
I was very disappointed. We attempted to view the cave where Jesus was born but, due to the long line, the guide decided to skip it. As we left the site, the guide asked us individually if we were ok with skipping this site. I told him we weren't happy about it, but it was ok with us if it was best for the tour. Apparently, he took the people who said no, they were not ok with it, broke off from the main group, and took them to see the site. As if that wasn't bad enough, we had to wait on the bus an extra 1/2 hour for them to return from the viewing, then listen to them complain as we sat in traffic because they did not get a chance to use the restroom. Two of them even announced they did not even believe in Jesus, yet we, who are deeply spiritual, did not get to view the site. It was very disappointing. I have never had anything like this happen on a tour before.
Bethlehem is good but half your day is gone just standing ques
Jericho is avoidable nothing great and they juts point out Mount Temptation... and the place they take you for food is awful with dirty loos