Jericho (Palestine)

Travel Guide Middle East Palestine Jericho

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Introduction

Jericho is a Palestinian city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. Jericho is a green oasis in the Jordan Valley some 30 kilometres east of Jerusalem, 7 kilometres west of the River Jordan and 10 kilometres north of the Dead Sea. It lies some 260 metres below sea level making it the lowest town in earth.

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History

The town of Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world dating back some 10,000 years. Jericho and its surrounding areas are filled with religious, archeological, and natural treasures. Just outside Jericho, the adventurous and eco-loving travelers can enjoy a hike in Wadi Quilt and visit the Church of St. George in Kosiba. Inside Jericho, visitors can tour the ancient remains of Hisham Palace and Tel Esultan (ancient Jericho). Overlooking Jericho is the Mount of Temptation. Take the cable car ride to the summit and enjoy the beautiful panorama of Jericho and the desert from the serenity on the mount. Don’t forget, the Dead Sea is just a few Km away where you also enjoy a dip in the saltiest body of the Water in the World.

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Sights and Activities

Tell Es-Sultan - About 2 kilometres northwest of Jericho, lies Tell es-Sultan or Tel Jericho. Excavation on the site have revealed layers of cities and human habitation dating back to around 9600 – 7700 BC around 10,000 years earning Jericho the name “the Oldest city in the World”.

  • Sycamore Tree - The Sycamore tree is over 2,000 years old and is located at the Al-Jummezeh Square in the City Center. Tradition has it that this is the tree Zacchaeus climbed when Jesus was passing through the town.
  • Qumran and Ein Fashkha - Located some twenty km south of Jericho is Qumran, the site where the famous Dead Sea Scroll were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd Mohammad Al Deeb in 1947.
  • Nabi Musa - Situated on one of the old roads along the Jerusalem and Jordan Valley. This is the site where according to tradition Moses is buried. The Tomb of Nabi Musa (the prophet Moses) has been a site of annual pilgrimage since the time of Salah al-Din.
  • Monastery of Gerasimus of the Jordan (Deir Hajla) (Southeast of Jericho, along road #90), ☏ +970 2 9943038, +970 50 348892. Daily 08:00-18:00. The Greek Orthodox monastery of Deir Hajla near Jericho commemorates St. Gerasimus, whose lavra was nearby. Gerasimus left his family wealth and worldly affairs to become a monk. He departed for the region Thebaid in the Egyptian desert, later again returning to his native Lycia. About the middle of 5th century Saint Gerasimus went to Palestine and settled in wilderness near the Jordan River. There he established a monastery and became known for his righteous life of asceticism and prayer. The story of Gerasimus and the lion, when the saint tamed the animal by removing a thorn from its paw and taught it obedience, became widely known in the Christian world. He is reputed to have attended to the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451.The history of the monastery is also linked to another Christian narrative. Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus were said to have found refuge in a cave here during their flight from Herod. An underground chapel was built on the spot where the Holy Family is believed to have spent the night. The crypt floor also contains the bones of monks who were massacred during the Persian conquest of the Holy Land.

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Getting There

From Jerusalem, start at the HaNeviim station outside the Old City, next to Damascus Gate. From there, one must take take a bus/van to one of three Palestinian cities, and take a second bus/van to Jericho. The three cities are (in order of directness):

  • (Al) Ezariya (Junction) - Bus 36 or 63 (₪6.80) reach this town/junction east of Jerusalem, identified with Bethany from the New Testament. Ask the bus driver where to get off for the sherut van (₪10-12 depending on the mood of the driver) to Jericho or take the GPS pointer as orientation. It's advisable that you have an Arabic translator with you or specifically inquire of the bus driver as to where the Sharut/Shared taxi may be found. Alternatively, take bus 263 (₪6.80) from the Sultan Suleiman station, also close to the Damascus gate, which will stop at the junction too.
  • Bethlehem - The "sherut" van from the bottom floor of the Bethlehem bus station takes around an hour to get to the central square of Jericho (₪20).
  • Ramallah and Nablus by shared taxi (sherut).

You can also hitchhike from the south along the Dead Sea or from Tiberias in the north. However, the Egged bus coming from there will apparently not stop before Jerusalem to let passengers off – ask when entering.

From Allenby Bridge border crossing, there is a direct bus which will deliver you to the 1 bus station east of the center, where you will pass through Palestinian border control. From there, it is a 2 km taxi ride or (underwhelming) walk to the city center.

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Getting Around

Taxi service in Jericho is easy to find. Make sure to agree on a price with the taxi driver before entering the taxi. Prices for taxi rides inside Jericho shouldn't be more than ₪10. For taxi rides to sites on the outskirts of Jericho, it's best to negotiate a fair price.

Shared taxis from/to the center are about ₪2.

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Eat

Near the Central Square, there are many places for quick bites, especially in the direction of the Sycamore Tree or Hisham's Palace.

It worth a visit to Qurantal mountain where Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights before the devil's temptation to him, where you will find a very nice restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. The buffet is agreeable and costs around US$15 per head for lunch. Ask to sit outside for an incredible panoramic view. You will have your lunch in front of an amazing panaromic birds eye view of Jericho city, the mountains of Jordan and the Dead Sea. You can reach this restaurant by using the Cable Car of Jericho.

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Drink

The town is pretty much alcohol-free except in the hotels and resorts.

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Sleep

  • AubergInn (The House of Eggplants) (Close to Tell es-Sultan), ☏ +970 568966010, +972 523500041. One of the nicer budget options in town and close to the Mount of Temptation and other sites.A retro Arabic house set on a farm, with many cats, chicken and donkeys. Has free bikes to use. ₪80-100 for dorms 200-350 privates (there was a deal for ₪60 in April 2017 if you stayed in Hostel in Ramallah before that and collected a stamp there).
  • Jericho Waleed's Hostel (Office opposite the post office, accommodation 2 km northeast of the central roundabout), ☏ +970 599 227 629. Actually this is just Waleed's office, the 3 real location of the Waleed's accommodation is here. He has a driver that will take people to the building northeast of town. The owner is a decent and helpful guy; unfortunately, good & nice words cannot make up for the missing comfort and standards this accommodation option is lacking. While the house is still undergoing major construction, the third floor is open. In general, the rooms are noisy due to the other guests and the bad insulation. The place is infested with mosquitos, which seem to come out of nowhere, endlessly. Hospitality over quality, you have to decide for yourself. The accommodation is conveniently located for trips to the Jordan border and the Dead Sea. From ₪60.
  • Sami Youth Hostel, ☏ +972 02 232 4220. The hostel includes all hotel services and facilities, consists of 22 rooms and 5 suites. Rooms have been designed to fit the visitors' needs. Available are single, double and triple rooms; all equipped with airconditioning, television, device connectors, satellite, refrigerators and internet service. ₪172.
  • Jericho Inn, Vered Jericho (in the Jewish Settlement near Jericho, so it can be tricky to get in or out if you also want to visit Jericho), ☏ +972 72-3902194, ✉ jerichoinn10@gmail.com. On the road to Jericho on the left hand side, the Jewish settlement has another budget option around Jericho. The say: "Lying in the hammock in the garden or relaxing in of one our lovely cabins, you will enjoy the enchanting countryside atmosphere of Jericho Inn." Member of ILH. Dorm bed from ₪100.
  • Jericho Oasis Hotel (previously Interncontinental), ☏ +972 02 231 1200. A 5-star hotel right after the Palestinian checkpoint at the entrance to Jericho. The hotel was built before the second intifada and is one of the nicest in Palestine and also the tallest building in Jericho giving each beautifully appointed room views for miles. The hotel has 3 swimming pools, a water slide and a pool with dead sea water.
  • Jericho Resort Village, ☏ +972 02 232 1255. Built in the late 1990s the Jericho Resort Village is a 4-star hotel has several swimming pools, fine dining, poolside bungalows and a rooftop spa. The hotel also has a small conference centers and a poolside bar.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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This is version 20. Last edited at 10:27 on Jul 8, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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