Galilee and Nazareth Tour

Tour Highlights

Nazareth• Judean Desert
• Jordan Valley
• Bedouin Communities
• Yardenit Baptism site
• Roman Ruins
• Kibbutz
• Safouria- Destroyed Palestinian village • Nazareth
• Ecological/Water issues

Tour Details
Every Sunday & Wednesday
Length of Tour: 11 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure  6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure   8.30 am - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return  6pm to Tel Aviv - 7.30pm to Jerusalem -
Cost: $120 - From Jerusalem
$150 - Tel Aviv
Lunch not included
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
The tour begins with a drive through the arid Judean Desert passing Jericho and heading north along the ancient route of the Jordan Valley, essentially a rift between two of the planet’s tectonic plates. The Kingdom of Jordan is visible over the border mine fields, an the mix of Bedouin communities and Israeli settlements will stimulate conversation about the distribution of water, the forceable removal of the Bedouin and other political and ecological issues.

Yardenit Baptism siteThere will be a brief visit to Yardenit by the Sea of Galilee, with its beautiful gardens and Christian Baptismal site, across the water from the Golan Heights. Nearby is Kibbutz Dgania Alef was established in 1909 in Ottoman Palestine. You'll learn about this cooperative Zionist institution and lifestyle. Then along the western edge of the Sea before climbing the hills into the Galilee to visit a kibbutz and

The Jezreel Valley and Moshav Zippori is the next stop -  a Jewish farming village established in 1948, reestablishing the ancient first temple community. During the Roman period, Zippori became one of the most important cities in the country, and served as capital of the Galilee.

Roman ruins - north of Israel
You’ll visit the nearby archaeological site which holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences. In Late Antiquity, it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided.

The large Arab village of Safouria was later built on the site of the ancient city. However the village was destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948, the residents made refugees, and the Moshav and a national park established on village lands. You'll visit the Crusader era St. Anne's Church and learn about the history of the locale and the ongoing issues between the Arabs and the Jews who live in the area.

Then on to Kawkab abu Elheja, a Sculpture Garden for Peace and Co-existence in Kawkab (an Arab Moslem village in Gush Segev, Galilee).  With the assistance of Kawkab villagers, Israeli and Palestinian artists became involved in this project and donated their works of art to the garden. It offers panoramic views westwards towards the northern sea coast and Carmel mountains, and southwards towards the Nazareth Hills.

Souq in NazarethYou’ll visit Nazareth’s famous sites, including its two contrasting churches, each with a claim to be where Mary was visited by an angel to tell her she was carrying the son of God. One, at Mary’s Well, includes the city's ancient spring. Along the way, we wander through the charming alleys of the souq (market) to visit its Ottoman mansions, the oldest mosque in Nazareth, a traditional spice shop, a “synagogue church”, and a surprising, mysterious discovery – a large Roman bath house from the time of Jesus.


Jenin & Sebastia Tour

Private Tours only
inquiries and reservations


This tour includes archaeological, cultural and political aspects of the West Bank and covers a wide swath of territory.

Jerusalem departures include travelling on route 443, an 'Israeli Only' road that passes several settlements on the way to Tel Aviv. You'll see Palestinian villages to the west of the road that are isolated from the rest of the West Bank and are restricted to traveling on special 'Arab only' roads which can be seen en-route.  We enter Israel at the city Modi'in/Modi'in-Illit (pop. 110,000) which straddles the Green line.

After the Tel Aviv pickup the tour enters the West Bank on Route 55, passing the prison-city of Kalkiliya and on to the village of Jit where we pick up our Palestinian guide.

Then we travel north to Sebastia to see the village and Roman ruins, and to have lunch. The next stop is the ancient church at Burqin, then to Jenin where there will be an opportunity to speak with people at the Refugee Camp and the Freedom Theatre.

Sebastia
Sebastia is 15 kilometers NE of Nablus and home to a number of important archaeological sites. Back in the 1999s the tour buses clogged the parking lot of Sebastia in the Northern West Bank. Not any more. This ancient Roman city, and the adjacent modern Palestinian village are victims of Isreal's encapsulation of Palestinian areas though hundreds of checkpoints, barriers, and restricted roads.

The magnificent ruins are a legacy from the time of Herod when the city was a Roman metropolis, full of temples, a large hippodrome, theatre and stadium. The remains of these can still be seen in remarkably preserved condition. There is also a small Byzantine church where the head of John the Baptist is supposed to be interred. The church of St. John and an adjacent mosque is located in the nearby modern village of Sebastia, home to about 3,000 Palestinians.

The ancient site of Samaria-Sebaste is located just above the built up area of the modern day village on the eastern slope of the hill. The ruins dominate the hillside and comprise remains from six successive cultures dating back 10,000 years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine.

Burqin
The Fifth holiest Christian place and the third oldest church in the world Located in the village of Burqin, 3 kms west of Jenin lies the Burqin church also known as st. George's church. It is considered the fifth oldest sacred Christian place in the world, and the third oldest church. According to Christian tradition, Jesus Christ passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth in the early days of Christianity. As he was passing by the village he heard the cries for help from 10 lepers who were imprisoned as a way of quarantine. He went to them and passed his hand on their faces and they were immediately cured. Since this miracle, the church became a station for many Christian pilgrims.

Excavations show that the church passed through 4 different historical periods. The first church was built over the cave where the miracle is said to have taken place, and which looks like a Roman cistern. The cave has an opening on top and it contains an altar and a stone wall at the entrance. A second construction was added to the church dating to a period between the 5th - 9th century. During the twelfth century, the church was rebuilt after a long period of abandonment whose reasons remain a mystery. After the 13th century the church was rebuilt and used as a school.

Jenin
Jenin was known in ancient times as the Canaanite village of Ein-Ganeem or Tel Jenin.The city of Ein-Ganeem is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the city of the Levites of the Tribe of Issachar. After some years, the city's name was changed to Ginat. In book of Yehudit the settlement is mentioned as Gini. The Jewish historian Josephus also mentioned Ganim as a city in northern Samaria. The modern Arabic name Jenin ultimately derives from this ancient name. The origin of the place as Ein-Ganeem was recognised by Ishtori Haparchi. In the 20th century C.E., the State of Israel built a nearby Israeli settlement, Ganim, also named after the ancient village. This settlement was evacuated in August 2005 as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Another Israeli community was also given the name of Ein Ganim, today part of Petah Tikva.

Modern Jenin was occupied by Jordanians between 1948 and 1967, then by Israel. Due to evacuations of a few small settlements, the city and surrounding area, south to Nablus, is now under the nominal control of the Palestinian Authority.

Freedom Theatre
Using the arts as a model for social change, The Freedom Theatre is developing the only professional venue for theatre and arts in the north of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The aim of this project is to empower and give voice to the children of Jenin Refugee Camp through a unique programme of workshops and activities in theatre, supporting arts and multi-media, ranging in their emphasis from the largely therapeutic and healing, to the presentation of high-quality artistic products.


Refugee Camp
The people of the Jenin Refugee Camp originated in 1947 and 1948 from the territory that became the state of Israel. Most came from villages in the North-Central and Galilee area of Israel and either fled the 1948 or were expelled by the Jewish militias. Israel has since refused their right to return.

The 1997 national census recorded a population of 9,104 in Jenin refugee camp, living in 1,614 households. UNRWA reports a larger population of registered refugees at 13,055, suggesting that some households live outside formal camp boundaries, which are quite restricted. Jenin camp lies within the municipal boundaries of Jenin, and was established in 1953 on 373 dunums of land, roughly a square kilometer. The dense population of the camp and the crowding of houses and facilities contributes to the dangers to innocent civilians, mostly women and children and older people, as those constitute roughly 67% of the population living there -- particularly when Israeli airpower (F-16s and Apache helicopter gunships) and tank fire were used against the camp.

Although designated as being under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, the Israel Defense Force invaded Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 and has conducted regular incursions into the city since.

2014 Palestine Olive Harvest Festival Day-Tour

Tour Highlights
• Drive through the Central & Northern West Bank•
• Food • Music • Dancing • Crafts • Olives •
Tour Details
Friday 7th November
Length of Tour: 8 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure: 11.00 am - - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure: 12.30 pm -  - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return: 8.00pm to Tel Aviv - 9.00pm to Jerusalem
Cost: 385 NIS/Shekels (includes entrance fee & lunch)

Detailed Description
The festival, or Jaru’a, is held in the village of Burqin, and is a traditional end of harvest celebration giving gratitude for another year of abundance. Sponsored by the Canaan Fair Trade Association, Farmers, women producers, fair trade distributors, and international visitors gather together to celebrate the fruit of the season.

You'll taste the delicious meal of Musakhan prepared by the local women cooperatives, enjoy the freshly baked Taboun bread with freshly pressed olive oil, and mint tea.

En-route from Jerusalem you'll travel up the spine of the West Bank to Nablus, viewing Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages along the way.

North of Nablus the mountains flatten out to the plains of the Northern West Bank, one of the most productive areas of agriculture in the country.

There is lots to do at the festival site. You'll have about 4 hours which is enough time to see the festival and and also explore the village.

The festival is in the village of Burqin, three kilometres west of Jenin, also the site of Saint George's Church, considered the third oldest church in the world.

According to Christian tradition, Jesus Christ passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth in the early days of Christianity. As he was passing by the village he heard the cries for help from 10 lepers who were imprisoned as a way of quarantine. He went to them and passed his hand on their faces and they were immediately cured. Since this miracle, the church became a station for many Christian pilgrims.

Excavations show that the church passed through 4 different historical periods. The first church was built over the cave where the miracle is said to have taken place, and which looks like a Roman cistern. The cave has an opening on top and it contains an altar and a stone wall at the entrance. A second construction was added to the church dating to a period between the 5th - 9th century. During the twelfth century, the church was rebuilt after a long period of abandonment whose reasons remain a mystery. After the 13th century the church was rebuilt and used as a school.



Bethlehem & Ramallah

Tour Highlights

Rooftop of the nativity church in Bethlehem• Refugee Camp
• Church of Nativity
• Separation Barrier
• Judean Desert
• Checkpoints
• Arafat's Tomb
• Settlements
Tour Details


Every Wednesday & Saturday
Length of Tour: 8 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure: 6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure 8.30am - YMCA King David Street (map)
Return 4.30pm to Jerusalem • 6.00pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 340 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 465 NIS/Shekels
Lunch not included • Passports needed

Make a Reservation

Detailed Description

A donkey being checked by soldier - Banksy
From Jerusalem the tour travels to Bethlehem. Inside the city, the group will visit the Church of the Nativity, and walk through the Old City. You will then visit the Separation Wall and engage in a discussion with the guide about the cultural, religious, and economic impact of the Barrier, and its effect on life in Bethlehem. Then there will be a visit to Deheisha Refugee camp.

The tour will leave Bethlehem and travel to Wadi (valley) al-Naar which bypasses Jerusalem to the south and east, passing settlements, the Separation Barrier, and Palestinian villages en-route. At the end of the Wadi the bus will pass through the Container Checkpoint and enter the village of Sawahreh which is essentially a suburb of east Jerusalem, linked to the city through Abu Dis, while being cut off from Jerusalem by the Separation Barrier that passes through Abu Dis.

The tour will enter Abu Dis and see the Wall which divides the neighborhood, learning about its impact on the life of the community. There will be a visit to Bethany and the Tomb of Lazarus. From Adu Dis the tour continues past Ma'ale Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank, traveling on a shared Israeli/Palestinian highway that may soon be cut off to Palestinians due to the new small roads Israel is building to divert Palestinian traffic traveling from the north to the south of the West Bank.

The tour will then travel to Ramallah, entering through the checkpoint into the neighborhood of Kufr Akab. The Separation Barrier divides the neighborhood from Jerusalem although it is part of the municipality and the residents pay city taxes. The group will visit Arafat's Tomb and walk the streets of this bustling city, then lunch. The guide also arranges a meeting with people from Ramallah, which varies from week to week

Arafat's tomb in RamallahThe final stage of the tour allows the participants to experience the realities of Palestinian public transport between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Only people with foreign passports, and Palestinians with permits or Israeli ID cards are allowed to travel directly to Jerusalem through the checkpoint. The guide will bring the group to the public bus station and put them on the public bus to Jerusalem. The bus will go through Kalandia Checkpoint where passengers may have to walk through while the bus is inspected. Once through the checkpoint the bus will take only fifteen minutes to reach the bus station near Damascus Gate, just a few hundred meters from where the tour started in the morning.

Our guests returning to Tel Aviv will be picked up at the checkpoint.

This tour will take you into the bizarre world of Palestinian transportation issues. Traveling from Bethlehem to Ramallah takes about 20 minutes by car through Jerusalem. However due to the Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement, the people of Bethlehem and the southern West Bank are forced to travel on a circuitous route to Ramallah which takes about 1 1/2 hours or more, along 'Palestinian Only' roads for most of the trip, and subjected to close scrutiny at several checkpoints. You are invited to share this journey.



Central West Bank



PRIVATE TOURS ONLY
Length of tour: 4-8 hours


This tour covers a wide swath of the Central West Bank but does not enter Area 'A' which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Israelis may come on this tour since military regulations permit travel the West Bank within area 'C' which is under Israeli military and civilian control. International tourists are, of course, also invited.

The route may vary depending on whether there are participants from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or both cities

The route of the tour will give participants an overview of the development of the central (Sharon) region of the country in addition to developing an understanding of the mechanisms through which Israel retains control over most of the territory captured during the 1967 six-day war.

The tour will stop at qalqilya and take a look at the Separation Barrier and the surrounding area, discussing the impact of the Barrier on the residents of qalqilya and the nearby villages. qalqilya lost much of it's land to the Israeli city of Kfar Saba after 1948 and today is losing more land that is west of the separation Barrier. Palestinian wells and water resources are also now firmly under Israel's control, with allocations of water for Israeli settlers far out of proportion to their numbers.

Continuing east on route 55, the group will see many settlements and Palestinian villages in close proximity, divided by the Separation Barrier, and additional fences, barriers, and checkpoints. The impact on the Palestinian villagers is profound, destroying their economic, social and cultural life.

The tour will travel to route 60 and stop at the Huwara checkpoint to Nablus, but not entering the city. Until mid 2010, Nablus residents were not permitted to drive through the checkpoint and suffered length delays traveling out of the area

From the Nablus Checkpoint the tour will loop around to Ariel, one of the largest settlements in the West Bank, with all the amenities of a modern city. From Ariel the bus will travel on route 5, a 4-lane Highway due west into Israel and see how easy it is for residents of Ariel, in the heart of the West Bank, to feel they are living in a suburb of Tel Aviv, just 25 minutes away by car.

Discussion will be encouraged en-route. Lively debates sometimes occur on this tour, and all participants are asked to be respectful of divergent points of view. Please wear modest clothing, and bring your passport or Israeli ID card.

Hebron and Bethlehem Tour

There is also a Hebron-only tour at this link, with an Israeli and a Palestinian guide
Tour Highlights

Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron
• Settlements
• Palestinian villages
• Abraham's Tomb
• Church of Nativity
• Separation Wall
• Old City
• Lunch with a Palestinian family

Tour Details
Every Monday & Thursday
Length of Tour: 8 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure  6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure   8.30 am - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return 4.30pm to Jerusalem - 6pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 335 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 460 NIS/Shekels
Lunch not included (35-shekel payment direct to family) • Passports needed
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
The television network, Al Jezeera, took this tour and broadcast this video around the world. We invite you to share the experience.


The separation wall in Bethlehem Hebron and Bethlehem are the two largest Palestinian cities in the southern part of the West Bank. You'll visit Abraham's Tomb, Church of the Nativity, a refugee camp, the Separation Barrier, and see the impact of Israeli settlers in Hebron.

The tour begins in Jerusalem and passes through the Bethlehem Checkpoint where the Palestinian guide will meet the group, due to the restrictions prohibiting most Palestinians from entering Jerusalem. The Checkpoint is one of the few entry points into Bethlehem which is surrounded by fences and 8-meter (25 ft.) high walls.

From Bethlehem the tour will travel to Hebron seeing the Israeli settlements en-route and learning about home demolitions and travel restrictions that the Israeli authorities place on Palestinians living in the area. Inside Hebron the group will visit the Ibrahimi Mosque, and the city's market where Israeli settler strongholds have squeezed the life out of the formerly thriving area. You will walk though the market with time for shopping.

garbage thrown on shops in Hebron old cityThe tour sometimes varies to include a glass factory or one of the aid organizations in the city. On the return to Bethlehem you will visit the Separation Barrier and the famous Banksy Graffiti and the Church of the Nativity, and have a walking tour of the Deheishe refugee camp.

Both cities are administered by the Palestinian Authority while being isolated from Jerusalem and the northern West Bank due to Israel's construction of the 'Separation Barrier', hundreds of checkpoints, 'Israeli only' roads, and restrictions on travel into Jerusalem. This unique tour provides an overview of the situation on the ground.

About Hebron
Hebron is located 30 km south of Jerusalem, along the eponymous Mount Hebron. It is home to some 166,000 Palestinians and 700-800 Israeli settlers (2007). Hebron lies 930 metres (3,050 ft) above sea level.

Hebron is famous for its grapes, limestone, pottery workshops and glassblowing factories. It is also the location of the major dairy-product manufacturer, al-Juneidi. The old city of Hebron is characterized by narrow, winding streets, flat-roofed stone houses, and old bazaars. It is home to Hebron University and the Palestine Polytechnic University.

The Cave of the Patriarchs is holy to all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to their traditional connections to Abraham.


About Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank, approximately 10 kilometers (6 mi) south of Jerusalem, with a population of 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism.

According to Christian tradition, Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and the town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, though the size of the community has shrunk in recent years due to emigration. According to Biblical tradition, the city is also believed to be the birthplace of David and the location where he was crowned as the king of Israel. The city was sacked by the Romans in 529 AD as a result of a revolt, and was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem was conquered by the Islamic Caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattāb in 637, who guaranteed safety for the city's religious shrines. In 1099, Crusaders captured and fortified Bethlehem and replaced its Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one. The Latin clergy were expelled after the city was captured by Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottomans lost the city to the British during World War I and it was to be included in an international zone under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Jordan occupied the city in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and it was subsequently occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel has retained control over the entrances and exits to Bethlehem, though day-to-day administration has been under the purview of the Palestinian Authority since 1995.

Modern Bethlehem has a Muslim majority but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. The Bethlehem area includes the towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, as well as the refugee camps of 'Aida and Beit Jibrin. Bethlehem's dominant economic sector is tourism which is particularly high during the Christmas season as the city is a Christian pilgrimage center, being home of the Church of the Nativity. Bethlehem has over thirty hotels and three hundred handicraft work shops, employing several of the city's residents. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site is located at the entrance of Bethlehem.


Bethlehem Tour

Tour Highlights

• Church of Nativity
• Refugee Camp
• Old City
• Banksy Graffiti
• Mar Saba Monastery
• Separation Wall
Tour Details

Every Tuesday & Friday
Length of Tour: 8 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure: 6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure 8.30 am - YMCA, King David Street (map)
Return 4.30pm to Jerusalem - 6pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 305 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 430 NIS/Shekels
lunch not included • Passport needed
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
After the short 20-minute drive to Bethlehem where you will meet the Palestinian guide. You visit a refugee camp, see the WALL close up, see the Old City, the Church of Nativity and visit a Palestinian organization.

The first stop is the Aida Refugee Camp which is under the supervision on UNRWA, a United Nations agency. At the camp there will be a walking tour and a discussion about the situation with camp officials. Aida camp was established in 1950 on an area of 66 dunums between the towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jala.

From the Camp you will see sections of the Separation Barrier and some of Banksy's famous graffiti. The Barrier surrounds Bethlehem on three sides and has resulted in travel restrictions for Palestinians and confiscated land.

Mar Saba Monastery
Mar Saba Monastery dates from the 5th Century, is a highlight of the tour, and offers spectacular views of the Judean desert

The visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Old city markets of Bethlehem is an important highlight for many of our guests. Please note that we are required to engage one of the official church guides for the walk through the church.

Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank, approximately 10 kilometers (6 mi) south of Jerusalem, with a population of 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism.

According to Christian tradition, Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and the town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, though the size of the community has shrunk in recent years due to emigration. According to Biblical tradition, the city is also believed to be the birthplace of David. The city was sacked by the Romans in 529 AD as a result of a revolt, and was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem was conquered by the Islamic Caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattāb in 637, who guaranteed safety for the city's religious shrines. In 1099, Crusaders captured and fortified Bethlehem and replaced its Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one. The Latin clergy were expelled after the city was captured by Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottomans lost the city to the British during World War I and it was to be included in an international zone under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Jordan occupied the city in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and it was subsequently occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel has retained control over the entrances and exits to Bethlehem, though day-to-day administration has been under the purview of the Palestinian Authority since 1995.

Modern Bethlehem has a Muslim majority but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. The Bethlehem area includes the towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, as well as the refugee camps of 'Aida and Beit Jibrin. Bethlehem's dominant economic sector is tourism which is particularly high during the Christmas season as the city is a Christian pilgrimage center, being home of the Church of the Nativity. Bethlehem has over thirty hotels and three hundred handicraft work shops, employing several of the city's residents. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site is located at the entrance of Bethlehem.



Greater Jerusalem Tour

Tour Highlights


Issawiya neighboorhood during blockade
• East Jerusalem
• The Separation Wall
• Palestinian Neighborhoods
• Settlements
• Ma'aleh Adumim
• Checkpoints
Tour Details

Everyday
Length of Tour: 3 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure*: 6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map) (morning free in Jerusalem)
Jerusalem Departure:1.00pm - Jerusalem Hotel Cafe -(map)
Bethlehem Departure:12:00pm - The Walled Off Hotel -(map)
Return 4.00pm in Jerusalem - 5:00pm in Bethlehem
6:30pm to Tel Aviv 
Cost: From Jerusalem US$60
From Bethlehem US$85
From Tel Aviv US$90
Includes a cup of coffee or tea, or a bottle of water.
* Early departure - free morning in Jerusalem. Tour in Jerusalem starts at 1.30pm
Make a Reservation

Separation Wall in East Jerusalem


Learn about the facts on the ground in East Jerusalem. Visit settlements and Palestinian neighborhoods. This tour is intended for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, to go a little beyond the 'Them and Us' discourse, and to learn from a guide who has in-depth knowledge of the issues and an alternative perspective. The tour begins with a detailed briefing illustrated with maps.

You'll drive up the 'seam line' road that separates east and west Jerusalem, passing the settlement neighborhood of French Hill, turning onto Route 1 then along a segment of route 443, passing several settlements and the ghetto Palestinian neighborhood of Bir Naballah which is completely surrounded by a wall. Route 443 slices through the western side of the Palestinian Beit Hanina neighborhood where house demolitions are a common occurrence.

Passing the main checkpoint into Jerusalem the tour continues to pick up additional participants from Ramallah at the forbidding Kalandia Checkpoint, the only 'legal' way that Palestinians with permits can enter Jerusalem from the north. The adjacent 8-meter high concrete separation barrier divides the neighborhoods of Kufr Akab and Ar-Ram which are part of the Jerusalem municipality.

A boy sitting on couch after his house was demolished
From there the bus travels through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Ar-Ram and Beit Hanina to the largest Jerusalem settlement, Pizgat Za'ev. There is a brief stop at the Palestinian village of Anata surrounded by the Wall, to view the 'Fabric of Life' (Arabs only) roads being built. Then you'll drive into the Judean desert to the main Jerusalem/Dead Sea highway and drive through Ma'aleh Adumim, one of the largest settlements (pop. 35,000) in the West Bank, visit the outlying outposts of the town, and learn about the displacement of the local Jahalin Bedouin. There's a lookout point in Ma'ale Adumim where you'll have a panoramic view back to Jerusalem, and the 'E1' planning zone that is planned to be filled with new settlement neighborhoods and tourist hotels.

From there the tour returns towards Jerusalem on Route 1, which parallels the segregated Palestinian road that eventually will enable the Israeli government to deny access to the 'Israeli only' roads that connect the settlements to Jerusalem.

Throughout the tour your guide will give descriptions and analysis of the impact of the Jewish settlements on the nearby Palestinian neighborhoods, and place the discourse within the context of the re-framing briefing provided during the first part of the tour.

There will be opportunities for questions and discussion during the tour. Be prepared for many of your preconceptions about the conflict to be challenged.


Jaffa & Tel Aviv 1/2 day Walking Tour

Tour Highlights

• Old City of Jaffa
• Jaffa Market
• Clock Tower of Jaffa
• Old American Colony
• Neve Zedek
• Modern Jaffa
Tour Details

Every Sunday
Length of Tour: 3 Hours
Departure: 10.00 am - Clock Tower in Jaffa (map)
Return 1.00pm
Cost: 140 NIS/Shekels

Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
Explore the Old city and market of Jaffa while learning about the aftermath of 1948. Walk the ‘seam’ areas of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, a city that had its beginnings as a neighborhood of Jaffa.

Jaffa mosque next to the seaFrom the famous clock tower of Jaffa you will ascend the hill to the old city with its restored Ottoman buildings, a renaissance neighborhood full of boutiques and upscale Jewish homes, once occupied by Palestinian Arabs who were expelled in 1948. Then on to the market, the heart of Jaffa during the British Mandate era, and today a bustling area of merchants of all kinds hawking their goods. You’ll learn about the Jewish immigration of the period, and the relationships between the communities prior to 1948.

From the market the group will walk through the old American Colony area, also known as the German Colony, seeing the New England-style homes and learning about the attempt by an American group to create a community in the late nineteenth century.  Then into today’s Tel Aviv, and the Neve Zedek neighborhood, Jaffa's first Jewish neighborhood, and the former Palestinian Arab neighborhood of Manshie which was completely destroyed after 1948 in order to ensure that Tel Aviv would develop as an essentially all-Jewish city.

You’ll also learn about modern Jaffa, a complex mosaic of communities that is undergoing upheaval due to gentrification process supported by the government, with the brunt of the displacement falling on the shoulders of the remaining Palestinian Arab residents.

About Jaffa
Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ, Yafo; Arabic: يَافَا, ; also Japho, Joppa; is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world.

Jaffa is located south of Tel Aviv, Israel on the Mediterranean Sea. Today it is part of the joint Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality. The name of Jaffa or Yafo is most probably a western Semitic one, being related to the Hebrew word yafah, which signifies "beautiful" (fem) .[2] (or agreeable, "pulchritudo aut decor", as explains the Dutch author Adrichomius in his XVII cent. description of the Holy Land) In the Hebrew Bible the Mediterranean is called the Yaffa Sea - Yam Yafo ים יפו and in the Jewish Midrash -the Sea of Yaffa - Yamá shel Yafo ימה של יפו.

The name of the city is mentioned in the Egyptian sources and the Amarna Letters as Yapu There are several legends about the origin of the name Jaffa. Some say it is named for Japheth, one of the sons of Noah, who built it after the Great Flood. The Hellenist tradition links the name to "Iopeia", which is Cassiopeia, the mother of Andromeda. Pliny the Elder associates the name with Jopa, the daughter of Aeolus, god of wind. In the New Testament, it is called Ἰόππη (Ioppē), usually rendered Joppa in English translations.

The Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi mentions it under the name Yaffa, which is used in Arabic till today.



Wallaje Village (Jerusalem) Hiking Tour

Private Tours Only - contact for details
Minimum 6 people
Length of tour:
6 hours
Cost per person: Shekels NIS 235
Bring a packed lunch or order light lunch (15 shekels) of:
pitot, humous, labane, vegetables.
Bring water, comfortable walking shoes, bathing gear (for a dip in the spring pool), flashlight.


Hiking through Wallaje
A beautiful walk in the south Jerusalem hills and an encounter with harsh historical and political realities.

The story of the village of wallaje is a microcosm of the Palestinian tragedy - from its first destruction in the 1948 war, through its partial annexation in 1967 to its current struggle with the seperation fence which is planned to surround it completely.

Group swimmingWe will walk through the valley where the village of Wallaje once stood, enjoy the pools of fresh spring water, explore the ancien

t tunnels that lead the water to the pools and see out the remains of the mosque, the cemetery and the agricultural terraces - the only survivors of systematic destruction.



Having a rest in the shadeFrom here we will look across the valley to the village's current location, the settlement that has been built on top of it and the bulldozers now marking the course of the fence all around it. At the beautiful Ein Haniya spring we will meet a refugee from the village, and end with a visit to his family land, which he is now struggling to protect against encroaching Israeli settlements.

In 1987 the municipality of Jerusalem illegally extended its borders to include part of Wallaje lands without extending citizenship or residency rights to any of the inhabitants. Therefore the residents of the village are, under Israeli law, technically in Jerusalem illegally and are subject to arrest. Building permits are not issued and any homes built by the villagers on their own land are subject to demolition.

Jericho, Qumran & Dead Sea Tour

Tour Highlights

view from mount of temptation in Jericho• Separation Wall
• Jericho
• Mount of Temptation
• Hisham's Palace
• Qumran
• Dead Sea Scrolls
• Bedouin
Tour Details

Every Sunday
Length of Tour: 8 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure:  6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure  8.30 am - YMCAmap)
, King David Street (
Return 4.30pm to Jerusalem - 6pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 385 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 510 NIS/Shekels
Not including lunch, entrance fees • Bring your passport, a hat, walking shoes, and swimming gear if you plan to go in the Dead Sea.
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
This fascinating tour visits Jericho, Qumran, the Dead Sea, and takes a peek at areas of East Jerusalem intended to become part of the Palestinian State, and rarely visited by tourists.

On the trip to Jericho you'll see checkpoints, sections of the Separation Wall, and Ma'ale Adumum, one of the largest settlements in the West Bank. The differences between the lives of Israelis in the settlement of Ma'ale Adimum and the adjacent Palestinian town of Azariya will be apparent, and the plight of the Jahalin Bedouin will be explored. The Jahalin lost most of their land to Ma'ale Adumim and today live a precarious existence in ramshackle 'unrecognized' villages constantly under threat of home demolitions and renewed evictions by the Israeli authorities.  You'll see some of these unrecognized residences en-route to Jericho.

Hisham's Palace window in JerichoIn Jericho you'll pass the luxurious Casino/hotel built by President Arafat, and visit a refugee camp across the street. Then on to the ancient excavated city, and the monastery on the Mount of Temptation with an incredible panoramic view of the Jordan Valley. You'll also visit Hisham's Palace, built in the 8th century during the Umayyad empire. Jericho is one of the oldest excavated cities on the planet, dating back over 10,000 years. The local springs created an oasis in the otherwise arid Jordan Valley, and formed the basis for the successive settlements there. Modern Jericho is a sleepy town of about 15,000 people, and an outpost of the Palestinian Authority within an area over which Israel maintains firm control.

From Jericho you'll continue to Qumran, the site of the discovery of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and a Helenistic settlement during the 2nd century BCE. It was destroyed by the Romans near the end of the the 1st Century CE.  Then off for a dip in the Dead Sea at one of the nearby beaches.


Jerusalem Tour - All Day

Tour Highlights

Palestinian Women sitting next the separation wall
• Old City - All Four Quarters
• The Austrian Hospice Rooftop
• East Jerusalem
• The Separation Wall
• Palestinian Neighborhoods
• Settlements
• Checkpoints
Tour Details


Everyday
Length of Tour: 7 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure*: 6:30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure:9:00 am - Jerusalem Hotel Cafe -(map)
Bethlehem Departure:8:00 am - The Walled Off Hotel -(map)
Return 4:00pm in Jerusalem - 5:00pm to Bethlehem
5:30pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem US$93
From Bethlehem US$118
From Tel Aviv US$123
Includes a cup of coffee or tea, or a bottle of water - at the briefing
3 hours walking - 3 hours driving - 1 hour lunch (cost not included)
* Early Tel Aviv departure to miss rush hour. Time for breakfast in Jerusalem.
Make a Reservation

Detailed Description

This is the flagship tour of the Green Olive Collective, and can set the stage for further exploration of the country.

The experience is intended for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, to go a little beyond the 'Them and Us' discourse, and to learn from a guide who has in-depth knowledge of the issues and an alternative perspective.



The tour begins in the Old City with a detailed briefing illustrated with maps, covering one hundred years of history from the late Ottoman period to the present day. This includes an introduction to Israeli occupation and settlement efforts in the Old City and the surrounding Holy Basin.

The morning tour will emphasis the centrality of the Old City of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions and visit some of the visible icons of the Israeli Occupation. This includes Jewish settlements in the Muristan (Christian Quarter) and Muslim Quarter, with discussion of their background and implications. Homes are purchased by the settlement organisation, Ateret Cohanim, and populated by young, often radical national religious seminary students, creating uneasy neighbourly relations with the mostly Palestinian residents surrounding them. The sources and outcomes of this agenda will be analysed.

The group will walk through the Muslim Quarter which includes a visit to the viewpoint at the top of the Austrian Hospice.  You will also visit the Western Wall Plaza, the very heart of the Old City and a major holy site for Jews and Muslims alike. An explanation of the sources of the adjacent Temple Mount's and Al Aksa's holiness in Judaism and Islam will be given. Discussion will focus on Muslim and Jewish archaeological and development ventures around Al Aksa Mosque, which are sources of extreme tensions and discontent.

After lunch there will be another short briefing with maps, then off on the bus to learn about the facts on the ground in East Jerusalem settlements and Palestinian neighborhoods.

You'll drive up the 'seam line' road that separates east and west Jerusalem, passing the settlement neighborhood of French Hill, turning onto Route 1 then along a segment of route 443, passing several settlements and the ghetto Palestinian neighborhood of Bir Naballah which is completely surrounded by a wall. Route 443 slices through the western side of the Palestinian Beit Hanina neighborhood where house demolitions are a common occurrence.

Passing the main checkpoint into Jerusalem the tour continues to pick up additional participants from Ramallah at the forbidding Kalandia Checkpoint, the only 'legal' way that Palestinians with permits can enter Jerusalem from the north. The adjacent 8-meter high concrete separation barrier divides the neighborhoods of Kufr Akab and Ar-Ram which are part of the Jerusalem municipality.

From there the bus travels through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Ar-Ram and Beit Hanina to the largest Jerusalem settlement, Pizgat Za'ev. There is a brief stop at the Palestinian village of Anata surrounded by the Wall, to view the 'Fabric of Life' (Arabs only) roads being built. Then you'll drive into the Judean desert to the main Jerusalem/Dead Sea highway and drive through Ma'aleh Adumim, one of the largest settlements (pop. 35,000) in the West Bank, visit the outlying outposts of the town, and learn about the displacement of the local Jahalin Bedouin. There's a lookout point in Ma'ale Adumim where you'll have a panoramic view back to Jerusalem, and the 'E1' planning zone that is planned to be filled with new settlement neighborhoods and tourist hotels.

From there the tour returns towards Jerusalem on Route 1, which parallels the segregated Palestinian road that eventually will enable the Israeli government to deny access to the 'Israeli only' roads that connect the settlements to Jerusalem.

Throughout the tour your guide will give descriptions and analysis of the impact of the Jewish settlements on the nearby Palestinian neighborhoods, and place the discourse within the context of the re-framing briefing provided during the first part of the tour.

There will be opportunities for questions and discussion during the tour. Be prepared for many of your preconceptions about the conflict to be challenged.



Masada Sunrise Harp Concert & Tour

oldCoinFriday, 14th October
Departs: 3am • Return: 2pm (14.00)
Cost: Shekels NIS 455
Includes: • Masada entrance fee • cable car descent • Breakfast with harp music • Professional guide • Dead Sea • En Gedi
Lunch not included
from Jerusalem:YMCA, King David Street - see map
from Tel Aviv: Arlozorov Station - see map - (Sixt Car Rental near station entrance)
 bring water, hat, swim gear.

Option for Israelis - Only 95 shekels (not including Masada entrance fee): Come with your own car. Meet the group at Masada. Stay for Sunrise, breakfast, the harp performance, and the tour of the mountaintop.

'Morning Improvisations' in Celtic and jazz styles.

Park Sitckney Sunita Staneslow

This is an opportunity not to be missed. In cooperation with the Israel Harp Festival (Jaffa), a special tour has been organized to celebrate the sunrise on Masada with a performance by Park Stickney and Sunita Staneslow.

Park (USA/Switzerland) is an international performing artist and the guest of honor at the Harp Festival. Sunita (USA/Israel) is one of Israel's finest harpists. Together they will welcome the sunrise with the peaceful and spiritual music of the harp.

After the early morning pickup you'll travel with the guide and Sunita to Masada, and ascend by foot from the western side. It is a fairly easy 20-minute walk. Those of you with strong shoulders are invited to assist in carrying the harp.

Masada photo: http://www.truthnet.org
On top of Masada, the performance will begin just as the sun is rising. Then we'll retire from the viewpoint to the synagog area where breakfast will be served to the sounds of the harp. The traditional Middle East breakfast will include fresh Arabic coffee, various salads, hummos, eggs, and pitta (flat bread). Please remember to bring your own water.

After breakfast the guide will conduct a tour of Masada, taking in the magnificence of Herod's construction, and learning about the tragic end to the Jewish rebellion against the Romans.

The descent will be via cable car, after which the bus will drive north along the Dead Sea to En Gedi beach, where those who wish, can spend some time floating in the water. Then there will be a visit to the En Gedi nature preserve, and a 1/2 hour walk to the exotic oasis and waterfall at the edge of the desert. The nature preserve contains a number of rare plants, birds and animals including Ibex - a type of small deer, and Hyraz - small furry creatures.

Then lunch and return to Jerusalem passing Jericho en-route.

Jerusalem - Silwan - City of David - walking tour

Tour Highlights


Upper part of Silwan• City of David tourist center
• Protest Tent
Tour Details

Every Wednesday
Length of Tour: 3 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure: 6.30 am - Hyarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure 9.00 am - Zion Gate, Jerusalem Old City (map)
Return 12.00 in Jerusalem - 5.00 pm to Tel Aviv (afternoon free)
Cost: From Jerusalem 140 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 265 NIS/Shekels

Make a Reservation

Detailed Description
mosque in silwan neighboorhood in jerusalemOn our tour we will touch upon many of the sensitive and controversial issues affecting the lives of people in Silwan. We will start with a short historical briefing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict focusing on the story of village. After the briefing we will walk to the village of Silwan and meet a family whose home has been demolished. Then the group will visit the City of David tourist center where we will explore the archeological site and hear about the settler organization, ELAD, which manages the site and promotes more settlement of Jewish residents in Silwan.

From there we will cross the street to the protest tent and alternative information center initiated by the Palestinian residents, and discuss the realities of life in Silwan with the local organizers in the village. We will end the tour with a visit to the local community center, initiated jointly by Israeli and Palestinian peace activists to serve as an activity center for the village youth.

The village of Silwan, home to round 45,000 residents, is located right outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. Its Hebrew name "Shiloah" is a reference to the spring which runs through the village which in past times was one of the primary sources of water for the people of Jerusalem. The modern village is one link in a long chain of documented settlement in the area dating back thousands of years, possibly including the ancient city of King David. The belief that the village sits atop ruins of the ancient city has driven the state of Israel, with the sponsorship of a radical settler NGO by the name of ELAD to encourage Jewish settlement in the village making it a central point of controversy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

ELAD was registered as an Israeli NGO in the late 1980s, with the aim of establishing an exclusive Jewish settlement in Silwan. The initial settlement was established on land previously owned by Jews, but Soon after it expanded to other areas of the village through controversial methods which allowed ELAD to gain ownership of Palestinian homes. The settlement now houses over 70 Jewish families that receive subsidized housing and state sponsored armed security. In addition to the settlement ELAD also runs the City of David tourist center and excavation site which provides much income and legitimacy for its activities in the village.

The strong presence of radical settlers in the village has made life for its Palestinian residents very difficult as they are forced to endure a variety of difficulties such as: a strong security and police presence, the threat of home demolitions and evictions and the physical deterioration of their infrastructure due to the archeological digs. In recent years the village's inhabitants have initiated a local campaign meant to highlight some of these difficulties and urging people to support their civil liberties and rights.