Jerusalem and Ramallah

Tour Highlights

Tomb of the Prophet Samuel
• Mount of Olives
• Views of the Dome of the Rock and Aqsa Mosques
• Separation Barrier
• Nabi Samuel tomb and lookout
• Checkpoints
• Hard-to-reach Palestinian villages
• Arafat's Tomb
• Ramallah's markets
• Settlements
Tour details


Every Wednesday
Length of tour: 8 hours
Tel Aviv departure: 6.30am - HaYarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem departure: 8.30am - YMCA King David Street (map)
Return 4.30pm to Jerusalem • 6.00pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem 450 NIS/Shekels
From Tel Aviv 575 NIS/Shekels
Lunch not included • Passports needed

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Detailed description

View of the Kidron Valley and old city of Jerusalem
This tour will explore both the de jure and de facto capital of Palestine - Jerusalem and Ramallah. It begins with a trip to the Mount of Olives, a key strategic part of East Jerusalem which gives you the best view possible over the old city. It is an ideal place to lay the platform for a detailed understanding of the issues at the heart of the conflict. As well as seeing some of the nearby illegal Israeli settlements, you will also learn about the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount area. There is probably no specific place on earth as contested as this one, as it is a Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy site, and even suggestions of minor changes to the status quo here have led to violence.

The Mount of Olives itself is also an important site to three religions. With an ancient Jewish cemetery, important Muslim mosque and several Christian holy sites central to the story of Jesus, these topics will also be explored and depending on the day you will usually have the chance to enter the elegant Christian chapel of Dominus Flevit.

The tour will then drive you north to another contested holy site - the tomb of the prophet Samuel. It sits atop a hill with incredible views and is a great place to observe the West Bank barrier which snakes around Jerusalem. Descending from the lookout and crossing the Aljib checkpoint you can explore four rarely visited Palestinian towns which are completely sealed off from the rest of the West Bank by the wall. You will learn about the complex road system which allows Israeli-licensed vehicles access to modern highways while the tour will enter Ramallah through tunnels and back roads.

In Ramallah, you will visit Arafat's Tomb and walk the streets of this bustling city. You will be able to try typical food and chat with the friendly locals. The guide also arranges a meeting with people from Ramallah, which varies from week to week. On the way out of the city you will pass the neighbourhood of Kufr Akab. The Separation Barrier divides the neighbourhood from Jerusalem although it is part of the municipality and the residents pay city taxes. You will go back via the notorious Qalandiya checkpoint, where only people with foreign passports, and Palestinians with permits or Israeli ID cards, are allowed to cross into Jerusalem.