Jericho is a city in Area A of Palestine (West Bank). Things to do in Jericho Palestine include;
- Elisha Spring
- Mount of temptation (and view of the city)
- Jericho Tell (Tell es-Sultan) UNESCO site
- Sycamore tree
- Hisham’s palace
- Qasr al Yahud (Jesus Christ baptism site)
The best way to visit Jericho is on a day trip from Jerusalem. I recommend you book this online in advance as spaces are limited. Alternatively, you can book a day trip online from Tel Aviv. If you are traveling independently to Jericho, there are several good value hotels.
Jericho is part of Area A in Palestine and therefore it’s illegal for Israeli citizens to enter. As you enter Jericho Palestine you’ll pass a sign explaining that you’re entering Area A. Palestine is classified into 3 areas, A, B and C;
- Area A – Full control of the Palestinian authority – Israelis forbidden
- Area B – Palestinian civil control, joint Israeli-Palestinian security control – No Israeli settlements
- Finally, Area C – Full Israeli civil and security control, except over Palestinian civilians
Elisha Spring – Lowest Point on Earth
A visit to Jericho Palestine will tick 2 items off your bucket list. Firstly, Jericho is the oldest city in the world. Secondly, it’s also the lowest place on earth. That’s 2 reasons you must visit Jericho! Elisha Spring is located in the town of Jericho. Legend states that God used prophet Elisha who crossed over the Jordan river and prophesied at the spring which lifted the curse Joshua had put on the land. Ever since, the spring has been holy. In fact, rumor has it if you drink the holy water from the spring you’ll be healed of any illness or problem you have. Another interesting fact is that the holy spring is the water supply of Jericho. As a result, the fruits around the city are growing in doubles.
Mount of Temptation and Cable Car
Jericho is famous for the Mount of Temptation and monastery which are visible from all of the city. You can get to the monastery on foot which is a difficult 30 minute walk. As we are now in the 21st century you can take the cable car which is an easy and picturesque 5 minute ride. The Mount of Temptation is also known as Mount Quarantania which translates to 40, the number of days of Christ’s fast. Jesus was tempted 3 times by the devil during his fast on the Mount of Temptation. Halfway up the mountain you’ll find the a grotto where Jesus received the temptation to turn stone into bread.
With each temptation, Jesus refused with a quotation from the Book of Deuteronomy. The devil then left and angels brought food to Jesus, who was ready to eat after his 40 day fast. For more information about this I recommend you read the bible.
Jericho Tell (Tell es-Sultan)
Tell es Sultan archaeological site is a UNESCO world heritage site which dates back over 10,000 years. If you thought your country had history, Jericho Tell takes history to a whole new level. British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon surveyed the site of Tell es Sultan from 1952 – 1958. She confirmed that the site dates back to the Natufian hunter-gatherers age, over 10,000 years ago. Whilst visiting Tell es Sultan you’ll see her excavation site.
Another site at Tell es Sultan are the walls of Jericho which most people have heard of. The walls of Jericho were built around 8000 BC making Jericho the oldest walled city in the world, another one for the bucket list! The Tower of Jericho is located here too which is one of the earliest stone monuments of mankind, perhaps the oldest.
When Jesus walked into Jericho he was being watched by Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus climb a sycamore tree to see him. This sycamore still exists today and it”s right in the center of Jericho. It’s believed that Jesus walked to this very tree, looked up at Zacchaeus and arranged to meet him at his home. Who was Zacchaeus? He was a tax collector in Jericho. Did you know there is a Tree of Life in Bahrain?
Qasr al Yahud, Jesus Christ Baptism Site
On the Palestine / Jordan border just outside of Jericho you’ll find Qasr al Yahud, the baptism site of Jesus. At Qasr al Yahud you’ll see Palestinian soldiers on one side and Jordanian soldiers on the other side so it’s not recommended to swim over. You are free to get baptized if desired. I have to admit I put my hand in the water out of curiosity.
How to get from Jericho to Ramallah
The views you’ll see from the road on the way to the capital city of Ramallah are amazing. As you wind around the mountain the views of the valley below become more impressive. The journey to Ramallah takes less than an hour, Ramallah is also in Area A of Palestine.
I recommend you visit Palestine on a day trip from Jerusalem. They run a few times a week and you can book this online in advance. In addition, if you’re visiting Tel Aviv, you can book a day trip online from Tel Aviv. As part of this trip, you’ll be taken from either Jericho to Ramallah or Ramallah to Jericho.