Oliverio Tours

Holy Land

In the Holy Land the biblical scenes are in the plot thread of the travels. And no wonder, in this territory of the Near East Jesus was born, grew, died and rose again. This is why traveling to the Holy Land has become one of the most spiritual experiences as well as a religious tourism destination par excellence. But visiting the monuments that reconstruct the life of Jesus is not the only thing one can do. From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, passing through Nazareth and Bethlehem, the Holy Land offers archaeological, natural and leisure spaces where you can swim without sinking, get lost in the bustle of the markets or listen to concerts by local groups.

Mosques, synagogues and basilicas bear witness to the history of Jerusalem, the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions. With settlements dating from the fifth millennium BC. C., is one of the oldest cities in the world and to know it is to go back in history, but also to lend yourself to understanding the present. Undoubtedly, one of the most frequented spaces is the Esplanade of the Mosques or Temple Mount which, presided over by the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock, is a sacred place for Muslims. But not just for them. The Western Wall is the main pilgrimage site for Jews and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses the tomb of Jesus Christ according to Christian tradition. Wherever you look, religion is present in Jerusalem and, among temples, the narrow streets hide markets, restaurants and entertainment venues. To end the day, the Mount of Olives offers one of the best views of the city and the Mahane Yehuda market is the ideal place to get in touch with its gastronomy and culture. In this shuk tradition is combined with the most modern Jerusalem. 

To complete the visit to Jerusalem, outside the walls is the City of David, which surprises the visitor with underground tunnels that hide part of the history of this town. At least since 3000 B.C., Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited, but it was in Solomon’s time that the boundaries expanded to what is now known as the City of David. Some nights, the citadel is illuminated with light shows and music on the castle walls

Bethlehem is a city marked by the wall that establishes the border between Israel and Palestine that, since its construction in 2002, has been filled with graffiti to become an open-air art gallery. The wall has been filled with street art of denunciation, where freedom is the main theme and even Banksy has left his mark. But if Bethlehem is known for anything, it is for being the place where Jesus was born. Specifically in the Basilica of the Nativity, built on the cave in which Mary gave birth. Near this, is the grotto of the Milk, where the family took refuge when fleeing to Egypt. To the south, you will find the Herodion National Park, a mountain crowned by a palace-fortress built by King Herod, from where you get one of the best views of the city. 

Near the Jordan River, Jericho presents itself as a green oasis in the middle of the desert thanks to the water sources found in the Jordan Valley, located about 30 kilometers east of Jerusalem. Known for being the oldest continuously populated city, Jericho boasts a great archaeological legacy. Within the same city are the remains of the biblical city of Tel es-Sultan and the Palace of Hishman. On the outskirts, the Qelt Valley and St. George’s Church in Kosiba are worth a visit. In addition, you can climb to the top of the Mount of Temptations with a cable car to observe the city and the desert and, at sunset, enjoy the leisure of Jericho in Central Square.

A few kilometers from Jericho, one of the most curious spaces in the world is presented: the famous Dead Sea. When visiting Israel or Jordan, one cannot miss the experience of approaching its waters, where one can relax… without sinking. But you can also stroll along a shore formed by salt crystals, smear from top to bottom with mud and recharge your batteries in front of the golden landscapes. In the surroundings the hotel and restaurant offer does not leave indifferent and you can even try the gastronomic culture of the Bedouins. 

From Jericho and bordering the Dead Sea, before reaching the Jordan Valley, is the archaeological site of Masada, built by Herod. Once in the valley, which stretches along the 105 kilometers that go from the Sea of Galilee to the south of the Dead Sea, you can visit Bethany of Transjordan (already in Jordan), the place where Jesus was baptized. Heading north, again in Israeli territory, the Roman city of Bet She’an surprises, where there is an amphitheater, baths and columns of the time. 

Also with an important biblical legacy, one of the best-known monuments is the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest in the Middle East, erected where the archangel Gabriel is said to have announced to Mary that he was going to have a child. In addition, it is the city in which Jesus spent his childhood, and the Church of San José is where his father had the carpentry workshop and that of the Synagogue where Jesus studied and prayed. But it wasn’t all about religion. Among the streets of the old city, there is the market, which gives the visitor all the aromas, flavors and textures of the Near East. Also, from there you can take an excursion to the top of Mount Meron, where the village of Beit Jann, inhabited by the Druze, is located.

Tel Aviv stands as a modern, young and international city. Similar to the great capitals of the West, Israel’s second city stands out for its gastronomy, party, beaches and cultural diversity, as well as for its architecture. In Tel Aviv it is enjoyed, and a lot. Its 14 kilometers of beach make it an ideal destination to relax, but also to enjoy its nightlife. The city is the LGBT capital of the Middle East and also one of the most desired destinations for vegans. Worth a visit are the bustling Carmel Market and Yarkon Park, which combines urbanism and nature.

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