This Jerusalem and Bethlehem tour starts with a breathtaking view of Jerusalem. You can see the Old City walls and beyond it the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount. Then, we descend from Mt. Scopus driving past the Mount of Olives, home to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of Gethsemane. We drive past Mount Moriah, and parallel to the Old City’s ancient walls through Kidron Valley where you can see the ancient tombs of Benei Hezir, Zechariah, and the Tomb of Absalom were built.
The Jerusalem tour enters the Old City via one of the ancient gates and we continue on foot through the Jewish Quarter. Here we see the Byzantine Cardo, an excavated ancient street that was once a bustling thoroughfare. On our walk through the Jewish Quarter, we pass the Hurva Synagogue and pause for the perfect photo looking down on the Western Wall with Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock behind. We stop at the Western Wall, the one part of the Second Holy Temple that survived destruction in 70 AD.
We continue to the Via Dolorosa and follow a section of the path Jesus took from his judgment to his crucifixion at Golgotha. The Via Dolorosa leads us to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This ornate 4th-century church encompasses the last Stations of the Cross including Calvary (Golgotha) where Jesus was crucified. Before departing from the Old City, we pass through the Old City Market (Shuk).
We drive from Jerusalem to Bethlehem past the Church of the Angels in Shepherds’ Field. We arrive at Manger Square where we enter the Basilica of the Nativity. This church was built above the Grotto of the Nativity where Christ was born. While in the church we see 12th-century mosaics and the original floor from the first church built by Saint Helena in the 4th century.
If possible, we will visit the adjacent Church of Saint Catherine and descend to subterranean caves to see sacred tombs and chapels including the Chapel of St. Jerome. We make our way back to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv where you are returned to your hotel.
Note that while it was compiled by our experts, this itinerary is just one suggestion; you can customize your tour and see much more of Jerusalem and Bethlehem: The Pool of Bethesda, the City of David, the Milk Grotto, the Basilica of Ecce Homo and much (see FAQ section for details)