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Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem

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US$440.00
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Highlights
    What to Expect
    Greet your private guide-cum-driver at 8am your Bethlehem hotel or the Bethlehem side of Checkpoint 300 if coming from Jerusalem: Checkpoint 300 is about 30 minutes from Damascus Gate by bus. Women should dress modestly and bring a scarf to ensure admission to St. George's Monastery.

    Relax in air-conditioned comfort as you drive for around 45 minutes to St. George's Monastery in Wadi Qelt. Along the way, you'll pass by various religious sites: St. Theodosius' Monastery, where some believe the wise men hid from Herod the Great after they visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, and al-Eizariya, which many believe to be Lazarus' Bethany village.

    Stroll a short way down Kidron Valley to reach the monastery, which dates back to the fourth century, when monks first settled in the desert. They believed the site was where the Prophet Elijah was fed by ravens. Explore the complex with your guide, before driving a few minutes towards Bethlehem to Mar Saba.

    The largest monastery in the Jerusalem Wilderness, Mar Saba Monastery dates back to the fifth century AD, and perches amid the southern cliffs of the Kidron Creek. Founded by Saint Sabas (Mar Saba in Arabic), it's been extensively expanded and fortified over the years. Please note: women are not allowed to enter the monastery. Everyone will enjoy a panoramic view of the site, but only men will be allowed to go inside and tour the monastery.

    Your next stop is Beit Sahour, considered the city of the shepherds. Visit the Shepherd's Field, where the angel appeared to the shepherds and told them about Jesus' birth, then drive to a local restaurant for a classic falafel lunch.

    From here it's not far to Bethlehem proper, where you'll start at the famous Church of the Nativity,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's built on the spot where many believe Jesus was born: it's the world's oldest church in regular daily use. You'll also visit the Cave of St. Jerome, below the church, where many believe he translated the bible.

    Finally, you'll visit the Church of St. Catherine and the Milk Grotto shrine, and see Banksy's graffiti pieces, before you drive back either to Checkpoint 300 or your Bethlehem hotel, where your tour will finish at 4pm.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Checkpoint 300/Bethlehem Road, West Bank, Jerusalem
    Duration
    8h
    Return Details
    Returns to original departure point
    Inclusions
    • Driver/guide
    • Private tour
    • Pickup from Checkpoint 300 or Bethlehem hotel
    • Drop-off at Checkpoint 300 or Bethlehem hotel
    • Entry/Admission - Church of the Nativity
    • Entry/Admission - St. George's Monastery
    • Entry/Admission - The Church of St. Catherine
    • Entry/Admission - Milk Grotto
    • Entry/Admission - Shepherd's Sanctuary
    • Entry/Admission - Cave of St. Jerome
    Exclusions
    • Gratuities
    • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
    • Food and drinks
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
    • Passport name, number, expiry and country is required at time of booking for all participants
    • Walking is involved
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 4 travelers
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    18Reviews2Q&A
    Traveler rating
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    Popular mentions
    Our day trip with Michael was excellent! From the very start Michael made us feel relaxed, comfortable and in safe hands. His knowledge of the area and its history was very impressive and extremely interesting to hear. He was also flexible on the itinerary as there were parts
    Read more
    Response from michaeljackaman, Owner at Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
    Responded 6 days ago
    Thanks Scott for the nice words. I am glad to hear your review. All the best
    Read more
    He showed us places that are difficult to reach, such as St. George' monastery, Mar Saba or Bansky grafitys around Bethelem... We also wanted to visit Jericho and altough it was not in our tour, he showed us around! He always cared about us, from the moment we crossed the
    Read more
    Response from michaeljackaman, Owner at Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
    Responded 2 Sep 2019
    Thanks for this wonderful review and I always happy to hear how much people enjoy my tours. You are always welcome back and I hope to see you once again.
    Read more
    Michael is a truly fantastic guide with a wealth of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and the local area. As a foreigner, it is often difficult to fully understand the impact of geopolitical grandstanding on the local population. Michael is insightful and provides both
    Read more
    Response from michaeljackaman, Owner at Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
    Responded 11 Aug 2019
    Thanks Anna for the nice review. I hope to see you again. You are always welcome here.
    Read more
    Marsaba, St George's, Dead Sea and Bethlehem - thanks to Michael we did it all in a day. He gave perfect instructions on how to reach him from Jerusalem and arranged for our taxi back to Jerusalem and on to Tel Aviv. He did not charge extra when we wanted to squeeze in a detour
    Read more
    Response from michaeljackaman, Owner at Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
    Responded 19 Jul 2019
    Glad to hear your feedback and how much you enjoyed the tour. Wish you always the best.
    Read more
    +4
    Ok, I did a day tour with Michael of Bethlehem and the surrounding area, Mar Saba, etc. and it was PHENOMENAL. Michael guided me into Bethlehem with great patience and google maps (i was coming from Tel Aviv, offering to meet me on either side of the wall and providing me with
    Read more
    Response from michaeljackaman, Owner at Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
    Responded 19 Jul 2019
    My friend Clement... thanks for such a wonderful review. I am glad we met and you are welcome again. Any help you might need just let me know.
    Read more
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