There are several ways to walk the trail. MIAK aims to provide travelers with needed information and encourages them to contact the office in case of additional questions.
Independent travelers with experience in backpacking are familiar with using topographic maps and GPS. They prefer to make their own accommodations, carry their own food or seek out local meals, and use public transportation when necessary (detailed information can be found on Region Pages). They are eager to learn some Arabic phrases to communicate with locals and get around.
Some travelers may prefer to hire some local services to find accommodation, find a guide to walk with them, or hire a taxi as a means of transportation.
Still others prefer the convenience of traveling with an organized tour. Such travelers should either sign up for an advertised trip along a particular section of the trail, or organize their own group tour through a local tour operator. A local tour operator makes all the reservations for lodging, hires guides, and arranges for luggage transfer along with any other needed services.
WEEKEND HIKES IDEAS
We would like to invite you to join at any stage of the trail and for as long as you would like. If you would like to spend your weekends hiking on Masar Ibrahim, check the following options:
WEEKEND HIKE 1: Rummana to Arraba
Overnight in Burqin
Day 1: Rummana to Burqin
Spend your weekend in the picturesque area of Jenin and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the olive oil season. Start the hike at the village of Rummana, which in Arabic means pomegranate. Further on, the trail will lead you through lush olive groves towards a hill overlooking the town of Ta’anek, located just next to the ancient Canaanite site of Tel Ta’anek. From there, colorful fields of Marj Ibn Amir (or Jezreel Valley) are clearly visible in the background. At the end of the first day, you will reach the town of Burqin, famous for its 4th century Church of St. George, which was built to commemorate the spot where, according to story, Jesus Christ had stopped in his path in order to heal ten men who suffered from leprosy. You will also have a chance to share in the life of a host family, who will welcome you into their home to experience the authentic hospitality traditions of Palestine.
Day 2: Burqin to Arraba
After the traditional breakfast at the local homestay you will be ready to follow the path from Burqin to Arraba which connects two important landmarks: the ancient Burqin Church and the Ottoman Palaces of Arraba. The trail passing through Burqin extends into the surrounding farmlands where you might be greeted by farmers plowing their fields. From there the path leads toward a high hill – Jabal Barid (the “cold mountain”) – overlooking small villages and the city of Nazareth, beyond the Green Line.
During Ottoman times (1517 – 1918), Arraba was a strategically important place that served as the headquarters of the Abdel Hadi family. Today, the complex palaces, located in the heart of the town, serve as a center for many community activities and events.
WEEKEND HIKE 2: Kufr Malek to Jericho
Overnight in Al-’Auja
Day 1: Kfur Malek to Al-’Auja
Start your journey on Masar Ibrahim with a close experience with nature. Palestine’s central position at the crossroads between Africa, Asia, and Europe makes it a pathway for the biannual migration of over half a billion birds, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Then, a demanding yet exciting path will take you through the Al-‘Auja Valley, home to an impressive array of plant and animal life; look closely to spot a Mediterranean turtle. In Al-‘Auja you will meet the local Bedouin communities and learn about their habits and traditions. You will have the chance to sleep in a Bedouin tent and experience the authentic Palestinian traditions of hospitality.
Day 2: Al-‘Auja to Jericho
In the next morning, after a nutritious Bedouin breakfast, you will head towards the famous city of Jericho, the lowest and one of the most ancient cities in the world, which with its calm atmosphere and rich heritage is a true oasis to all walkers. Visitors can enjoy a visit to the Mount of Temptation, Tell es-Sultan, and the winter palaces of Hisham and Herod the Great. Delicious Medjoul dates grown in the area are a must taste.
Near Jericho, members of the Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp Women’s Center invite hikers for warm home-cooked meals and offer overnight stays in a one of a kind mudbrick guesthouse. There, hikers can also stamp their passports.
WEEKEND HIKE 3: Tuqu’ to Bani Na’im
Overnight in Arab Ar-Rashaiyda
Day 1: Tuqu’ to Arab Ar-Rashaiyda
After a picturesque hike through the rough surfaces of the desert landscape, you will arrive at a spot that may prove hard to forget. The brown and yellow rocks of the steep cliffs contrast with the turquoise surface of the Dead Sea and the gray and purple peaks of the Jordanian mountains on the distant horizon.
You will have the chance to share an evening meal with your Bedouin hosts. Let them spoil you with an enjoyable evening featuring traditional Rababa music. The sounds of music and traditional songs will drift into the darkness of the surrounding desert while you and your friends enjoy the warm atmosphere and comfort of the Bedouin tent.
Day 2: Arab Ar-Rashaiyda to Beni Na’im
After leaving the desert, you will head towards Beni Na’im, a tranquil village famous for the grape groves surrounding the area. For breakfast, your hosts will treat you with a freshly made grape molasses, called “dibis,” or serve a platter of savory Palestinian grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of meat and spiced rice for lunch.
WEEKEND HIKE 4: Adh-Dahriya to Beit Mirsim + Hebron City Tour
Overnight in Hebron
Day 1: Adh-Dahriya to Beit Mirsim
The final stage of Masar Ibrahim will take you on an interesting hike between Adh-Dhahriya and Beit Mirsim, both located southwest of Hebron. On the way, you will encounter the ruins of a Byzantine church. The compound served as the main religious center for the neighboring locations and includes parts of mosaic floors and the remains of a wine press and an impressive grain mill. Later the trail leads to the suburb area of Adh-Dhahriya, where small shops can be found – a great place to refill supplies of cold water for the rest of the day. The trek also passes next to an amusement park and garden where hikers can take a break and rest in the shade. The final part of the trail leads through the picturesque Wadi Nufakh, a valley that becomes a river during the rainy season. Beit Mirsim is the final location on Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil. After finishing the hike, you will be transferred to the Lamar Guesthouse located in a beautifully restored and renovated 300 year old building in the Old City of Hebron.
Day 2: Hebron Old City Walking Tour
The next day will start with a view of Hebron City from the rooftop of the Lamar Guesthouse. Then you will stroll down the narrow streets of the old quarters and admire its buildings, typical of traditional vernacular Mamluk and Ottoman architecture.
You will have a chance to meet and chat with Hebron’s welcoming artisans and confectioners selling their goods along the Old City’s alleys. You will experience the souq (traditional market) and maybe even bargain a bit with the vendors. On our way, you will visit the old building of the Lamar Guesthouse, ancient olive and sesame presses, markets of the Old City, and Haram Al-Ibrahimi (Mosque of Ibrahim)