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Meet Palestine – The Land and the People

We invite you to Palestine

It’s easy to fall in love with Palestine. The land, rugged and starkly beautiful. The history, long and complex. The people, generous and inviting. In Palestine ecotourism meets hospitality.

We invite you to visit our country and learn about our traditional bond with the land, our history, and our current political situation. If you travel to us, we will welcome you into our homes and make your stay something to remember for a lifetime. You will want to return.

 

Ancient Olive Tree

We invite you to know us and the land – the best of ecotourism and hospitality

There is much to explore in our small land. While most tour operators concentrate on famous sites, we at PFTA have put together a program that is a little different, a little closer to the people living here. We focus on the strong relationship between the people and the land, take you into our homes, and show you our way of life. With us, you will get a chance to experience a side of Palestine that you won’t find in guidebooks or the media -- our side.

Our expertise is blending ecotourism and cross-cultural experience. Together we explore the local landscape, examine the abundant native flora, and visit with organic farmers who are dedicated to environmental stewardship and sustainability in all their practices. Through this, you can appreciate the complex political and social context in which Palestinians live and work. Your visit benefits the local economy at the same time it rewards you in many ways. Above all, sharing a roof, meals, and conversation builds cultural respect among all parties.

PFTA is committed to making your stay in Palestine both enjoyable and memorable. Basic tours described here can be tailored to fit your group's time and interests. Schedules are subject to change due to unpredictable travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation.

We invite you to choose or create a tour (Meet Palestine Application)

All tours start from Jerusalem Hotel, Nablus Road, near the Damascus Gate, in East Jerusalem. We require a minimum of six (6) participants.

 

Jenin (2 full days)
Located in the northernmost tip of the West Bank, Jenin is an important agricultural district and a center for organic farming and the fair trade movement. It is an ideal location for experiencing traditional village life, the area’s natural beauty, and the political reality of farming in the shadow of The Wall constructed by Israel. Even in this rural area there is evidence of ancient culture -- Stone Age olive oil and wine presses in the mountains, producing olive orchards planted thousands of years ago by the Romans, and one of the oldest churches in the world.

 

Stone Age Olive Presses in Palestine

 

Program Day 1
Depart Jerusalem Hotel 8 am
Drive north through West Bank to Jenin
Visit PFTA office in the old city and learn about fair trade in Palestine

Visit Jenin Refugee Camp and Freedom Theater
Eat falafel lunch on streets of Jenin
Visit an organic olive orchard and learn about organic farming
Hike in the Al Bared Mountains
Learn about local plants and their uses
Watch the sunset from a mountain top and enjoy outdoor grilling
Spend the night with a farm family in ‘Anin

 

Program Day 2
Breakfast with family and learn about farming near The Wall
Prepare traditional food with family and each lunch
Visit Canaan Fair Trade olive oil bottling facility and hike to ancient olive oil presses
Visit Burqin Church of the Ten Lepers, the 4th oldest church in the world
Visit fair trade women’s coop
Return to Jerusalem

 

Price $/person/day (double occupancy) for transportation, guide, accommodations, meals (2 lunches, breakfast, dinner) TBD
Don’t forget passport, comfortable shoes and clothing, overnight kit, insect repellent

 

Nablus and Sebastiya (1 full day)
Nablus is one of the oldest cities of the world, containing ruins of the many cultures which shaped it -- Canaanite, Hellenic, Herodian, Roman, and Byzantine. At the same time, it is the major seat of Palestine’s contemporary banking and commercial activity. A most interesting city!

Business thrives in the narrow alleys of Nablus’ Old City bazaar just as it did thousands of years ago.  You can see the quick exchange of exotic spices and the most common household products and try your skill at bargaining; there is no better place to taste the famous sweet local pastry, konafa. In Sebastiya, an agricultural village nearby, see Roman ruins in the middle of olive country, and share a traditional lunch and conversation in the home of a Palestinian family.

 

Roman Ruins in Palestine

 

Program

Depart from Jerusalem Hotel 8 am
Drive to Nablus
Tour the old market -- spice mills, a nut roasting house, tahini mills, and an antique shop
Visit the best traditional konafa bakery
Shop the bazaar
Drive to Sebastiya
Eat lunch in a farm family home
Tour hillside ruins and olive orchards
Learn about local plants and their uses
Tour Sebastiya town center
Return to Jerusalem

Price $/person for transportation, guided tours, bakery treat, traditional lunch TBD
Don’t forget passport, comfortable shoes and clothes, insect repellent.

 

Jenin area olive harvest (Oct-Nov) and olive harvest festival (1st Friday of November)

You are invited to participate in the olive harvest as a volunteer tourist for up to two weeks (Intern/Volunteer at PFTA).

 

Picking organic olives

 

For a very special experience, you are invited to join in the annual Olive Harvest Festival or jaru’a on the first Friday of November as an extension of the Jenin tour or as a separate event. Farmers, workers, international volunteers, and visitors celebrate the abundance of Palestine. Village elders share their stories; folk musicians perform; and everyone is invited to dance the dabke. The generous harvest meal features traditional foods and lots of fresh olive oil.  Details

Price $/person/night (double occupancy) for accommodation with farm family TBD; $20/person for Harvest Festival meal and entertainment


Safety concerns

Despite the political situation, you will feel comfortable and safe in Palestine. Palestinians are open, friendly, and quick to welcome visitors with generous hospitality. Restrictions of all kinds are meant to control Palestinians; as a foreigner, you can move with relative ease through Israeli checkpoints, The Wall, and the border.

Occasionally and quite unpredictably, Israel increases travel restrictions, requiring us to change the itinerary. On rare occasions, the occupation creates dangerous situations, but foreigners are seldom at risk. Visitors from around the world attest to their safe, relaxing, informative experiences and warm personal encounters in this land of great historic and contemporary relevance.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 05:30