Jericho is an ancient biblical town, with early settlements traced back 10,000 years, possibly making it the earliest site of human civilization. Located in the occupied Palestinian Territories, and reached by traveling through the Judean Desert, Jericho is filled with archaeological ruins, monasteries, mosques, and other religious and historical sights.
Jericho offers a bounty of historic landmarks, including the Monastery of the Qurantul, the spot where according to the Bible, Jesus resisted Satan after fasting for 40 days in the desert, and the 5th-century St. George’s Monastery, built into the cliff face, with its beautiful mosaic floor. Visitors can also see Nabu Must Mosque, the site where Muslims believe Moses was buried.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You should always carry your passport when in the West Bank as you’ll will need them at Israeli checkpoints.
- It is possible to get private taxis to Jericho from Jerusalem or from other West Bank locations, but it’s not always easy and can be expensive
- Hiring a private driver for the day might be a better option if you intend on seeing a number of sights.
- Jericho’s not an easily walkable city; many sites are far apart
- Many tours include transportation and entrance to Jericho attractions.
How to Get There
There are local busses and private taxis available from other West Bank locations, but negotiating transportation can be tricky. Hiring a private driver for the day, or arranging a visit though a tour may be an easier option.
When to Get There
Jericho sites are open year round, but the temperatures can be very hot, humid, and dusty in the summer months.
Jericho is often referred to as the earliest known site of human civilization, and the ruins of Tel-es Sultan tell the story. The ruins of dwellings and stairways here date back 10,000 years or more, and give visitors a look at what else might have been. The remains of a tower at Tel es-Sultan suggest Jericho may have been the world’s first fortified city.