On Easter Saturday, Christian Palestinians celebrate with a flame being passed from one village and town to another, Olympian style.
Not just religiously symbolic, these Easter traditions are now also processions for peace. The best time to visit Palestine, especially if hiking, is outside the hottest months, June-Sep. So when autumn leaves start turning at home, turn your thoughts to wild and wonderful walking in Palestine. Spring is perfect, as cyclamen, iris and anemones are in bloom. Autumn rains fall during Oct-Nov, but never too severe. Christmas in Bethlehem is, of course, extraordinary for Christians, with Midnight Mass held at St. Catherine’s and Manger Square packed with pilgrims. Tickets are released for the service 1 September, and sell out quickly.

Palestine Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)


Things to do in Palestine…

Hiking in Palestine is one of the top things to do, not only because its canyons and wadis, the Jordan Valley and olive grove filled hilltops are wilderness wonders, but also because you will be guided by local people. Such as on the long distance walking trail, Abraham Path, which starts in Turkey then travels through and ends in Palestine, the resting place of Abraham. Also the icon of hospitality, Abrahamic welcome is so innate to Palestinians, you can’t help but feel humbled by the generosity of strangers en route as well as your expert guides, rich in knowledge about their history and heritage, political struggles and strife. Staying with local people in homestay accommodation or desert camps is the norm in Palestine. Years of conflict have resulted in poverty for many, with farmlands and job opportunities being restricted. So tourism has become a positive force for change when it comes to gaining independent income in Palestine. Palestine is the hub of the Holy Land for Muslims, Christians or Jews, so cultural trips that take in both Palestine and Israel are common. Despite walls and wars, intifadas and invasions, Palestine is for many tourists simply a shrine to religious beliefs, archeological finds and natural magnificence. And always will be. Ultimately, when they discover the beauty of its landscape and culture, and the profusion of Palestinian grace and goodwill, the one thing that all visitors end up doing, is hoping, praying for or supporting a process for peace.

Things NOT to do in Palestine...

Always get up to date information at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advisory department before traveling to Palestine and also ensure that your travel insurance covers your trip. Read more details on FCO and insurance here.

Don’t go it alone. Always go to Palestine with a specialist tour operator, and one that works with experienced hospitality experts and expert walking guides on the ground. There is a lot of vast wilderness to explore, and tiny villages that are far from violence and strife. But as you will discover while traveling around Palestine, maps and territories are always changing, and being on the safe side may be different from one year to the next. Or one day to the next in some cases.

Palestine and the Occupied Territories have suffered at the hands of terrorist and violent activities for many years, mostly related to conflict over territory. Areas prone to violence are the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.
Palestine is a hot topic, but also a very hot place, especially if you are hiking. Most walking vacations in Palestine don’t go between July and end September, but even if you are taking an afternoon hike after a cultural visit, stay hydrated and head covered. The recommendation is to carry minimum three litres of water on a cool day, and prepare to drink minimum one litre per hour during hot weather.
Don’t go without reading up before you go. And be sensitive about your political discussions while you are there. Although local people will welcome you with open arms, embracing the fact that most visitors are inquisitive, open-minded and politically aware. Books of interest include Palestine and the Palestinians: A Guidebook by Giroud Sabri (Alternative Tourism Group) and Extreme Rambling, Walking Israel’s Barrier. For Fun, by Mark Thomas. We also love this Ted Talk by William Ury, founder of the Abraham Path.

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Israel and Palestinian tour

Israel and Palestinian tour

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Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Palestine or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.


Understanding Palestine

Marc Leaderman, from our leading Palestine vacations supplier, Wild Frontiers, shares his Palestine travel advice:

“Having led tours in over 50 countries over the last 15 years, my recent trip to Palestine was amongst the most rewarding and insightful I’ve ever had, offering not only an incredible diversity of scenery and historical wonders over such a small area, but more importantly a window into the rich cultural heritage of a people whose voice is all too often associated with conflict and suffering rather than warmth and hospitality. Come with an open mind and you’ll be sure never to view the Middle East the same way again.”

“I would certainly suggest reading up on the Israeli-Palestinian situation (ideally from both sides) although it can be quite challenging to find balanced sources. Some good films include ‘The Lemon Tree’ and ‘Five Broken Cameras.”

Itinerary tips

Andrew Appleyard is an archaeologist as well as International Sales Manager at our supplier, Exodus. He shares his tips on where to go in Palestine:

“My favourite place is actually Jericho. Probably because it is one of the oldest archaeological sites in the entire world, dating back to about 5000 BC. And it is an amazing old site. It is also one of the places where Israelis and Palestinians get on incredibly well and no one interferes with any of them. But Jericho is a fab town, and there are great restaurants there too. It really is an amazing place.”
Marc Leaderman, from our supplier, Wild Frontiers:

“Absolute musts would include Jerusalem, Nablus, Wadi el-Qult and at least one homestay. When it comes to packing it’s worth noting that it can get very hot by the Dead Sea but surprisingly cold in the more elevated zones, such as Jerusalem. English is fairly widely spoken but learning a few words of Arabic would go a long way, especially at the homestays.”

Tips when to go

Marc Leaderman, Wild Frontiers:

“I would say that although it can be visited year round, spring and autumn are definitely the best times to visit to avoid the extremes of summer and winter.”
Andrew Appleyard, Exodus:

“If you can go to Midnight Mass in Bethlehem at Christmas – that is an incredible time to be there."
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Aidil] [Temp chart background : Artemy Voikhansky] [Things to do: James Emery] [Understanding Palestine1: JD Lasica] [Itinerary tips - Andrew: A. Sobkowski ] [Itinerary tips - Marc: Julien Menichini] [Tips on when to go - Marc: Heinrich Böll Foundation ]