Jericho is believed to be the oldest city in the world – the first settlement unearthed by the archeologists dates back 11,000 years (9000 BC), almost to the very beginning of the Holocene (sic!). In the Bible it’s best known as a place where God shows Moses the promised land and where Jesus was tempted the Devil. In its recent history, it was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967 and subsequently it was held under Israeli occupation. The administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority only in 1994.
When visiting Jericho, don’t miss the stunning view from the Mount of Temptation over orange and banana trees in the river valley and the Jordan Mountains. The cable car is a good option although it’s merely a 400 m hike, especially if you’re there at noon in the summer – the heat is truly overwhelming, note that it’s almost in the desert: Jericho is located only 10 km from the Dead Sea.
Tip 1: Make sure you have your swimwear with you, just in case you decide the last minute to go to the Dead Sea. It’s easy to get there with a taxi (which is affordable already for 2 people), but as a woman forget about buying a bikini in one of the shops selling beach balls, children sleeves and colourful swimming shorts for man. Tried that and failed. But after all – necessity is the mother of invention, be creative!
Tip 2: Very close to the bus stop, more or less in front of the tourist information, you’ll find the best falafel in the whole Middle East – and believe me, I’ve tried a few.