- Grove City, Pennsylvania


March 3, 2012

Tourists find spirtual beauty in Judean Desert



If You Go...

ST. GEORGE MONASTERY: The monastery is not included on standard Holy Land tours. Visitors may ask tour operators (or local priest for pilgrims) to include it on itineraries ahead of their trip. The site is a 15- to 20-minute drive from Jerusalem, followed by a 15-minute walk to the monastery's main gate. Tourists who are not part of an organized group can drive and park at the main gate, but rental cars must include West Bank insurance from one of the companies located in East Jerusalem; cars with Israel-only insurance won't be covered here.

St. George is located in an Israeli-controlled part of the West Bank. Vehicles returning to Jerusalem must pass through an Israeli-manned checkpoint; tourists usually pass through quickly.

MOUNT OF TEMPTATION: Organized tours of the Dead Sea may include a stop at the Mount of Temptation, located just above the town of Jericho. Visitors who are not part of an organized tour may reach Jericho by car (but rental cars must have West Bank insurance; see notes for visiting St. George above) or private taxi. Jericho is a 25-minute drive from Jerusalem on the way to the Dead Sea. A cable car connects Jericho to the Mount of Temptation and runs daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets are about $14 (55 shekels).

The Mount of Temptation is located in a Palestinian-controlled area of the West Bank. At the entrance to Jericho, vehicles pass through a Palestinian-manned checkpoint. Vehicles returning to Jerusalem must pass through an Israeli-manned checkpoint at the entrance to the city; tourists usually pass through quickly.

TIP: An alternative for visiting both locations without an organized tour and without renting your own car is to hire a private tour guide with his or her own car. Cost ranges from $500-$600 for up to 125 miles (200 km) a day, up to nine hours a day.

Published Feb. 25, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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