Jericho: Palestine’s Winter Escape

Jericho is the ideal destination for a temporary break from the winter cold and offers respite from the grey.  Jericho is easily accessible from Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Ramallah. Its proximity and dramatic difference provided a facile escape from the cold wintry weather prevailing over the mountains of the West Bank.  Jericho’s winter escape season would start in early December, and remains as long as possible, until the Greek Orthodox Easter or the end of the Nebi Musa seasonal festival the beginning of May.

The winter of Jericho is short-lived and spring comes the first week of February. Its short winter, however, is mild. Night temperatures rarely drop to seven degrees centigrade. Day temperatures hover in this balmy, sunny oasis.

In addition to its warm winter, Jericho, on the other hand, is technicolor. Jericho’s citrus yields a dramatic range of varied hues of green. The citrus fruits ripen in winter and modulate in color from bright luminous yellow to rich succulent orange. The summer parched landscape, now wet, reveals pink, yellow, and ochre pigments that, in the play of light and shadow, acquire dramatic hues of purple blue. The orange orchards and the vegetable plantations-zucchini, green beans, peas, and eggplants-extended into the endless horizon. The pastel pink Mount of Temptation perched nobly at the edge of the oldest city on the earth.

The tastiest oranges grow in its orchards. From early February until mid-March, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, and bitter oranges soak the entire Jordan valley with their fragrance.

In Jericho, you can enjoy taking long hikes in the fields, riding bicycles or riding the lowest cable car in the World. It is a place where you can feel warm and carefree. You will be enchanted with the open gurgling stream, the chirping birds, and the bellowing of the flocks of sheep grazing in the fields. Outdoor restaurants line the main street leading from downtown Jericho westward to the Mount of Temptation.

Apart from its wonderful landscape and pleasant weather, Jericho’s ancient history will astonish you. Jesus’ third temptation took place here. King Herod had built his palace here. Hisham, the son of Abd el Malek Ben Marwan, who had built our Dome of the Rock, had built his winter palace in Jericho, Hisham’s Palace. Ruins of settlements as early as 10.000 B.C.E are traced at Tel-Al-Sultan. Monasteries for all denominations proliferated in Jericho. For attractions in Jericho please click here.

Posted on January 16, 2012, in What to Do, Where to Stay. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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