The Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil (Abraham Path) is a fascinating hiking route through Palestine’s history, culture and incredible landscapes. John Atick has all you need to know to plan your own adventure
Rashaydeh Sunrise Hike with ocean views (Masar Ibrahim)
Length: 200 miles
Starts/Ends: Palestine’s Masar Ibrahim runs from Rummanah in the north of Palestine to Beit Mirsim, south of Hebron in the south. It’s part of a collective of trails known as the Abraham Path. The full Abraham Path starts in Harran in Turkey. If and when the full Path is completed, it will go through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.
Number Of Days To Complete: 22
Palestinian children waving (Dreamstime)
Hiking the Masar Ibrahim is a chance to explore historical and archeological sites, as well as the amazing diversity of landscapes and views in Palestine.
Beginning in the agriculture fields and olive groves in the north, passing through the wildernesses and arriving at the desert scenery of the south, you’ll meet lovely people and feel the warm hospitality along the way.
You can also have encounters with Palestinian rural communities or stay overnight in one of Masar Ibrahim homestays or Bedouin tents along the path.
You’re sure to experience the Palestinian traditional food and culture, tasting fresh homemade meals served with passion, and to learn about local customs and traditions in this often misunderstood part of the world.
Hikers on the way from Nabi Musa to Jericho (Masar Ibrahim)
Recommended sections include Burqin to Arraba (Jenin), Ain Samia to Auja (Nablus), Jericho to Sea Level Community (Jericho), Khirbet Al Mard to Tal Al-Qamar (Bethlehem) and Hassasa to Bani N’aim (Hebron).
April and May or August and September are the best times to go.
Palestinian woman picking olives in the West Bank (Dreamstime)
Trying to spend time with the local communities is my tip. Trying to have local guide with you, staying (and, at the same time, supporting) local homesteads, immersing himself in the culture and experiencing homemade food is really the way to experience the Abraham Path.
Hikers on hillside near Jericho (Masar Ibrahim)
Clothing should be comfortable, with not-too-tight clothes, natural fabrics, covering arms and knees, which is respectful to the local communities). Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must.
For women, it’s useful to keep a scarf in your backpack, in case of hiking close to the holy sites and mosques and wanting to visit them. Take broken-in shoes, never new ones, in order to avoid blisters. Wear layers of clothes, so some can be removed if too hot, appropriate to the weather.
It’s also worth taking a comfortable backpack, hiking poles (if you like to hike with them), torch, maps or GPS, covers for bottles to keep water cool, and salty and sweet snacks for energy and minerals.
You should also take a First Aid Kit and know emergency numbers (101 - ambulance), letting others know your plans for hiking and your route.
Check out weather forecasts and choosing a reasonable level of difficulty for yourself.
Visit abrahampath.org for details of the full Abraham Path project.
It’s already possible to hike the Masar Ibrahim. The final stages, though, will be completed towards the end of 2017.
Main image: Hikers and guide on the Abraham Path Tequa-Reshayda section (Masar Ibrahim).
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