Hiking and Trekking

Legends of the Wilderness: Mar Saba Monastery and the Hyrcania Valley (FEB. 17)

With the onset of Christianity as the official religion of Rome and Constantinople, a wave of monasticism quickly started to take over the deep crags and rocky streams of the Judean Desert. Just a stone’s throw from Jerusalem, the wilderness area allowed new-found Christians to remain close to Christianity’s spiritual capital while giving them the opportunity to live in a life of solitude and isolation.

The desert provided the most effective way to connect with God, and early Christians built new traditions based on previous monastic trends that had defined the area in previous centuries. One of the first monks to arrive in the area in the 5th century was Saint Sabbas, a renowned healer and spiritual leader from Asia Minor. To this day, his monastery is still active with 17 Greek Orthodox priests and an abundance of legends surrounding his storied life!

To date, there are still three fully active monasteries in the Judean Desert; all of which trace their roots and initial construction to the early centuries of Christianity. Now it is your chance to visit the magnificent Mar Saba and her surrounding sites

The Trek – 25KM (a long day, moderately difficult terrain)

As usual we will board in Tel Aviv and head east towards the Judean Desert. From there, we will start our hike towards Jabal Munteir – the hill of the watcher – the site identified as the biblical Mount Azazel.

From there we will make our way to the monastery for a brief visit before ascending to the opposite side of the Kidron Valley for beautiful panoramas around the monastery. Men will be able to enter the monastery; females will have to wait outside.

To finish the day, we will trek to Hyrcania Fortress to learn about the site’s strategic importance and one of the greatest mystery’s of present day…

  • Although the trek is long in terms of distance, the difficulty is moderate based on the topography


189.50 NIS / ticket includes full transport, guide and coffee

Minimum participants:

Please note: this trip will be canceled if there are not enough participants registered and is not guaranteed


This trip requires sturdy shoes (no flip flops) suited for rocky terrain. Participants will remain off the trail should their footwear not be suited for the terrain.

* 4.5 Litres of water per person + hat + sunscreen

* Each participant is responsible for his or her own personal security and health.

***Please note: This trip is in Area C of the West Bank as designated by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and is subject to change based on the security situation at the time of the trip. 


*** Included in the price of the ticket is a non-refundable deposit  fee. This fee is 50 NIS

*** Full refund including deposit fee will be issued upon request no later than 7 days prior to the scheduled start time.

*** Partial refunds will be issued no later than 3 days prior to the trip (50 NIS fee not refunded)

*** No refunds will be issued within 72 hours of the scheduled trip

*** Should a participant cancel his or her ticket, he or she can inquire about moving the ticket to another Finjan event at the same cost.

*** Should a participant request a refund within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time, a full refund can be specially issued if that ticket will be purchased by another participant or someone on the Finjan waiting list.

*** Full refund will be issued should the trip be cancelled or postponed for any reason at the discretion of the trek leader(s).

*** The trek leader(s) has the right to change the location of the trip prior to or throughout the trip based on weather conditions without issuing a refund to participants.

*** The trek leader(s) have full discretion in not allowing a participant to fulfil the trek based on certain health considerations and or lack of proper footwear/water.

*** Price includes two fully licensed guides and outdoor specialists, transportation to and from Tel Aviv and lots of coffee! Price does NOT include food and other beverages ***

Departure time is at 06:00 sharp from Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz (Central Train Station/Arlozorov).  Return to the same point by 21:00. The bus will leave promptly and on time! Those who arrive early will have the chance to enjoy some cookies and coffee prior to departure.

This trip is part of the Hiking in Israel community.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/HikingInIsrael/





Feb 17



TYPE OF TRIP:Hiking and Trekking


COST: 189.50 NIS

What to bring?

  • 4 litres of water
  • food for the day
  • layers of clothing
  • hat
  • sunscreen
  • sturdy shoes for hiking