8. Private Tour: Bethlehem Half Day Tour
After being collected form your hotel or meeting at the Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint, you will venture to Manger Square, where you will visit the Nativity Church that was build by Justinian in 530 A.D. You will enter the Byzantine basilica through the main entrance known as ”the door of humility”, and see the original floor of the first church of Constantine from 326 A.D. You will then take the steps to descend to the grotto, the spot where Jesus was born from Virgin Mary, before continuing to the Saint Catherine Church. You can visit Saint Jerome’s Caves to see the place where he translated the Bible in the 5th century, with this Nativity Church listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Afterward, you will walk Milk Grotto street towards the Church of Milk Grotto, where it is believed according to tradition that while Virgin Mary was feeding baby Jesus, a drop of milk fell on the ground and turned all of the stones white. You will then advance toward Beit Sahour, a historic town whose name means “Place of the Night Watch”, in reference to the Shepherds who keep watch over their flock by night. In the past, the Canaanites inhabited its numerous caves, and today it is the home of many churches and convents. Churches now mark the sites of Shepherds Field, the Field of Ruth and the Well of the Lady. You can visit the Shepherd’s Field, located in the town of Beit Sahour, 2 kilometers east of Bethlehem. This is the site where the angel of the Lord is said to have appeared before the shepherds, bringing them good tidings of the birth of Jesus. Joined with a multitude of heavenly hosts, the angel famously sang ‘Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, Peace among men’. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be driven back to the Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint or your Bethlehem accommodation.