Traveling by road 63 kilometres north of Jerusalem to Nablus, dipping in and out of lush valleys, you will be captivated by the beautiful scenery of hills dotted with olive trees and small villages. Nablus, one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich and varied history was founded by the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD.Over its nearly 2,000 year history, the city has been under the rule of the Roman Empire, Byzantium, an Arab Caliphate, the Crusaders, Mamluk and then the Ottoman Empire. A walk inside the Old City takes you back in time to the Ottoman Era with beautiful architecture including the 17th-century Hamman ash-Shifa – a Turkish bath. Delectable sweet shops dot the Old City and we recommend you try Kenafa, a rich, creamy, sweet and cheesy dessert with a crunchy top made from semolina which you can watch being made. Nablus is also famous for its olive oil soaps and you are welcome to visit the factory which provides you with a look at how an ancient craft in soap making is retained.
Who doesn’t know the story of the ‘Good Samaritan’? Yet very few know that the community of Samaritans resides on top of Mt.Gerizim, one of two mountains a few Kilometres from Nablus, and estimated to have been established in the 5th century BC. It is also one of the highest peaks in the West Bank. Also a few kilometres from Nablus, is the ancient the village of Sebastia with ruins of six cultures: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Romans and Byzantine. This beautiful setting among olive trees and ruins also provides you with panoramic views of northern Palestine.