• Pick olives
• Help Palestinian farmers
• Tour the bustling old city of Nablus
• Sample traditional Palestinian food
• Learn olive pressing techniques
• Visit a spice shop, a traditional soap factory still in operation and a former Ottoman bath house
• See settlements, checkpoints and the West Bank barrier
MORE INFO AND RESERVATIONS>>>>>>>
The annual olive harvest has been an important cultural, economic and symbolic event in Palestine for thousands of years. It usually only takes a few days but it is very labour intensive and extra hands are always welcome. On this unique tour, we will give you the opportunity to take part in the harvest, learn about Palestinian culture and visit one of the West Bank's most exciting cities; Nablus.
En-route to the Nablus area from Jerusalem you'll see a large swath of the Central West Bank, passing numerous Palestinian villages, Jewish settlements, and groves of ancient olive trees. Your destination is the small village of Asira and most of the day you will spend picking olives here. Your hosts will teach their families' ancient techniques and share stories of how this task has changed under Occupation.
You will be picking the trees belonging to the Daily Hugz sanctuary, in the largest olive oil producing region in the West Bank. It also provides a sanctuary for 25 rescued dogs and 9 rescued donkeys. Your olives will be taken directly to the press so you should be able to try the fruits of your labour the very same day! Freshly pressed olive oil is best enjoyed on freshly baked bread and here you can see how it is traditionally made. There will also be a hearty, home cooked meal to enjoy together (included in the price) and this will allow you to enjoy other famous Palestinian dishes as well as Palestine's famous hospitality.
After lunch you will enter the old city of Nablus where you will tour the Old City with its beautiful labyrinth of buildings dating back to the Ottoman period. You'll visit an ancient olive oil soap factory, a spice shop, and you'll also have an opportunity to sample knafe, a delicious local sweet with ancient origins.
During the short tour you will learn about ancient and modern times, combined with information about the city’s current status as an enclave of the Palestinian Authority surrounded by Israeli controlled territory.
An Nasr Mosque, NablusNablus has long been a Moslem Arab city with a small community of Samaritans, a few Jews, and a few Christians. It came under the British Mandate of Palestine between 1923 and 1948 and was annexed by Jordan after it was taken by the Arab armies in the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war. In the 1930s it was a center of resistance to Jewish immigration, and remains so today. The first Arab National Committee was founded in Nablus. In 1967 the city was occupied by Israel. Since 1986 the municipality has been in the hands of the Palestinians and it is now one of the towns under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Nablus has the West Bank's largest refugee camp and until recently the entire city was closed off by military checkpoints and cars were not allowed into or out of the city without special permits. However, the Palestinian Authority’s 2007 security push in Nablus has transformed it from a lawless city into one with a functioning municipality and police force. Nablus is a fascinating city with hospitable and friendly people.
Come and discover a beautiful Palestinian city too often overlooked by travellers. You have not seen the West Bank, or the reality of life under occupation without a visit to Nablus, and combining this with the chance to participate in the olive harvest makes it a once-in-a-year opportunity.
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