The picturesque village of Ein Kerem, nestled in a valley near Jerusalem's southwestern suburbs, contains some holy Christian sites pertaining to John the Baptist and Mary. It is also a venue for classical music concerts and has restaurants known for al fresco dining.
Wadi Qelt is a scenic gorge running between Jerusalem and Jericho; as such, it is popular among hikers. The isolated Greek Orthodox monastery is carved into a cliff in the northeastern corner of the narrow canyon. The exterior is impressive; inside, the non-squeamish will marvel at the human reliquary.
This Christian Arab village just west of Jerusalem is a favorite among Israelis craving traditional Middle Eastern food served in bucolic surroundings.
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Award-winning journalist Buzzy Gordon has covered Asia as a travel writer for more than 30 years. He is the author of Frommer's Jerusalem Day by Day Guide.