Mar Saba - مار سابا

Mar Saba, known in English as The Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located in the Bethlehem Governorate, halfway between the Dead Sea and the old city of Jerusalem. Founded in 483 by Sabbas the Sanctified of Cappadocia, the monastery is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited monasteries the world, with around 20 monks living there today and over 300 at its peak. Mar Saba houses the relics of Saint Sabbas, which were stolen by Latin crusaders in the 12th century and returned in 1965 by Pope Paul VI as a goodwill gesture towards the Eastern Orthodox church. It has continued many of its ancient traditions, including one that bars women from entrance to the main compound: women are only allowed to visit the Women’s Tower, located near the main entrance.


The overnight will be in Tal al Qamar, a Bedouin-style camp in the Jerusalem wilderness, rather than in Mar Saba proper.

Type of Accommodation

Tents in desert














As the overnight in Mar Saba will be in a tent, we recommend that you ensure you have insect repellent, antihistamine and any other medicine you may need in case of mosquito or other insect bites.

You should be sure to have your own towel and toiletries.

Due to its Muslim population and rural setting you will not be able to find alcohol in Mar Saba or Tal al Qamar.

In villages it is important that you are dressed modestly at all times: this means wearing loose, opaque clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Women should carry a lightweight scarf with which they can cover themselves when entering mosques or other holy sites.

While well-stocked pharmacies are easily accessible in much of the West Bank, you might not be able to find some desired medicines in small villages. For this reason, we recommend that you bring with you high SPF sunscreen, aspirin or other pain relievers, antihistamine, disinfectant, insect repellent, antibiotics and intestinal antiseptics. You should also have a hat, water bottle, backpack and comfortable shoes with you at all times to ensure your health and comfort while walking.

Example photos



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