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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Eco-tourism: a growing industry in Palestine

Besides its many historical attractions, the country has a marvelous natural richness unique in the region

We’ve all heard of these unique world treasures— Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho…We’ve all heard of the pious traditions which these Biblical names carry. But what about Palestine’s ‘other’ treasures? Yes, as hard as it is to believe, seeing is believing! As more and more visitors show increased interest in its hidden natural wonders, Palestine is now a burgeoning market for a promising eco-tourism industry.
With a mild weather and a uniquely diverse landscape, Palestine has become a delight with tourists as it combines desert, mountains, rivers, forests, and rocky valleys. For instance, there’s the charm of springs, rolling hills and lush forests at Wadi Qana, whom many have come to call “Paradise on Earth”. This wonder of nature in the Salfit District just north of Nablus is one of Palestine’s most attractive natural reserves. Wherever the eye reaches there are fertile hills, valleys, streams, and vast woodlands. And just farther north is Sebastia, where nature lovers will encounter a series of evocative Mediterranean forests surrounded by scenic vales of greenery. The site becomes even more appealing as various migratory birds make the place their favorite stopover.
For the lovers of the mystical secrets of the desert, Wadi Qelt couldn’t be any better. This rocky valley at the gates of the Judaean Desert on the way to Jericho offers spectacular views comprising a canyon with towering cliffs, green vales at its bottom; and in the spring, the area gains an ethereal charm as blossoming plants burst into hundreds of colors and scents. This is a real treat for hikers and nature lovers alike.
 “With so much natural beauty, Palestine is beginning to attract attention in the eco-tourism market” the unique beauty of the desert of Wadi Qelt, and the majestic springs and forests of Wadi Qana are but a few of the many natural wonders Palestine has to offer.

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