St. George's Monastery

St. George's Monastery, Jerusalem

St. George's Monastery
Religious Sites • Educational sites
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9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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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.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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147 reviews
Very good

Brooklyn, NY178 contributions
Jan 2020
One of the most picturesque locations for a monastery. You walk down a somewhat steep, but paved, hill and across a bridge to reach the monastery. The monastery itself is also quite beautiful, although the surrounding really overshadows the monastery itself.

Biggest issue is the way they admit visitors. When we were there, a large crowd push and shoves while waiting at the entrance, many of them from large tour groups. Our guide told us that smaller groups are allowed to enter without waiting, but that did not happen for us. The way that the groups are pushing on the door, it really creates a hazardous condition. Fridays are apparently more problematic as all tour groups are here because Mar Saba, another monastery nearby, is closed that day.
Written December 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

saul g
Tel Aviv, Israel1,118 contributions
Apr 2021
The truth : We were touring the region all day and as it was already late afternoon when we arrived (and we were running out of time) - we have decided not to walk all the way down the (Wadi Qelt) canyon , about half hour walk. But we did the 3 minutes walk to the observation deck/lookout point to discover a great panoramic view of the exterior of the stunning structure of the monastery . We shall be back definitely , to discover the interior .
Written April 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerusalem3 contributions
Sep 2011 • Solo
I have visited the St. George Greek Orthodox Monastery on a number of occasions.
To get there, entering from the main Jerusalem – Jericho highway, one turns left at Mitspe Yericho. This leads to the old Roman route that runs parallel to Wadi Kelt, a valley that cuts through the Judean desert from Jerusalem to Jericho. The winding road happens to be also the setting of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Driving down the meandering road one stops – en route to Jericho - at the sign. There is a breathtaking view from above the wadi of the St. George Greek Orthodox Monastery built into the side of the deep wadi.

There is quite a descent down and then a climb up to get to the monastery which may not be easy for the elderly. Inside, the monks are very helpful, and of course there is no charge to enter (but if you wish to make a small donation you may). There is water and sometimes refreshments available. There are some very nice icons and what one would expect to find in a monastery.

Above the monastery, up the steep steps, runs an aqueduct along the route of the ancient aqueduct from Jerusalem to Jericho and it is highly recommended to take this route for a hike, either in the direction towards Jericho or up the wadi to an old flour mill where Bedouin live in Wadi Kelt. But for this one must have water and be ready for a long hike of perhaps two hours or more. (Once there, there is a pool. It would take another hour to ascend up out of the wadi). In the summer months this can be very hot, but I have done it a lot. The area is quiet and peaceful and for those who like getting off the beaten track it’s a must!

Incidentally, it's possible to get to the monastery also from Jericho via the Wadi Al-Qelt road.
Written October 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stuttgart29 contributions
Feb 2017 • Solo
If you are foreigner and love arabic culture, then a great start point is Jericho, AubergInn highly recommended.

Hike to the monastery starts at Herods winter palace (which sounds more than it is, but anyway interesting), the very nicely kept foot path enters the valley at the right side upwards, or you can follow the small car road to the St. Georg bus parking on the left side of the valley ... both ways are very nice and fascinating, takes about 1hour to the monastery, another 15 min to the roman aquaduct valley crossing, about further 30 min to the canyon structure (take care of spring flooding there ... do IN NO WAY do this in case of danger of rainfall in the mountains / in Jerusalem area). There is a small natural "bath tub" there, where the first iron ladder comes (walking from bottom), but only small and in February 2017 already salty (probably in March gone). People told me, that you need another 1.5-2.5 hours to come to the "real bath tubs" further the valley up. If you stay at AubergInn in Jericho (highly recommended!) best take one of the free bicycles to drive to Herod's palace (otherwise 1 additional hour flat walking).

If you want to visit the monastery (which is super-great), then morning time required - only open 9h00-13h00, and you have to bring with you long trousers+shirt (for men), and women with trousers need a larger cloth, to put around their stomach, so that it looks like a bit like a long skirt. And if you want to enter the church, you need a special permission from the Greek Patriarchate (do not ask me how...) - but it is great also without church visit.

Unfortunately PUBLIC/Palestina transport to Jericho from Jerusalem seems to be very complicated currently (Feb 2017) ... if you want a relaxed Israel+Palestine travel, unfortunately currently rental car seems to be important (addding to the "car traffic infarct" Israel currently is suffering). If you use public transport they have the extremely bizarre and disturbing system that the Israel lines stop on holiday weekdays (Fr 2pm to Sat 6pm), and further the transport between Palestine cities and Jerusalem also is extremely hindered... . But Israel rental car from Jericho to Jerusalem on highway 1 is no problem at all, they always just "winked me through" (I did it 3 times in the last 6 years).
Written February 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerusalem, Israel202 contributions
Imagine you are walking on a path through the desert; all of a sudden, you come around a corner, and in the dry parched wilderness, you spot an oasis of green, with water. That is St. George's Monastery.
Heaven on earth. I just am leery of the burial chamber with the bones and skulls of former monks.
Written February 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Los Angeles, CA1,075 contributions
Oct 2019
The old monastery, whose construction started in 420 AD, is a cliff hugging, multi-layer complex, built into and blending perfectly into the walls of the Qadi Qelt, in the middle of nowhere, in the desolate emptiness of the Judean Desert. It's impressive, it's amazing and is something one will not easily forget...
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brian D
Jerusalem District, Israel92 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
As a licensed tour guide, I bring guests here all the time. It is 10 minutes off the main road that leads from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. It was the main road to Jericho 75 years ago.The road take one to a trail that leads to a beautiful lookout on top of The Prat Canyon and perched on the side of the cliffs is the Monastery of St George. A beautiful 1400 year old monastery form the Greek Orthodox church. Take advantage of it and go see it.
Written June 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kingston upon Thames, UK1,142 contributions
Dec 2015 • Couples
We hired a car and drove to St Georges on Christmas Eve. As soon as we got out of the car we were mobbed by vendors selling souvenirs, they also tried to sell us donkey rides to the monastery which is several hundred meters down in a deep gorge. We said no very firmly, but a guy with a donkey followed us down into the gorge and back, trying to sell us a donkey ride continuously and when that didn't work he just asked us for money.

When we got to the Monastery it was closed, I guess the monks were busy with there preparations for the Christmas, it would have been useful if we could have found this out before walking into the gorge.
Written January 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lansing, MI54 contributions
Feb 2013 • Friends
Make the turn off and drive up a winding and not too well marked road to one of two overlooks and you will be glad that you did. It is a beautiful view of the wadi and the incredible monastery built into the side of the cliff. If you decide to hike there or to Jericho make sure that you do not go alone and talk with locals about security and safety issues.
Written February 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

34 contributions
Mar 2017
east to access by car. there is a walk of about 1 km, down hill to the site itself. the entrence is free. visit the church with the mummyfied munk, and dont miss the cave on the upper level. on the way back you can walk (very steep) or you can hire a local with a donkey for about 10-15 $, and they will take you all the way up.
Written March 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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St. George's Monastery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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