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215 215 9814

Mount of Olives Travel Guide: Notes for Exploring the Mount of Olives

May 22, 2023 12 min read.

Mount of Olives is a beautiful destination thanks to its religious importance and its enchanting natural environment. In this Mount of Olives travel guide you will find the necessary information to plan your vacation in this outstanding site in Israel.

Visiting Mount of Olives: General Information

Dare to make your trip to the Mount of Olives and discover the wonders of this treasure of Israel.

The Mount of Olives is a mountain range located east of the Old City of Jerusalem, in Israel, and is named after the olive groves that once covered its slopes. It has three peaks, the highest of which is 826 meters above sea level.

The geography of the Mount of Olives includes steep slopes and rocky terrain, with terraces and natural and man-made trails that provide access to the many religious and historical sites located on and around the mountain.

The hill is important in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and is home to several holy sites, including the Church of All Nations, the Chapel of the Ascension, and the Tomb of the Prophets. It is also believed to be the site where Jesus ascended into heaven and is a major pilgrimage site for Christians.

Constructions and vegetation on a sunny and cloudy day

Constructions and vegetation on a sunny and cloudy day

Picture of Robert Bye on Unsplash

History of the Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives has a rich and significant history dating back thousands of years. This mount has witnessed numerous historical and religious events.

In ancient times, the Mount of Olives was a place of strategic and symbolic importance. Its name is believed to come from the large number of olive trees that once covered the mountainside. Olive trees were a valuable resource and a symbol of prosperity in the region.

In the biblical context, the Mount of Olives is mentioned on several occasions. It is known as the place where King David fled from his son Absalom during a rebellion. He is also mentioned in the accounts of the prophet Zechariah and is credited with a role in the coming of the Messiah.

Also, this site is of great importance in Christianity given the appearance of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. According to the gospels, Jesus frequently visited this place during his ministry in Jerusalem. It is known as the site of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion.

Throughout the centuries, the Mount of Olives has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for Christians, Jews and Muslims. Several holy sites and cemeteries are located on the mountain, including churches, mosques, and the old Jewish cemetery.

Today, the Mount of Olives remains a place of great historical and religious importance. Its scenic beauty and its connection to faith continue to attract visitors and pilgrims from around the world, seeking to explore its legacy and enjoy its unique spirituality.

Location of Mount of Olives

Next, we show you where Mount of Olives is located:

Map of Mount of Olives on Google Maps

Points of Interest in Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives is a destination that brings together history, culture and beautiful landscapes, which makes it a must stop on your vacation in Israel, especially if you are interested in religious tourism in Jerusalem.

Below we will tell you about some of the most outstanding points of this destination so that you do not miss a thing during your visit.

Bells of a church

Bells of a church

Picture of Christian Burri on Unsplash

The Paternoster Church

A Catholic church built on the site where Jesus is said to have taught the Our Father. There is also the cave of teachings, discovered in 1910, in which Jesus gave several teachings and where a French princess was found buried, who had acquired the site in 1868.

The Tomb of Mary

A Christian pilgrimage site believed to be the burial place of the Virgin Mary.

Garden of Gethsemane

This garden is known for being the place where Jesus spent his last night before his arrest. It is a place of spiritual importance and has ancient olive trees.

Basilica of the Agony (Church of All Nations)

Located in the Garden of Gethsemane, this church is famous for its distinctive façade with golden mosaics. It is a place of worship and pilgrimage for Christians.

Tomb of the Prophets

It is an old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where several Biblical prophets are believed to be buried.

Dominus Flevit

This Catholic church has striking architecture and offers a panoramic view of Jerusalem. The name of the church means "The Lord wept", in reference to the tradition that Jesus wept over the destruction of Jerusalem.

Church of Santa Maria Magdalen

This Russian Orthodox church stands out for its golden domes and its Russian architectural style. It contains the remains of Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia and other members of the Russian Imperial family.

Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives

It is one of the oldest and holiest Jewish cemeteries in the world. It is believed to contain more than 150,000 tombs, some dating back thousands of years.

Jewish cementary

Jewish cementary

Picture of Snowscat on Unsplash

Augusta Victoria Hospital

A 19th century hospital providing medical care to Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Holidays on Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives is a place of great religious importance for various traditions, making it a popular destination during holidays. Here are some of the notable holidays celebrated on the Mount of Olives:

  1. Holy Week: Holy Week is an especially significant time for Christians and attracts pilgrims from all over the world. During this week, processions and celebrations take place on the Mount of Olives, including the Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem.
  2. Passover (Pesach): Passover, also known as Pesach, is one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar. During Passover, it is traditional for Jews to pay a visit to the Mount of Olives, particularly the old Jewish cemetery, to pay homage to their ancestors.
  3. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are two of the holiest holidays on the Jewish calendar. During these festivities, some Jews visit the Mount of Olives to pray and reflect.
  4. Doomsday (Eid al-Qiyamah): In Islam, the Mount of Olives is considered a holy place, and is believed to be the site of the Doomsday. Eid al-Qiyamah, or Judgment Day, is an important holiday for Muslims and draws devotees to the Mount of Olives to pray and reflect on the afterlife.

These are just a few examples of important holidays celebrated on the Mount of Olives. However, please note that the exact dates of these festivities vary each year according to the religious calendar and may be subject to change. If you plan to visit during a specific holiday, I recommend checking the dates and times of the events in advance.

Eating on the Mount of Olives

Eating on the Mount of Olives is a memorable experience that combines the rich history and spirituality of the place with the delicious local gastronomy. With an impressive panoramic view of Jerusalem, you will find various restaurants and cafes that offer traditional dishes and authentic flavors.

The restaurants on the Mount of Olives give you the opportunity to try typical Israeli and Mediterranean dishes, with fresh and tasty ingredients. From smooth and creamy hummus, crispy falafel to delicious kebabs and shawarmas, there is a wide variety of options to suit all tastes.

In addition, you will be able to enjoy the unique flavors of Palestinian and Arab cuisine, such as grilled lamb, mansaf (a traditional dish of rice and meat), and sweet and nutty baklava.

While you enjoy your meal, you will be able to soak up the special atmosphere of the place, surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and a feeling of peace and serenity. Don't forget to accompany your meal with a glass of herbal tea or a refreshing mint lemonade.

Eating on the Mount of Olives gives you the opportunity to savor the local culinary tradition while immersing yourself in the history and spirituality of the place. It is a unique experience that combines the pleasure of food with the natural and cultural beauty of Jerusalem.

Kebabs

Kebabs

Picture of Victoria Shes on Unsplash

How to Get to Mount of Olives

To get to the Mount of Olives, there are several transportation options from the center of Jerusalem. Here are some of the most common ways to get there:

  1. On foot: If you are in the Old City of Jerusalem, you can reach the Mount of Olives on foot. Take the Route of the Wall that will take you to the Puerta de los Leones and continue east until you reach the slope of the mountain.
  2. Bus: There are several bus lines that connect the center of Jerusalem with the Mount of Olives. You can take the number 75 bus from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station or the number 274 bus from the Jerusalem Train Station.
  3. Taxi: Taxis are also a convenient option to get to the Mount of Olives. You can find taxis at various ranks in the city or request one through transport applications.
  4. Organized tour: If you prefer a more guided option, you can join an organized tour that includes a visit to the Mount of Olives.

It is important to note that access to the Mount of Olives may be subject to restrictions or changes due to the political situation or religious events. It is recommended to check the current situation before planning your visit.

How to Move Around Mount of Olives

To move around the Mount of Olives, you have several options:

  1. On Foot: A popular and recommended way to explore the Mount of Olives is on foot. There are trails and streets that will take you to the different points of interest. In addition, walking will allow you to better appreciate the landscapes and beauty of the place.
  2. Taxi: You can find taxis available on the Mount of Olives. Ask the locals or look for designated taxi ranks. Taxis will provide comfort and convenience to move from one place to another in the bush.
  3. Bus tour: There are bus tours that cover the Mount of Olives and other places of interest in Jerusalem. These tours are often a popular option for those who want to visit multiple destinations and receive additional information about the history and points of interest of Mt.
  4. Bike Rental: If you like to pedal, you can rent a bike in Jerusalem and tour the Mount of Olives by bike. This will give you flexibility and allow you to explore at your own pace.

It is important to note that the Mount of Olives has steep slopes and uneven terrain in places, so some areas may not be suitable for certain modes of transportation. Also, remember to respect holy places and follow local rules and regulations during your visit.

Private Transfer in Mount of Olives

If you are looking for the most comfortable and safest option to get to the Mount of Olives and move carelessly around the city, here you will find the information you need to book your private transfer with Greca, with experienced drivers and no surprise charges.

When to Visit Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives can be visited year-round, but there are some considerations to keep in mind when planning your visit:

  1. Weather: The weather in Jerusalem can be quite varied. The most pleasant months to visit the Mount of Olives are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). During these periods, temperatures are generally mild and pleasant, making it easy to explore the area.
  2. Religious events: the Mount of Olives has great religious importance for Jews, Christians and Muslims, and is especially visited during religious holidays and events. If you want to experience the festive atmosphere and religious celebrations, you can plan your visit during festivities such as Easter for Christians or Judgment Day in Islam.
  3. Crowds: The Mount of Olives can get quite crowded during the peak tourist season, especially on religious holidays and on weekends. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, you may consider visiting on weekdays or during the low tourist season.
  4. Opening Hours: Some attractions on the Mount of Olives, such as churches and religious sites, may have specific opening and closing hours. Be sure to check the hours of the places you want to visit to plan your itinerary correctly.

Destinations Near Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives is an excellent destination to recharge your batteries thanks to its incredible natural beauty and fabulous cultural heritage.

In turn, due to its proximity to Galilee and Caesarea, many travelers combine their trip to the Mount of Olives with these destinations, which is why you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking to see the most wonderful landscapes? Do you want to know a fascinating culture? Do you want to enjoy a great gastronomic offer?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Mount of Olives, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our Mount of Olives travel guide and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

01
What are the opening hours of the Mount of Olives?

The Mount of Olives does not have a specific schedule, but it is recommended to visit it during the day.

02
What are the accommodation options on the Mount of Olives?

There are not many accommodation options in the mountains, but you can find hotels and hostels nearby.

03
Is any kind of special clothing required when visiting the Mount of Olives?

There is no specific dress code required, but it is advisable to dress modestly and respect religious places.

04
Can you take pictures on the Mount of Olives?

Yes, it is generally allowed to take pictures, but it is important to respect the indications and prohibitions in sacred places.

05
How much time does it take to explore the Mount of Olives?

The time required can vary, but it is recommended that you spend at least half a day exploring the main points of interest.

06
Is it safe to visit the Mount of Olives?

In general, the Mount of Olives is safe for visitors, but it is recommended to be vigilant and take normal safety precautions.

07
Are there tour guides available on the Mount of Olives?

Yes, tour guides are available who can provide detailed information on the sights and history of Mt.

08
Is there parking available near the Mount of Olives?

Yes, there are parking options available near the Mount of Olives, such as parking lots and designated areas for cars.

09
Is the general public allowed access to the cemeteries on the Mount of Olives?

Yes, the Mount of Olives cemeteries are open to the public and can be visited to appreciate their historical and religious significance.

10
What are the best panoramic views of the Mount of Olives?

Some of the best panoramic views of the Mount of Olives can be enjoyed from the top of the mount, especially from places like the Chapel of the Ascension and the Torre del Gallicantu.

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