Samua, Palestine


Samu’a is the southernmost town in the West Bank, but well worth making the trip to for its sheer beauty alone. The historic centre is today a hive of activity with various businesses, market stalls and street food vendors, while the surrounding residential areas are leafy and attractive. The remarkable stonework of the original houses and buildings is still visible at various spots throughout the town, plus there is a specific area of crumbling ruins which now has a grassy covering.

This is a relaxed and spacious town, with all of the facilities of a bigger Palestinian town, yet none of the hectic atmosphere. A sign in the centre reveals that Samu’a, just 12km from Hebron, has been aided by Japan with its infrastructure.

Population: 19,649 (2007)

What To Do

Samu’a is without doubt one of the most attractive towns in the southern West Bank, and a perfect example of the Palestine many people do not realise exists. Rather than a war-torn desert, this is a green, tranquil, charming town which welcomes visitors with open arms. Its historic centre is worth exploring, with its central road lined by imposing palms, as are the Old Town ruins.

Elsewhere, the remains of the old mosque stand directly in front of the new mosque in a gated enclosure. Across the road from this juxtaposition of mosques is the town’s oldest cemetery, still kept in immaculate condition. Samu’a is also just 12km south of Hebron, a remarkable, historic city still smarting from decades of conflict and political tension but well worth a visit to see for yourself.

Where To Eat

There are various typical Palestinian restaurants serving up the usual shawerma, chicken and falafel in the centre of town. Otherwise, head to Ras al Jora, a neighbourhood of Hebron which is famous for its dining scene.

Where To Stay

There are four hotels in Hebron, but there is a much greater variety in the more tourist-savvy areas of Bethlehem, Ramallah and of course Jerusalem.