Jammain, Palestine


Spread across the top of a hill, Jamma’in is one of the true hidden gems of the West Bank. A large but open and spacious town on first appearances, there are several secrets lurking in its excellent Old Town. The restored palace and shady plaza are delightful, while the restored traditional olive press in the heart of the Old Town with a coffee shop next door is a fascinating and beautiful place. Stone cutting and agriculture are the key industries here, although they have really suffered due to the increased electricity cost and the price of stone since the second intifada. However, Jamma’in has the potential to thrive as a real tourist hot-spot. Plus, it has many different shops and places to eat.

Population: 6,227 (2007)

What To Do

The Old City has been wonderfully restored, and is a perfect example of what so many other towns and villages in the West Bank could become. The renovated historic centre is the work of RIWAQ and is now home to a school. A donkey stables marks the entrance to the site, which is built around a shady plaza and the restored palace of Dir Khalid. Steps lead up to a series of terraces, from where views of the town and the mountains and valleys beyond can be fully enjoyed. The striking bright blue dome of the new mosque stands out too.

In the heart of the very oldest part of town is an excellent new project, which involves a coffee shop and gardens located on the site of a traditional olive press and mill. ‘Babour’, as it is known, has been painstakingly restored with all the old equipment, and is fascinating to look around. While the recently opened coffee shop next door is a complete surprise, and a perfect place to relax with its wonderful surroundings. The houses in this area are the oldest in the town, some built over a thousand years ago, and are also well worth exploring.

Where To Eat

There are small restaurants serving traditional Palestinian food in the newer part of town, while Nablus, 16km away, has a great variety of dining options.

Where To Stay

Nablus and Ramallah are the places to find accommodation.