Jerusalem is on a ridge surrounded by hills (to the north, south and west) and desert (to the east) When you feel like a break from the intensity of the city, head out to some of the surrounding areas for a change of pace.
West of downtown, but still within the city's borders, is the village of Ein Kerem, full of magnificent churches, artists studios, cafes and alleyways to explore. Further out in the same direction, stop at Sataf to see some spectacular views and take a hike down some hills where Biblical-era terraced farming has been revived.
On Jerusalem's southern outskirts lies Rachel's Tomb and Bethlehem, the Tisch Biblical Zoo and the Malcha Mall.
To the east, a few minutes drive will bring you into the Judean desert and the road to the Dead Sea, Masada and Jericho.