Masada, Ein Gedi and View of Qumran
Judean Desert, Masada Ein Gedi Nature Reserv
Tour departs on: Thu – Tour won’t be operated on: 25/04/19, 17/10/19
We drive through the Judean Desert towards the Dead Sea passing the Inn of the Good Samaritan and the ancient city of Jericho. We take the funicular to the top of Masada where Herod built his fortress palace and where Jewish Zealots made their final stand against the Romans in 73AD. We follow the trail through the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve without a guide, then on our return journey we have roadside view of Qumran Caves, in which Dead Sea scrolls were discovered.
Our journey takes us south of Jerusalem into the Judean Desert in the direction of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. We see the Inn of the Good Samaritan and then stop for a moment at the sign which indicates that we are now going below sea level. Jericho, an ancient Biblical city, can be seen in the distance, it is thought to be one of the oldest continually occupied cities on the planet.
We travel along the shoreline of the Dead Sea to Masada which rises 59 meters above sea level from the rugged landscape. Unlike the ancient Romans we can take a cable car to the summit and look down on the Snake Path which slithers up the steep slope. The extensive excavations have uncovered stone houses, store rooms, a 1st century synagogue, water cisterns, swimming pool, bathhouses and a caldarium, the Roman version of a sauna with an elevated floor heated from underneath by an external furnace.
We return to the desert road and stop at Ein Gedi an oasis with lush green tropical plants and trees. We walk along the well maintained trail through the nature reserve following the bubbling stream which comes from a natural spring and we stop at the waterfalls which cascade over the desert rocks. On our way back towards Jerusalem we can see from the roadside the caves at Qumran, here the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
- This tour operates with a minimum of 2 participants
- Recommended to bring along: Comfortable walking shoes, bathing suits, hat and water.
- Ein Gedi Nature Reserve walk takes approx. 1.5 hours and is without a guide
- Tour may be bilingual (English and another language).
- Masada cable car will be closed for maintenance from 13 January 2019 till 27 January 2019, therefore within these dates, the itinerary of the tour will be changed.
- As an alternative to Masada, the tour will visit Qumran caves and Qasr el Yahud Baptismal Site.