Located just 25 minutes drive away from Jerusalem, the Dead Sea provides a unique set of attractions in an enchanting geographical unit – The Judean Desert. Departing from Jerusalem, the landscape changes quickly, as we descend to the lowest (and saltiest!..) place in the world.
Possibly stopping by the “Sea Level” sign for a photo op. and a Camel Ride , we later pass by Jericho , and head first to Masada . Masada was built by King Herod, but is better known for the last stand of the Jews at the end of the Great Jewish Revolt (66-70 CE).
The dramatic story is enhanced by rich archaeological remains and a well planned visitors center. The most important finds are on display at the new Masada Museum .
In nearby Ein Gedi we can have lunch and then stroll in the beautiful botanical gardens of the kibbutz. We can then head to Ein-Gedi’s Nature Reserve , and can either hike and swim in Nahal David, or explore the well preserved mosaic floor of Ein-Gedi’s ancient synagogue .
On the way back we can point to the PEF Rock , and also stop and visit the site of Qumran , famous for the Dead Sea Scrolls . More then 970 scrolls were hidden in 11 caves around Qumran some 2000 years ago. Touring the site, we will review the finds and assess their importance, especially to the study of Early Christianity.
But of course a tour of the Dead Sea is not complete with out a swim in the Dead Sea itself!.
Known for its therapeutic water and mud, we can experience all of this at one of the beaches along the western shores.
Rejuvenated, wet, tired, and happy, we are ready to return to Jerusalem.
|The Dead Sea on Wikipedia|
|The Dead Sea Region Attractions on Tripadvisor|
|The Dead Sea on Google Maps|
|Recommended Hotels at the Dead Sea|
|Recommended Restaurants in the South|
|Recommended Wineries in the South|
Additional Attractions near the Dead Sea
|– Conduct a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony on Masada .|
|A new unique attraction to experience the Dead Sea by a Sail on the Dead Sea .|
|– Drive to the viewpoint of St. George Monastery , and possibly hike along Wadi Qelt to Ein-Prat .|
|– Visit “Genesis Land“ experiencing Abraham style hospitality and camel ride, and nearby at the Tekhelet Factory learno how Biblical Tsitsit were made.|
|– Visit the Good Samaritan Inn , traditional Holy Christian site of combined with a unique and attractive museum of ancient mosaic floors.|
|– Visit archaeological remains of the Monastery of Euthymius , and Monastery of Martyrius , and the museum of the artist Moshe Castel.|
|– Reach the Jordan River at the traditional Baptism site of Jesus by john the Baptist (Qasr El-Yahud / “el-Maghtas”) . Continue to Deir Hajla monastery and the Laura of Gerasimus .|
|– if army permits, drive also along the border and visit historical Beit-HaAravah site and King Abdullah bridge|
|– 4×4 tour in the Judean Desert, reaching Mar Saba Monastery , Jabel Muntar – Biblical Azazel – mountain of the sacrifice of the escape goat, and Hyrcania Secret Tunnel .|
|– returning through the Negev and visit sites such as Tel Arad , Yatir Winery, the Negev Brigade Memorial , Abraham’s Well , ancient Tel Be’er Sheva , modern Beer-Sheba , and the Air-Force Museum. If passing on Thursday morning, visit also the Bedouin Market .|
|– stay in one of the hotels at Dead Sea, and drive down to Eilat the next day, possibly through Ramon Crater , Mamshit , Ben Gurion’s Tomb and Hut , Avdat , and Ein Avdat.|
|– Stay in Mitzpe Ramon , and visit Ramon Crater , Ramon Crater Visitors Center , and possibly Mount Karkom , believed by some to be Mount Sinai!.|
|– If staying a few nights in Eilat , we can snorkel on the Red Sea, hike the“Red Canyon” , go to“Top 94” extreme park, or cross the border for a day tour of Petra .|
|– Visit the antiquities and attractions of Jericho : The Biblical Mound (Tel el-Sultan ), Elisha’s Spring , Quarantal monastery, Sycamore Zacchaeus Tree, and Herodian palatial remains at Tulul abu el-alayiq , Hisham’s Palace . (will be done by an Christian Arab guide colleague Daniel Bishara ).|