Located just 25 minutes drive away from Jerusalem, the region of Dead Sea provides a unique set of attractions in an enchanting landscape. Possibly stopping by the “Sea Level” sign for a photo oppurtunity and a Camel Ride , we later pass by Jericho , and head first to Masada .
Masada was mostly built by King Herod as an impreganble desert fortress, but is better known for the last stand of the Jews at the end of the Great Jewish Revolt (66-74 CE), who favored death to Roman slavery.
The dramatic story is enhanced by the well preserved remains, some of which are on display at the 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 , that bears some intruiging inscriptions.
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 of the Dead Sea.
Rejuvenated, wet, tired, and content, we are ready to return to Jerusalem. On the way back, if time and will permits, we can experience a visit to the Bapstism site (Qasr El-Yahud) , or a view of Saint George Monastery .
A video of me presenting Masada to “The Watchman” Erick Stackelbeck, on TBN
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Additional Attractions near the Dead Sea
Try a new unique attraction to experience the Dead Sea by a Sail on the Dead Sea
Visit the Good Samaritan Inn , traditional Holy Christian site of combined with a unique and attractive museum of ancient mosaic floors.
If army permits, drive also along the border and visit historical Beit-HaAravah site and King Abdullah bridge .
Return 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 .
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 ).