Enjoy the natural beauty and history of Masada and Ein Gedi, two of the most popular sites in the Judean Desert, on this full-day guided private tour. Take a cable car to the top of UNESCO-listed Masada, an ancient mountain fortress and explore the excavations of King Herod’s palace complex. Then, take a hike through one of the most beautiful places in Israel, the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.
This tour begins with a hotel pickup in an air-conditioned minivan. Enjoy a drive through the Judean Desert, past biblical sites like the Inn of the Good Samaritan and Jericho, the oldest city in the world, along the way. First, stop at the ancient mountain fortress of Masada, for a cable car ride to the top. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Masada is located in the Judean Desert and situated on top of an isolated rock plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. Aside from admiring the breathtaking view from the summit, spend some time exploring the archeological ruins here, originally a palace complex built in the style of the early Roman Empire by Herod the Great, King of Judaea.
Travel back down the mountain by cable car and take a break for lunch at a cafe near the base station and then continue through the desert to the beautiful Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and National Park. This is one of Israel’s premier hiking spots with a wide variety of landscapes, waterfalls and botanical gardens. Take a hike along one of the trails. See herds of ibex and groups of hyrax, which visitors can see up close. Other animals include foxes, wolves, and hyenas, even spotted leopards. There are two year-round streams and four springs. Plant life includes acacia, the Christ’s thorn and Apple of Sodom alongside giant reed and cattail. It is believed that the oasis is where King David once hid from King Saul.
The tour concludes here, after which you board the minivan for a return trip passing by the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.