4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

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  • Location: Jerusalem, Israel
  • Duration:  9 hours (approx.)
Visit Masada and Ein Gedi, two must-see wonders of the Judean Desert, on a full-day tour from Jerusalem, led by a local guide! After traveling past the Dead Sea’s shores, ride by cable car to the ancient mountain fortress of Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the excavations of King Herod’s magnificent palace complex, and then travel to the nature reserve of Ein Gedi for a walk through the stunning natural oasis, nestled deep in the desert.

Highlights

  • Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi from Jerusalem
  • Travel through the Judean Desert, passing the Inn of the Good Samaritan and the Dead Sea shores
  • Ride by cable car to the top of Masada’s UNESCO-listed mountain fortress
  • Learn about Masada in the 1st century, during the days of King Herod and a brutal Roman invasion
  • Cool down from the heat with a walk through Ein Gedi, a glorious desert oasis
  • Relax with a hotel pickup and drop-off from central Jerusalem

What You Can Expect

Masada and Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Day Trip from Jerusalem

Admire the contrasting landscapes in Israel, from Masada to Ein Gedi

Start your day with a pickup from your central Jerusalem hotel, and then travel south along the dusty roads of the Judean Desert. Pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan – the setting of one of the New Testament’s most famous parables – and watch the sultry barren hills of the desert give way to the stone towers of Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities.

Continue alongside the shores of the Dead Sea, admiring its serene blue water juxtaposed against the sun-baked desert canyons, and then stop at the cable car station that leads to Masada. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to the ruins of King Herod’s ancient fortress, a palace complex that later became a besieged Jewish stronghold against a bloody Roman invasion.

Hop inside the cable car and ride to the mountain’s flat-topped summit while gazing down over Snake, a winding walkway that leads to the top. Explore Masada’s excavations with your guide, discovering ruined stone houses, bathhouses and a 1st-century synagogue and more. After learning about the site during the days of King Herod and during the Roman attack of 73 AD, return down the mountain by cable car.

Enjoy a quick break for lunch at a cafe at the base station (own expense), and then travel through the desert to Ein Gedi, a tropical nature reserve where you’ll spend your afternoon. Pay your entrance fee, and then head inside for a walk, following the streams that trickle past waterfalls, lush tropical foliage and rare birdlife. The oasis is said to have been the place where King David once hid from Kind Saul, and your guide will recount biblical stories from the site as you walk.

After exploring Ein Gedi, return to your coach and travel back to Jerusalem, passing the Qumran Caves where ancient biblical scrolls have been found. Your day trip then finishes at your central Jerusalem hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Completely satisfied with the tour. Amir gives insight to some of the reasons and passions involved as well as conveying a fascinating presentation of the historical significance of the place. My number1 guy for Israel tours.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Very good tour to Masada and Ein Gedi Nature Park. The lady guide was very good and took particular good care of the older members of the group.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Amir once again was AMAZING!! Masada and Ein Gedi were beautiful!

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better December 2014

Pick up was very late. We were then taken to a location where we had to get off one bus and onto a 2nd bus. It was after 10:00 AM by the time we left Jerusalem. Our 2nd bus had two tour groups on it; one for Masada and Ein Gedi and the other for Masada and the Dead Sea.

When we got to Masada the guide kept us moving fairly rapidly, with no time to explore on our own (missing places that others were going to). Often the guide moved quickly to a location and begun talking before the slower (older) part of the group caught up. I believe this was because of the late start and resulting time constraint.

After leaving Masada the Ein Gedi tour group was taken there and left on our own without a guide. The tour bus and guide continued on to the Dead Sea. The bus then came back to pick us up about one and a half hours after drop off. We then went to the Dead Sea and waited to pick up the guide and the people from that tour. Next we went to near Jericho and waited to meet another tour bus. People going to Jerusalem got on one of the buses and people going to Tel Aviv got onto the other bus (both buses had people from both locations). We ended up spending far more time waiting for buses and on buses than we did touring sites.

The description of Ein Gedi does not adequately describe the difficulty of the hike. A minor portion of the trail is on a blacktop path. The majority of it is on a rocky trail with steep slopes and carved steps with loose gravel and sand on them. Of course there were no railings. Many on the tour did not go on the entire trail and I (age 72 with so-so knees) felt it was too dangerous to hike more than a few yards as I quickly encountered downward steps where one was so small that I could not put both feet on the step. My very fit wife was extremely glad I didn't attempt it as the path and steps only got steeper in its undulations.

We did see Ibex, Rock Hyrax and a variety of birds and lizards, so not a total loss for me.

From USD $ 114.00

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Tour code: 5209JERMASSA

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