Dead Sea Region, Israel
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12 hours (Approx.)
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Overview

Designed with the time constraints of travel in mind, this 12-hour tour allows you to tick off Masada Fortress, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and the Dead Sea — three of Israel’s most popular attractions — in just one day. Departing Jerusalem with your driver, you’ll be rewarded with a majestic desert sunrise from the UNESCO-listed Masada Fortress after a strenuous hike. Observe exotic wildlife in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and bathe and be buoyant in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Entrance to Masada and Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve are not included.
  • 12-hour tour of Masada Fortress, Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve, and the Dead Sea from Jerusalem
  • Idea for travelers with time constraints
  • Watch a desert sunrise from the UNESCO-listed Masada Fortress after a challenging hike
  • Visit an oasis and look out for wildlife in Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Float in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea
Your tour begins with pickup from the Mamilla Hotel on Shlomo ha-Melekh Street at 4am in winter time and 3am during the remainder of the year. Following a 1.5-hour drive — a perfect time to catch up on sleep! — you’ll arrive at the base of Masada Mountain, crowned by the UNESCO-listed Masada Fortress.
While your driver waits at the mountain’s base, you’ll embark on a challenging 1-hour hike to the mountain’s summit to watch a desert sunrise. Enjoy free time to explore the ruins before making your descent and reconvening with your driver.
Your next stop, following a 1-hour drive, is the Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve. Follow your choice of well-marked hiking trails independently, admiring waterfalls, caves, and wadis, for approximately two hours and then return to the vehicle for the journey to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on planet earth.
On arrival at a private Dead Sea beach resort, you’ll have ample free time to float and flounder in the salt-saturated water, which are reputed to have healing properties. After drying off and showering, you’ll return to your original departure point in Jerusalem at 1pm.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

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e
, Dec 2017

We really enjoyed our experience. We knew that we would have a guided tour but that's a compromise we were willing to take in order to hike to the Masada Fortress. It took us exactly 32 minutes to get up there but we were really going at a fast pace because we wanted to make sure that we didn't miss the sunrise. It was well worth it, gorgeous sunrise.

FYI, we stopped on our way to Masada at a little store for a bathroom break where we could also purchase water, coffee, snacks...

j
, Dec 2017

The walk up is not 45 minutes - down yes but not up. Everyone struggled. The other two experiences are rushed. Everything is great and the driver was helpful but just know you won't be spending a lot of time at each location. It's great to do it all in one day if you have limited time.

C
, Oct 2017

Fantastic trip. An early start but worth it to see the sunrise. Quite a hike to the top, take some water. A nice stop at En Gedi which is very pretty. Absolutely loved the Dead Sea. We were taken to the private area and also had opportunities to purchase Dead Sea goods. Lovely driver but be prepared for lots of chatting on phones whilst driving!

J
, Jan 2017

Seeing these sights is worthwhile, but the logistics need improvement. First, despite the fact that the tour itinerary stipulated a 4:00 AM departure from the pick-up location, we sat in the vehicle waiting for almost half an hour while the driver tried to figure out what to do about one passenger not on his list ultimately, he told her she could not be on the tour--something he could have done easily in the first five minutes. Then, to make up for lost time, he drove from Jerusalem to Masada like the proverbial bat out of hell, taking curves much too quickly. He got us to the base of Masada just in time for us to make the 45 minute extremely strenuous hike to the summit by sunrise. It would have been far easier had we arrived at Masada earlier, as it took everything we could muster to make it to the top on time.

After Masada, we hiked in the Ein-Gedi nature reserve, which was lovely. Finally, we went to the Dead Sea after a stop at the factory making Dead Sea products, not on the itinerary, but a good opportunity to buy these and because there was no warning about rocks, I ended up with deep gashes on my feet and legs, as they were quite slippery and the breakers threw me off balance as well.

As I mentioned earlier, all of these sights are well worth seeing. The problem is that this tour is unguided which is stipulated, and really should be guided. It is disappointing to be at the summit of Masada with no guide to describe the ruins at the top. Similarly, it would be immensely helpful to have guidance at the Dead Sea. Surprisingly, the driver who was also our driver for our tour to the north spoke very little English, and in this case, depended on a young woman who was a U.S. American in the IDF as a translator. It was lucky for him and for all of us that she happened to be on the tour!


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