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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 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. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.


  • 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

This full-day (9 hours) tour begins with a Jerusalem hotel pickup in an air-conditioned minivan. Enjoy a 1-hour 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 archaeological 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 (own expense) at a cafe near the base station, and then continue through the desert to the beautiful Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and National Park (entrance fee not included). 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, 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 to Jerusalem — passing by the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Customer Reviews

jerry p

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.

Colin L

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!

Nancy M

3 star rating: Worth doing January 2017

Yael, our tri-lingual guide, was fantastic. We were especially interested in Ein Geri but didn't get dropped off there until 3 pm. The guard didn't want to sell us tickets because they ask people to leave at 3:30and close at 4 pm. We argued our way in and had to rush to the first sight. Despite running we weren't able to make it to the upper waterfall. Staff at Ein Gedi made us leave the grounds and stand out in the street waiting for the bus to pick us up. The 5 of us on the tour for Ein Gedi felt that part of the reason we were so late being dropped off was because we were on a Spanish/ English tour. Everything had to be said twice which took twice as long. This also rushed us ridiculously through lunch. We enjoyed the Masada and our tour but felt slighted on what we wanted to be the focus of our excursion. Viator should not combine Spanish/English tours without informing customers and should not combine Ein Gedi customers on a bus with those interested in the Dead Sea.

suzanne t

3 star rating: Worth doing October 2015

the sites were fabulous to see. The lunch at the restaurant was eaten in the buffet line as there was not enough time to sit and eat. It was the worse meal I had during my entire trip. Wish we had known about the museum upstairs. That would have. been better time spent. Not much time to take pictures. The tour was rushed

James V

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.

Joan United States of ... 

1 star rating: I do not recommend this October 2016

The guide Hava was probably the worst guide we've ever had. She was rude to the passengers and was more concerned about her own wellbeing as opposed to the travelers. This was clearly the Tour from Hell. First, we were told about 20 minutes into the tour and after we left that we would not be able to go to Ein Gedi, one of the reasons we took the tour. She said it was flooded but my husband called the site and found out it was in fact open. We then had to spend an hour at the Dead Sea with nothing to be able to appreciate it as we did not think we were gong there so brought no swinsuit, etc. instead we were stuck sitting outside with a multitude of bugs. The tour of Masada was poor at best. She seemed to know very little about it and instead kept referring the group to a Hollywood movie for her explanations, and in many cases, she was wrong. Instead of actually seeing The Who,ecsite she made us go back down early because she was hungry so we missed important parts of the normal tour as she did not covered only about 3/4 of the site. Other guides we heard while walking the site had a far better tour than what we got. Finally, she put herself over her group. One family was the only one from Tel Aviv on the tour others were all from Jerusalem. She was unaware that they had no way back to Tel Aviv and then in the next breath said she was getting off the bus soon so she could go back to Tel Aviv at the same time as the family was wondering how they were going to get home but was making little attempt to give this family her slot. Eventually it all worked out but only after the group started speaking out. She is the worst! You need to do better and get people who are knowledgeable and experienced on the sites they guide that was not the case here. A major disappointment for all of us on that tour.

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