After early-hours pickup in central Tel Aviv, travel by air-conditioned vehicle through the Judean Desert to Masada, perhaps catching up on sleep on route.
After about 2.5 hours, head through the gates (own expense) below the mountain: where a UNESCO-listed, ruined 1st century-BC fortress sits on the summit. Then, set out independently to make the challenging 1- to 1.5-hour hike upward, following a pathway to the top.
At the summit, absorb the spectacular sunrise: watching as the sun ascends over Jordan’s Moab mountains and the Dead Sea. Then, explore the fortress remnants before descending and continuing to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, an idyllic oasis of palms, waterfalls, and pools.
Enter the reserve (own expense), and enjoy about two hours to explore the trails. Admire the fairy tale-like waterfalls, caves, and springs, and watch for wildlife like the desert ibex.
Next, travel to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, and enjoy ample time to enjoy the unique setting. Visit a private beach to float in the salt-heavy waters and if you wish, slather yourself in the mineral-rich, therapeutic mud.
Finally, journey back to Tel Aviv, where your trip ends at about 2pm at the starting point.