You will experience the world's most incredible scenery and historical finds as you journey first to the Dead Sea and then on to Masada, a mountain fort that is now a national Jewish shrine, and world famous for its recognition by UNESCO for its unique structure and history.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you will first travel through the dramatic landscape of the Negev desert and descend 3,600 feet toward the Dead Sea - the lowest point on earth. Your first stop will be at the breathtaking location of Masada, the most spectacular ancient archaeological site in Israel. Upon arrival, you will ascend by cable car to the summit of this mountaintop fortress which was built by Herod the Great. Plenty of time will be allowed to explore the magnificent ancient ruins, which include Herod's three-tiered palace, the synagogue, the baths, the defending walls and the water cisterns that are still to this day considered an engineering feat.
After a morning of extraordinary vistas, you will be treated to a relaxing lunch overlooking the pale, still waters of the Dead Sea. Following your meal, you will be given the opportunity to experience the exquisite sensation of floating effortlessly upon the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea. With more salt and minerals than any other body of water in the world, the Dead Sea is considered to be a natural health and beauty spa.
Your afternoon continues with a picturesque drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran and the Qumran Visitor's Center. From this vantage point, the Qumran Caves are clearly visible. It was here in 1947 that a Bedouin shepherd boy discovered the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known biblical manuscripts in the world.
Departing Qumran, you'll ascend into the Judean Hills, sighting Jericho to the north as you make your way back to Ashdod. Undoubtedly, the impact of the remarkable sites you have seen will remain with you for many years to come.
Need to Know:
Note: The sights on this tour are not wheelchair accessible and therefore, it is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair. Walking atop Massada is on mostly natural earthen surfaces with loose stones at times. Those guests with mobility concerns are able to use the cable car, but will experience difficulties in exploring Masada. Seasonal clothing, flat, comfortable walking shoes, hat and sunscreen are suggested. Guests wishing to swim should bring a swimsuit. A towel, soap and shampoo will be available at the facility. Guests taking part in any water activities may do so at their own risk and responsibility. The order of sites visited may vary.