Travel into the heart of the Judean Desert on a day trip from Tel Aviv, and visit two of Israel's must-see sites: the mountain-top fortress of Masada and Edi Gedi ' a stunning nature reserve and desert oasis. After riding to the Masada's summit by cable car, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site with a guide, discovering the ruins of King Herod's ancient palace complex. In the afternoon, travel to Ein Gedi, and cool down with a walk around the oasis' waterfalls.
Leave your Tel Aviv hotel and travel through the barren Judean Desert that stretches around the city. 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. A stop at Ahava factory, located in a Kibbutz named Mitzpe Shalem about 40 Km northern to Masada maybe included if time permits, however the stop is not a mandatory part of the itinerary. The duration of the visit is about 30 minutes and includes Cafeteria, restroom opportunity and a chance to buy the products from the Factory store for those who are interested.
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 Tel Aviv, passing the Qumran Caves where ancient biblical scrolls have been found. Your day trip then finishes at your central Tel Aviv hotel.