Ancient history and the wonders of Mother Nature ' this private day trip to Masada and the Dead Sea from Tel Aviv packs them both into one day. With a private guide, drive through the Judean Desert to Masada, the UNESCO-listed mountaintop fortress-palace built by King Herod and last stronghold of the Jewish against the Romans. Ride a cable car to explore the ruins and then continue to the Dead Sea for a swim in the salt-dense waters and a therapeutic mud bath. Enjoy personalized attention from a guide on this private tour.
Start your tour with a pickup from your centrally located hotel or prearranged location in Tel Aviv, and travel by private vehicle through the Judean Desert to Masada, near the Dead Sea. As this is a private tour, feel free to ask your guide to customize your itinerary to suit your interests, perhaps with more time to enjoy a particular site.
As you travel, look out for the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the place linked with the famous biblical parable, and pass ancient Jericho, whose city walls were felled by the trumpets of the Israelites as told in the Old Testament.
After roughly 1.5 hours, get your first glimpse of the Dead Sea as you approach UNESCO-listed Masada, the mountain fortress-palace built by King Herod more than 2,000 years ago. Then, ride the cable car to the mountain top, and enjoy bird's eye views of its famous Snake Path, the steep route used by Herod's builders, as you ascend.
At the top, enjoy a guided tour of the ruins as you hear more about Herod and the tragic Jewish zealots who committed mass suicide here in the 1st century AD to evade the Romans. See Herod's bathhouses and other rooms, and explore the 1st-century synagogue built by the zealots.
Next, drive past the oasis of Ein Gedi toward the Dead Sea, catching sight of the Qumran Caves, where the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the 1940s, on the way.
Reach the lowest point on Earth ' 1,312 feet (400 meters) below sea level ' as you arrive at the Dead Sea, and admire the views over its sparkling waters and surrounding mountains. Then, enjoy a therapeutic mud bath and unforgettable swim in the salt-rich waters.
Later, ride back to Tel Aviv, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.