A brief overview of the tour
Pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan on the descent through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea. Ascend Masada by cable car and see the remains of the Herodian fortress where the Zealots were overcome by the Romans in 73 CE. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a mud bath and a swim in the Dead Sea. On the return journey view the oasis of Ein Gedi, the caves at Qumran in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and Jericho, the oldest city in the world.
Important and useful notes
A detailed description of the tour
As we descend 1,200 meters from Jerusalem through the wilderness of the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, we pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan and stop briefly at the “sea level” marker. In the distance we see Jericho, the oldest city in the world, perhaps due to its luxuriant oasis and its proximity to the Dead Sea, an ancient source of salt and we recall the conquest of Jericho by the Israelite tribes, led by Joshua, who had just crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. (Josh 6).
We continue along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. As we ascend in the cable car, we look down at the Snake path which was used two thousand years ago when King Herod built this fortress like palace. In fact, there were two palaces, as well as a swimming pool and a well-preserved beautiful bath-house.
Maintained by a small Roman legion after the death of Herod, it was seized by Jewish zealots at the beginning of the Jewish revolt against the Romans which culminated in the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. We stand over the ramp, built for the Romans by their Jewish slaves, which facilitated the breaching of the wall after three years of siege.
The synagogue, which was built by Herod, proved conclusively to those who doubted that there were synagogues even while the Second Temple stood. We see where the first piece of parchment to be discovered in an Israeli archaeological excavation was found. And on it, legible to the naked eye were the words of the prophet Ezekiel, the “dry bones” prophecy, ending with the promise “I will take the children of Israel from among the nations … and bring them in to their own land … and the nations shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel …” (Ezek 37)
On our return journey we pass the oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from the wrath of King Saul (I Sam 24:1ff) and Qumran where the two thousand year old Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Finally we enjoy a therapeutic swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, where the water is almost 35% salt and even those who cannot swim can float.
Short video of the tour
Reviews related to this tour
"What a perfect day. A big thank-you to our guide who was funny and informative at the same time. I'd been to Masada about 20 years ago but without a guide and this time I learnt so much more. The dip in the Dead Sea was the icing on the cake and really did my tired old bones some good! "Pensioner, Munich, Germany
"I booked four tours with Bein Harim and managed to see almost the whole country in a week. Masada was better than I expected and although I hadn't heard of it before I was impressed. Dead Sea was really cool! "Adam Greener, NYC, USA
"Very unique experience."Tsubasa and Akane Satou, Japan
"We wouldn't have seen the southern part of Israel if it wasn't for this tour so I'm glad we got out of the cities and saw some of the desert and rural areas. Also the Dead Sea was fantastic, kids loved it!"Buchanan Family, New Zealand
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