This exhilarating private tour starts when you are picked up and transported in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Ein Gedi is an oasis in the Judean Desert, on the shore of the Dead Sea. The reserve is famed for its streams and lush vegetation that offer a respite from the harsh desert heat. The oasis attracts animals including the ibex that walk along the narrow cliff ledges that flank the streams. The tour of Ein Gedi is on-foot and lasts about 3 hours following the route of Arugot Stream.
Along the way, there is a chance to stop and swim in the natural pools formed by waterfalls gushing through openings in the surrounding rocks. After the hike, stop at the adjacent Ein Gedi Kibbutz to see an excavated 1,500-year-old synagogue. The main feature of the synagogue remains is a beautiful floor mosaic of geometric shapes. One of the inscriptions on the mosaic alludes to a mysterious secret the community had. The incredible mosaic was discovered by accident in 1965 when the kibbutz was installing water pipes. Among the findings was an ancient scroll of Leviticus. The synagogue is proof that Jewish communities were living in the Judean Desert at the time.
The last stop on this private tour is the kibbutz Botanical Garden. Here local plant species and others brought from around the world can be seen side-by-side. There are exotic plants, endangered plant species, baobab trees, olive trees, pomegranate trees, and fig trees. The gardens include a cactus section, a statue garden, and a palm garden. There are several observation points where you can look out over the gardens and along the Dead Sea shore to Mount Sodom.
Additional Options in the Area:
1. Hike David Stream
2. Visit Masada
3. Tour Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered
4. Swim in the Dead Sea