MASADA AND THE DEAD SEA
SMALL GROUP TOUR
We start this exciting Masada and Dead Sea tour traveling south of Jerusalem through the Judean Hills. The tour passes the Inn of the Good Samaritan and pauses by the sign indicating sea level. From that point the tour descends beneath sea level to the Dead Sea at the lowest point on the planet. The tour travels along the edge of the Dead Sea where the turquoise water is lined with a white salt crust. Our first stop on this tour is Masada, a “mesa” or flat-topped rock outcrop rising 450m from the desert plains. We take a cable car to the plateau summit of Masada where there are breathtaking views of the Dead Sea. On Masada we tour the remains of King Herod’s palace fortress, built in 37-31AD. Excavation of Herod’s fortress revealed guardhouses, water cisterns, store rooms, palaces and a bathhouse as well mosaic and murals. Thanks to the dry climate and remote location the structures have been well preserved. About 100 years later during the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), a group of Jewish zealots took refuge on Masada. They held off the Romans for several months until the Romans built an earthen ramp to scale the steep cliffs. When Roman troops reached the plateau they found that all of the 960 Jews had killed themselves rather than be captured and forced to forsake their God. This event in Jewish history has made Masada a symbol of Jewish determination not to relinquish their independence.
The tour leaves Masada and takes you to the nearby Dead Sea past Ein Gedi and Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery. Our final stop on this tour is the Dead Sea where you can relax on the beach and unwind. Enjoy the natural health benefits of the Dead Sea environment including the salt-rich water, oxygen-rich air and mineral-rich black mud that you can use as a natural skin mask. Don’t leave before you have a shot of yourself floating in the Dead Sea!