Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
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Approximately 11 Hours
From the lofty heights of Masada to the lowest point on earth at the Dead Sea, this tour takes you to the heart of Israel. Leave Ashdod port and drive to the Masada Fortress via Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. High above the Dead Sea’s desolate landscape is Masada. In King Herod’s day, it was a luxury refuge complete with magnificent palaces and excavated rock cisterns to supply water. Around AD 73, after a three-year-long Roman siege, more than 950 Jews took their own lives at Masada rather than face a future of slavery. A cable car will convey you to the summit for a walk around the site of this last stand. Among the fascinating sights are the wall, northern palace, synagogue, western palace, Roman ramp and siege camps. After your cable car descent, you will have time to shop before driving to lunch at a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Later you may choose to take a swim in these mineral-rich waters that are so salty you can’t sink! After a day steeped in history, you will return to Ashdod.
Travel time to Masada is approximately 2½ hours each way. Bring sunscreen and a hat. If you plan to take a dip in the Dead Sea, bring an old swimsuit as the water can cause discoloration. Aqua shoes are also recommended. Towels and lockers are provided at the hotel. In the event of flash floods in the Judean Desert the tour will not pass by Qumran.