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Jerusalem

Desert Safaris

Our most recommended Jerusalem Desert Safaris

From Jerusalem: Bethlehem, Jericho & Qasr al-Yahud

1. From Jerusalem: Bethlehem, Jericho & Qasr al-Yahud

Descend to the Judean desert, and see the Inn of the Good Samaritan on route. Look out over the remarkable moonscape of the breathtaking Judean desert. Continue on to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Stop at Zacchaeus' Sycamore to see one of the oldest Sycamore trees, which Zacchaeus climbed in order to spot Jesus. Visit the Mound of Ancient Jericho, where 25 ancient cities were uncovered. Enter Jericho, which was founded in 8,000 BC, and is the oldest Jewish settlement, captured by Joshua and Israel in 1,200 BC. Stop for an overview of Mt. Temptation, where Satan endeavored to tempt Jesus, and see of the oasis of Jericho and Elisha's Spring. Depart Jericho to travel to the Judean mountains and the city of Bethlehem. Visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David, whose name literally translates as “City of Bread,” due to the wheat crop that grew in the region, the city where according to Christian tradition, it is the birthplace of Jesus, and undoubtedly one of the most biblical sites on earth. Discover the Church of the Nativity, and the cave where Jesus was born. See Manger Square, where Jesus was placed after his birth. Explore the Greek and the Catholic Church before continuing with an overview of Shepherd's Fields.  Enjoy round-trip transfers from Jerusalem and the services of an English-speaking guide, on this essential tour of biblical sites and fantastic panoramic views.

From Jerusalem: Petra & Wadi Rum 3-Day Tour

2. From Jerusalem: Petra & Wadi Rum 3-Day Tour

Day 1: Depart Tel Aviv early in the morning. As you drive through Jerusalem, enjoy the stunning views of the Judean Desert landscape along the Israeli side of the Jordan valley, on the way to the Allenby Border Crossing.  Your first stop is Jerash, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman towns. Journey through time as you walk the colonnaded streets behind the impressive Hadrian’s Arch, and discover the Greco-Roman architecture telling 4,000 years of Mediterranean history. After lunch at a local restaurant, head to the capital to learn about Amman’s cultural importance and eventful past, featuring palaces, a museum and the Temple of Hercules, and panoramic views across the city. Drive to a Bedouin camp near Petra, savor a traditional dinner, enjoy authentic Bedouin hospitality beneath the clear desert skies and listen to local music, before heading to rest in your tent’s comfortable bed. Day 2: After breakfast, take a day to explore Petra, carved into the red stone by the Nabataeans around 2,000 years ago. Hear about Petra’s complex history, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, explore the sites by yourself, and admire the Hellenistic architecture, before heading back for dinner. Day 3: Your last day starts with an exciting ride through the exquisite and virtually untouched desert landscape of Wadi Rum. A 4x4 jeep will take you to stunning sights and viewpoints, past towering cliffs of weathered stone and desert animals. After lunch at a local restaurant, head to the Allenby Bridge border crossing, and by late evening arrive back in Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Guided Tour

3. From Jerusalem: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Guided Tour

Begin your full-day excursion with a drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region. Stop at the foot of Mount Masada, the ancient fortress constructed in Roman times. Ascend Masada by cable car, for an additional fee and explore the site at your own pace. Continue to Ein Gedi, a nature reserve and oasis where you can enjoy a short hike. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Dead Sea and a private beach and spa. Float in the healing waters and immerse yourself in the therapeutic mud.

Masada & Dead Sea Tour: Full-Day from Jerusalem

4. Masada & Dead Sea Tour: Full-Day from Jerusalem

Start the day with pick-up from your hotel in Jerusalem and head to the Dead Sea, via the Judean hills. Your drive continues from there along the shores of the Dead Sea, to the desert fortress of Masada. Arrive at Masada, where your guide will tell you about the heroic story of the Jewish fighters. You’ll ascend Masada by cable car and then tour the mountain fortress that was built by King Herod. This is the spot where the Zealots of the 1st century made their last stand against the Roman troops. You’ll explore the site to see the remains of the walls, palaces, synagogue, water cisterns, mosaic floors and Roman baths. When you've completed this part of the tour, descend Masada by cable car. Your next destination is the Dead Sea. Its shores are the lowest point on dry land on earth! You’ll have the opportunity to float and swim in the Dead Sea waters that many believe have special therapeutic effects. Please note: from 17th to 23rd January 2019, the visit to Massasa will be replaced by a visit to Qumeran and Ein Gedi nature reserve.

From Jerusalem: Petra 2-Day Tour w/ Meals

5. From Jerusalem: Petra 2-Day Tour w/ Meals

Our two fully-packed days begin in Jerusalem, as we head toward the Jordanian border. We cross at the King Hussein / Allenby border, and enter Jordan, driving through the Judean desert for about an hour. We continue towards Madaba, an ancient Jordanian city, and go up to the viewpoint of Mount Nebo. Then we will have lunch and go visit Kerak known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region. From here we will go to a Bedouin camp near Petra where you will enjoy Bedouin hospitality, including an Arab-style dinner and a comfortable bed for the night. Before going to sleep, sit beneath the clear desert skies and stargaze, as you drink a cup of delicious Bedouin tea. On the second day, we will tour Petra. One of the seven wonders of the world, and Jordan’s most treasured attraction, Petra is an unforgettable place. It was carved into the red rocks of the soaring cliffs in the early 1st century as the tomb of a Nabataean king and was hidden under sand for centuries before recently becoming accessible again. We will enter through the Siq, a narrow gorge, and tour the Treasury and Amphitheater with our guide who will explain the sites and history as you marvel at the beauty of each structure. Then you will have free time to continue individually as you wish: climb to the Royal Tombs, walk down the Roman Cardo, hike up to the Monastery, and explore the different sites. We will meet up for lunch in Wadi Musa before returning back to Jerusalem via the Allenby border crossing. This fully guided tour, including full transportation and comprehensive information, can be further enhanced by using our travel app for smartphones and tablets. The app provides you with maps, information, and pictures that can be downloaded for free on our site before you embark on the trip so it will not require an internet connection. You can also explore the sites on your own, without the guide, if you prefer to do so.

Masada at Sunrise, Ein Gedi, & Dead Sea from Jerusalem

6. Masada at Sunrise, Ein Gedi, & Dead Sea from Jerusalem

From the Old City of Jerusalem, drive to Southern Israel for a brilliant day amongst nature. Hike in the cool darkness to the very top of the ancient desert fortress of Masada before bathing in the healing, salty waters of the Dead Sea. You will watch the day begin with a spectacular sunrise over the Moab Mountains and the Judean Desert. Then at the top of the mountain, discover the history of one the greatest Jewish symbols of hope and pride. You will ascend and descend the mountain fortress by the famous Snake Path. Then, continue on to the real highlight of the tour, a walk through the stunning Ein Gedi nature reserve with its natural springs, waterfalls and amazing desert plants and wildlife. After your long walk you will be ready to rest your tired feet and float effortlessly in the healing waters of the Dead Sea or take a bath in the therapeutic mud at the lowest place on Earth: A truly unique experience that will leave you relaxed and fortified. Once fully refreshed and treated, you will be ready to make your homeward journey to Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem: Masada and Dead Sea Private Tour

7. From Jerusalem: Masada and Dead Sea Private Tour

See Masada, float in the Dead Sea, and descend through the Jordan River Valley on this private day tour from Jerusalem. Learn about the history of each site and experience the beauty and rich history of the area. Begin the Masada and Dead Sea private tour by descending through the Jordan valley with Jericho in the distance and imagine the Israelites crossing the Jordan River into the promised land. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to reach Masada and ascend via cable car, taking the opportunity to look down at the snake path used thousands of years ago by King Herod. Learn the history of Masada, and how it was one of the last Jewish strongholds against the Romans, where they were under siege atop the mountain. See the well-preserved synagogue, proving that synagogues existed during the second temple period, and see the first piece of parchment discovered by Israeli archaeologists. Explore the famous bathhouse, swimming pool, and storehouses, and gain a real insight into the lives of those under siege on Masada. Following the descent from Masada, visit Ein Gedi, where David is said to have taken refuge, hiding from the wrath of King Saul. Make a stop to see beautiful waterfalls and freshwater pools. Next, stop with the guide at the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Experience the Dead Sea resort, where visitors can enjoy the floating sensation in the waters of the Dead Sea and cover their bodies in the mineral-rich muds, said to have maintained Cleopatra’s youthful looks. Wash the mud off in a Sulphur pool nearby before returning to your hotel.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Bethlehem & Dead Sea Private Tour

8. From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Bethlehem & Dead Sea Private Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Then, drive across the Palestinian border to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Visit the ancient Nativity Church and explore the Nativity and Manger grottoes. Make your way to the Old City of Jerusalem. Enter the Old City at the Jaffa Gate and enjoy the views of King David's Citadel. Walk through the colorful Christian Quarter of the Old City. Visit the Holy Sepulcher Church to see the Golgotha and Jesus' Tomb. Enjoy some time for lunch at one of the local restaurants in the Old City. Then, continue the tour by a scenic drive across the Judea Desert to the Dead Sea. Visit the famous Dead Sea Resort at Kalia to enjoy a swim in the salty Dead Sea. Afterwards, be returned to your hotel in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv

Frequently asked questions about Jerusalem Desert Safaris

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Other Sightseeing Options in Jerusalem

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What people are saying about Jerusalem

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

based on 19 reviews

The trip was just as advertised -- we got to see Masada and the Dead Sea. Couple quick items worth mentioning: (1) Communication was very good, so I knew what was happening (2) If your pickup is at the Jerusalem Gold Hotel, be aware that the hotel entrance (and lobby) are *not* on Jaffa Street, you have to go up the steps to the left of the building (3) There is no stop near Masada to get a good view of the mountain itself, the bus goes right up to the Masada visitor center. This is not a huge deal, but I think a 5 min stop a half mile away would add a nice view

This tour is very impressive and it was optimally organized. Our guide Anat was able to provide exhaustive information on all sightseeing points. She even took photos and sent them to us after the tour. Very high praise.

It was a lot of fun. Make sure to bring snacks. Beware lunch was at the Dead Sea (at 2:30) which made the Dead Sea portion tightly packed and the lunch options at the resort aren't that great.

Wonderful trip with great tour guide Anat and driver Yosheley (unsure of spelling). They made the tour fun, interactive, full of history and exciting!

Amazing experience! The tour guide was very knowledgeable, as well as comical. Wish I could do it all again!