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Masada, Israel

Masada, Israel: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Tel Aviv: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

1. From Tel Aviv: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

Embark on a full-day guided tour from Tel Aviv to the Judean Hills and the shores of the Dead Sea by bus. Visit the ancient palace of Masada, ride a cable car, and admire the Qumran caves on your drive back. Perched on a high plateau, the ancient fortified palace of Masada became a refuge for Zealots who took a stand against the Romans, until the mass suicide of the zealots in 73 AD. The ruins sit precariously on a plateau some 1,300 feet above sea level and measure 2,000-foot long by 1,000-foot wide. They boast extraordinary views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. It is an exhausting climb, but we will ascend by cable car to make life easier. Explore the fortress built by King Herod in around 37 BC. Visit the remains of the palaces and see mosaic floors, Roman baths, and other findings. Masada was also home to the oldest synagogue in Israel, but one of the most remarkable features is the 12 water cisterns, each with a capacity of up to 140,000 cubic feet. Following the tour of Masada, you will drive to the Dead Sea Mineral Beach located in the Jordan Rift Valley, between Jordan and the West Bank. It is the lowest place on earth and its high density of salt makes for a unique experience as you float on the beautiful aquamarine surface. Take a mud bath and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the natural Dead Sea mud. You will then drive back to Tel Aviv, with an on-route view of the Qumran cave, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Guided Tour

2. From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of the Masada Fortress and take in the sweeping views of the Judean Desert. Travel in a comfortable and airconditioned van to the nature reserve of Ein Gedi before floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Depart Tel Aviv. Be driven through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region, the lowest on earth. Heading south alongside the Dead Sea, reach the foot of Mount Masada, the ancient fortress which was constructed in Roman times and is famous as the location of an iconic story of heroism. At 9:00 AM ascend Masada by cable car and explore the site. At 11:00 AM continue to Ein Gedi, a beautiful nature reserve and oasis where you will have a chance to take a short hike or walk through the cooling and beautiful surroundings. After Ein Gedi, continue to the Dead Sea where you will access a private beach and have a chance to float in the famous waters and immerse in the muds that are so famous all around the world. Return to your hotel in Tel Aviv in the early evening.

From Ashdod Port: Masada and Dead Sea Guided Day Trip

3. From Ashdod Port: Masada and Dead Sea Guided Day Trip

The moment you disembark from your cruise ship in Ashdod port you’ll be in the capable hands of a professional tour guide. The day begins with a drive south through ever-changing landscapes until you reach the Judaean Mountains. Then enjoy the thrill of the winding road that takes you down below sea level to the lowest point on Earth. We pause for a moment to enjoy the view and take a photo of the sign indicating that we are now going beneath sea level. Our first stop is at Masada, a massive rock outcrop 434m-high (1,424ft). Ride the cable car to Masada’s flat summit where there are incredible views of the desert and the Dead Sea below. Your guide will give you a tour of the remaining structures from King Herod’s palace-fortress. Find out about the history of Masada, and how it served as an untouchable refuge for Herod and later for Jewish rebels. Learn how King Herod built this palace complex in 37BC-31BC, and see mosaics and archaeological remains of a Roman bathhouse, storerooms, guardhouse, palaces, and more. At the end of the Masada tour, you can spend time in the Masada Museum located at the foot of the mount. The museum holds more than 500 artifacts discovered at Masada, and there is an informative movie about Masada’s history. We continue from Masada to Ein Bokek, a hotel and resort area on the shore of the Dead Sea. Here you can enjoy the Ein Bokek beach. The tour will stop for a lunch break either at a restaurant at the foot of Masada or at the beach. Spend the remaining time relaxing on the beach, and enjoying the unique environment of the Dead Sea. Try smothering your skin in the mineral-rich black Dead Sea mud, or float in the hypersaline water. The water is so thick with salt that you can’t sink! The Dead Sea water, mud, and even the Dead Sea sun are known to be therapeutic to the body and soul. After a satisfying day of new experiences, we drive via the city of Arad back to your cruise ship in Ashdod port.

Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Day Tour

4. Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Day Tour

After being collected from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, you will make your way to Masada On. This area is an isolated clifftop in the heart of the desert, a lofty plateau overlooking the Dead Sea and the untamed landscape of the Judean Desert. Whilst in this area you will learn how there was once a magnificent palace that stood there. You will then venture toward Ein Gedi, a wonderful nature reserve which contains various natural wonders. You will encounter David Waterfall, a year-round waterfall along the course of the David Stream, to which there is access by a hiking trail. You will also discover Arugot Stream, a hiking trail for walkers which runs along the length of the stream and flows all year round. Next you will explore the En Gedi Spring, which rises from the mountainside and sustains abundant vegetation. By the spring you will also discover the remains of an ancient flour mill. Next up you will encounter the Dodim Cave, a small and intimate cave at the head of the David Waterfall, before you finally explore the Chalcolithic Temple. Following some free time for relaxation in the Dead Sea, you will return to your point of origin.

From Jerusalem: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

5. From Jerusalem: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

Enjoy a full-day bus tour from Jerusalem to ancient ruins in the Judean Hills and the shores of the Dead Sea. See the archeological site of Masada and a fortress built by King Herod. Go for a dip at the Dead Sea Mineral Beach and uncover the cave where the dead sea scrolls were found. Visit the Masada National Park ruins which are perched on a high plateau. View the ancient fortified palace of Masada which became a refuge for zealots who took a stand against the Romans, which ended in the mass suicide of the zealots in 73 AD. Follow your guide and ride up on a cable car to 1,300 feet above sea level to the plateau where the immense Masada ruins rest precariously. Look out at extraordinary views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. Explore the fortress built by King Herod in Masada in around 37 BC. Stroll through the remains of the palaces and see mosaic floors and Roman baths. Uncover the oldest synagogue in Israel and admire remarkable features like the 12 water cisterns that each had a capacity of 140,000 cubic feet. Drive to the lowest point on earth at the Dead Sea Mineral Beach which is located in the Jordan Rift Valley. Experience the high density of the salt in the water as you float with ease on the surface of the aquamarine water. Take a mud-bath and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the natural Dead Sea mud before heading to the Qumeran cave, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Return to your accommodation in Jerusalem at the end of your tour.

From Tel Aviv: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour

6. From Tel Aviv: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour

You will be picked up early in the morning at 2:00 AM from Tel Aviv. Travel to Masada mountain arrive at 5:30 AM and begin your hike to the top. On the way up to the top, enjoy the extraordinary desert sunrise, one that can only be seen in the right place at the right time. Once at the top you will enjoy some time to experience the site. Head back down the mountain and travel to Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve. At 8:00 AM arrive at the Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve. Enter the reserve to watch the desert wildlife in the magnificent green Ein-Gedi Oasis. 10:00 AM continue your journey to the Dead Sea. Arrive at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and enjoy bathing and floating on it's therapeutic waters. After floating and covering yourself with mud your driver will begin the trip back to Tel-Aviv. At approximately 2:00 PM arrive back in Tel-Aviv.

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

7. 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.

From Tel Aviv/Jerusalem: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea

8. From Tel Aviv/Jerusalem: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea

After a pre-sunrise departure from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, drive through the rolling hills of the Judean desert. At 5:30 AM, you’ll arrive at Masada, a set of mountaintop fortifications that date back to the 1st century BCE. Hike to peak to watch the sunrise from the summit, painting the surrounding valleys in rich hues. Continue to the En Gedi Nature Reserve, which covers an astounding 3,500 acres. A massive oasis in the desert, it includes vast streams and rivers that spill out from impressive waterfalls. Amble through the mountainous terrain, marvelling at the lush greenery in the heart of the desert. To cap things off, head to the Dead Sea, where you’ll have 1.5 hours to relax. Coat yourself in its iconic black mud, famed for its restorative qualities, and float in the highly saline water. After your time at the lowest point on earth, you’ll head back to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Masada & Dead Sea Tour: Full-Day from Jerusalem

9. 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.

From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea Day Trip

10. From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea Day Trip

Be collected from the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv at 6:30 AM. Be driven toward Masada, a cliff top fortress. This is one of the earliest Jewish symbols of hope. It is where 96 Jewish rebels held the fort against the Romans for 2 years before choosing the freedom of death over a lifetime of slavery. Ride the cable car to the top of the cliffs to take in the awesome scenery.  Afterward, enjoy a hike through the stunning Ein Gedi nature reserve. Discover its springs, tumbling waterfalls, and unusual plants and wildlife. Treat your tired feet to a dip in the Dead Sea. Float effortlessly and feel all your troubles slipping away. It is highly recommended to immerse yourself in the therapeutic mud. Once refreshed, informed, and invigorated, be driven back to Tel Aviv where the tour will end at approximately 5:00 PM. 

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What people are saying about Masada, Israel

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 3,323 reviews

We left at the scheduled time, in a comfortable bus, the tour guide, Mr. Itamar, very polite, humorous, solicitous, profoundly knowledgeable about the route, history, landscape, skillful and generous. Also the driver very helpful, punctual, polite. We saw some of the lush history of Masada and enjoyed the beauty and exoticism of the Dead Sea. Punctuality in the schedules fulfilled.

The tour guides in this country are about the only friendly people you will meet. Very helpful, friendly, very knowledgeable and very pleasant to deal with, they really go out of their way to make it a fun outing for everyone. Havana was great

Our guide gave us a lot of knowledge in a very easy way about Masada and the Dead Sea. It was great listening to him! Definitely a recommendation. The organization of the bus transfer was also very well organized!

All fantastic: nice and prepared guide, careful and precise transfer. The duration of the various stops is also excellent

Superb activity that amazed me. The Moïshé guide is the best. I thank him for his kindness and humor. Donatienne