The Judean Wilderness and the Dead Sea
Qumran National Park– the ruins on the plateau in sight of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered are an enigma wrapped in a mystery – were they the home of the Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, a wealthy Sadducee manor farm, or both?
Massada National Park – Herod’s magnificent fortress, with its palaces, bathhouses and ramparts was also the scene of the last stand of the Jews against the Romans in the Great Revolt, attested to by a huge Roman siege ramp and other finds. The combination of its dramatic story and its fabulous architecture and finds has won it recognition as a World Heritage Site.
Ein Gedi National Park – a walk through an oasis, and the remains of a thriving Talmudic town. Its synagogue mosaic bears a mysterious warning not to reveal “the secret”– perhaps the manufacturing process of perfume from the now-extinct balsam plant that once grew here.
The Dead Sea – a rejuvenating rinse-off of the dust of the generations in the lowest, most mineral-rich lake on earth.