Driving out of Jerusalem past Jericho, recalling the entry of the Israelites into Canaan under Joshua. Stop at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and scholars believe a community devoted to the study and teaching of the Bible may have lived in Second Temple times.
Travel along the Dead Sea shore to Ein Gedi and walk through the oasis to the desert waterfall near the cave where David hid from Saul.
Continue to Massada, taking the cable-car to view the ruins of King Herod’s mountaintop fortress and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 73 CE, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeologists say one of the most moving moments for them here was the discovery of a scroll inscribed with Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones, found in the remains of the ancient synagogue.
Visit the new museum in the Visitor Center, which reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
After descending from Massada, continue past the impressive Mount Sodom, rising from the Dead Sea, with its unusual rock formations including one called “Lot’s Wife,” after the biblical story. Spend the rest of the day at leisure at a bed and breakfast near the Dead Sea or in one of the beautiful spa hotels, enjoying a dip in the healthful waters of the lowest, saltiest body of water on earth.
Overnight in the Dead Sea area