1. Masada & Dead Sea: Small Group Tour from Tel Aviv
This full day tour takes you to the Judean Hills and the shores of the Dead Sea, to the site of one of the most remarkable stories in Jewish history. Perched on a high plateau, the ancient fortified palace of Masada became a refuge for Zealots who took a stand against the Romans until their mass suicide in 73 AD. In a “business class” environment of a small group with personal service, you will depart from Tel Aviv for the Judean Hills and the lowest place on earth. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada to learn about the heroic story of the Jewish fighters. High above the sea, the former palace sits precariously on a plateau some 1,300 feet above sea level. It measures 2,000-foot long by 1,000-foot wide and boasts commanding views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. It is an exhausting climb, but luckily since King Herod’s time a fast-track cable car has been installed, allowing you to ascend the mountain in minutes. Once at the top, 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 are the 12 water cisterns, each with a capacity of up to 140,000 cubic feet, that were hewn into the cliff. Descend by cable car and drive to the Dead Sea, or “Sea of Salt.” 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. You will stop to relax at one of the resorts on the shores of the Dead Sea and enjoy the opportunity to float while covering yourself with the mineral-rich, therapeutic Dead Sea mud. Its health-giving properties have turned it in to a major spa destination with a variety of unique bath products for sale in the hotels and shops. Purchase some bath salts and skin creams to take home, before heading back to your hotel in Tel Aviv, Netanya or Herzliy.