Arguably Israel’s most dramatic site, Masada’s mountain top ruins, set against the extraordinary backdrop of the Judean desert, are but a stage for the retelling of an heroic and ancient tale, now engrained in national mythology. With your expert guide as storyteller, you will hear about the lives of the final Jewish resisters to Roman rule, relive their struggle against the mighty Roman army, and wonder at their heroic end. Masada is a totally unique site, well deserving of its UNESCO world heritage status.
Take a dip in the Dead Sea! The waters shimmer like nowhere else on earth. Full of good-for-you minerals and surrounded by air which is naturally rich in oxygen, the Dead Sea should leave you feeling full of energy. Best of all, here you really will float! Please take flip flops along for the Dead Sea and avoid taking your best bathing suits as the minerals in the water may damage the material.
Qumran is the site of one of the most significant archeological discoveries of the twentieth century. This is the place where the most well-known texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls were found – the ancient religious writings hidden in jars in eleven caves near the site of Qumran. Ten miles south of Jericho en route to the Dead Sea and Masada, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live. Here your expert guide will unfold the events of the discovery and eventual recovery of these precious scrolls.
Qasr el Yahud
Qasr al-Yahud lies on the banks of the Jordan River.According to tradition, this is the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was therefore “spiritually born”. In addition, according to tradition Qasr al-Yehud marks the location of Elijah’s ascension to heaven in a fiery chariot after he and Elisha crossed the Jordan: “Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.” (2 Kings 2:8).
Lastly, this is also the place where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and entered the Holy Land after their 40 years of wandering in the desert. It was here that: “…as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” (Josh 3:13)