|The qualities of the Dead Sea region make it an unusual but ideal holiday destination. Nothing here is comparable to any other resort in the world, especially its secluded hideaway atmosphere. This special aura lends itself to rapidly establishing contact with people from many different origins. The local tourism peoples' eagerness to greet visitors is best expressed by their own style of open-hearted, outgoing service.
A variety of optional Day Tours for groups and for individuals is available from your Israeli correspondent or through the hotels.
Qumran - Jericho - Jerusalem
|Drive to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. See below. Then on to Jericho, the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement. See the ruins of the Walls of Jericho and the 7th century Hisham Palace. Thence to the Old City of Jerusalem for visits to the Via Dolorosa, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and other holy sites of the three monotheistic faiths. Visit the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book to view a selection of the original Dead Sea Scrolls. Optional addition: A visit to the St. George Monastery in Wadi Kelt, off the Dead Sea-Jerusalem road.
Mt. Sodom - Massada – Ein Gedi
Discover the Flour Cave and ascend to a superb lookout point overlooking the Dead Sea area. Continue on to Mt. Sodom to view the fascinating salt formations. Drive north along the Dead Sea shore and ascend Massada by cable car to marvel at King Herod’s awe-inspiring desert palace and fortress. Visit the stronghold of the zealots’ community dating back to the 1st century AD. Continue to the Ein Gedi oasis and nature reserve (waterfalls, brooks, lush greenery, animal life). The garden of the Song of Songs and the place where King-to-be David hid from King Saul.
Sea of Galilee – Tiberias - Nazareth
|Drive north through the Syrian-African geological depression along the Jordan Valley, via the dramatic site of Beit Shean to the city of Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Visit the historical sites of Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached his Sermon of the Mount.
A special feature at Kibbutz Ginnosar is a one-of-a-kind, restored 1St-century fishing boat, discovered in the Sea of Galilee. Continue to Nazareth, visit the Church of the Annunciation and the Arab bazaar before returning to your Dead Sea hotel.
Arad - Beer Sheva - Sde Boker - Avdat - Mamshit
Over the uphill serpentine road, drive west to the modern desert city of Arad and to Tel Arad. Visit the archaeological site that traces history from the Calcolithic Age to the Byzantine period. The classical Canaanite altar is well worth photographing. Continue to Beer Sheva, capital of the Negev, thence to Avdat a beautifully restored Nabatean site with superb views of the Negev desert. There you'll find the foundations of what may possibly be the world’s oldest church. Drive on to Kibbutz Sde Boker, David Ben-Gurion's home and burial site. Wind up your day at the restored ancient town of Mamshit, a stopover on the Secret Spice Caravan Route of the desert, featuring camel rides, outdoor activities and special artefacts.
Eilat, from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea
From the Dead Sea drive south, traversing the Negev Desert and the lunar landscape of the Arava to Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city on the Red Sea. Enjoy a Blue Bay of Eilat cruise, try your hand at some shallow-water snorkelling in the colourful Coral reef of Eilat, a guided jeep adventure or a bouncing camel trip.