Massada, Dead Sea and Ein Gedi Spa
Duration: Half Day
Cross the border and spend a day exploring one of the most famous ancient ruins in Israel during your holiday in Egypt, followed by relaxation in the sulphur pools of Ein Gedi Spa and floating in the Dead Sea. These unique experiences will be amongst the highlights of your trip.
Reaching Israel, we will drive through the baron Negev Desert and Arava Valley to Massada in the southeast. This ancient, mountain fortress is situated atop an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judea Desert overlooking the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
Built by King Herod the Great between 37 and 31 BCE as a refuge against future revolt, this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Excavations have been conducted here since the 1960s and are still ongoing today. Herod used this place to enjoy the healthy minerals of the Dead Sea. After his death, Masada was captured by the Romans, but the Zealots (a Jewish rebel group) took them by surprise in AD 66 by starting the First Jewish War (also known as the Great Jewish Revolt) against Roman domination. Although the Zealots overcame the Roman garrison of Masada, they eventually had to give up against the army’s overwhelming power and in AD 70 Jerusalem fell. The Temple was destroyed and all other forts and strongholds were eventually retrieved by the Romans. It was actually after the war when Roman troupes finally breached the fortress walls of Masada, but inside they found hundreds of Jewish rebels dead. Preferring death rather than enslavement or execution by their enemies, they had tragically committed mass suicide, led by Eleazar ben Jair.
Ascending by cable car, you will visit the historic fortress ruins, which include King Herod’s winter palace, the synagogue, living quarters, bakery and hot baths, which are adorned with spectacular mosaics, whilst reliving this tragic story through your guide. This tour will give you a fascinating insight into the history, politics and culture of the people who inhabited this magnificent desert landmark thousands of years ago.
We continue along the shores of the Dead Sea to Kibbutz Ein Gedi for a buffet lunch, after which we visit the Ein Gedi Spa to relax in the hot sulphur pools. Boasting unique healing properties found nowhere else in the world, these natural pools detoxify the blood stream and relieve muscle tension to cleanse and calm both mind and body. Cover yourself with the famous therapeutic black mud of the Dead Sea, which is rich in minerals, and spend the afternoon enjoying the unique sensation of floating in the Dead Sea. You will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for anything as we make our way back to the hotel.
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