Masada and Ein Gedi: Tour these two ancient communities on the shores of the Dead Sea. See how two neighboring settlements can be so different in this unique landscape. Hike up to the David waterfall in Ein Gedi and retell the classic story of David and Saul while enjoying the cool water in the middle of the desert. Visit Ein Gedi’s ancient synagogue and learn about her long history. Continue to Masada and the story of King Herod’s palace overlooking the Dead Sea. Finish our day with a dip in the Dead Sea.
From the Desert to the Jordan: Start at the Prat stream with a short hike. Tell the biblical stories associated with this stream while discussing the role of the wilderness in classic sources. Continue on our exploration of the desert with a jeep ride where you will have an opportunity to see the bedouin and how they live on the land. From there to Qesr al-Yehud, the traditional spot where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan and where Jesus was baptized. End our day at the abandoned Lido restaurant and see the impact of man on the Dead Sea today.
The Road from the Dead Sea area to Jerusalem: Explore the importance of this road in Christian lore while connecting the biblical text to the actual site. Understand what the philosophy is behind the stories. Start at Qesr al-Yehud, the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. Continue up the road to the Inn of the Good Samaritan, site of a Byzantine Inn and the first place on the road where you could see Jerusalem. Continue on to Prat Stream Nature reserve and see where monks have been living for hundreds of years. End our day on the Mount of Olives with an overview of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem and Qumran: Start this thematic day at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, see the model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Head out of the city to the site of Qumran. Learn about the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls while wandering the ancient community where they were written. End with a Dead Sea dip or a visit to Einot Tzukim, the lowest national park in the world.