2. From Ashdod Port: Masada and Dead Sea Guided Day Trip
The moment you disembark from your cruise ship in Ashdod port you’ll be in the capable hands of a professional tour guide. The day begins with a drive south through ever-changing landscapes until you reach the Judaean Mountains. Then enjoy the thrill of the winding road that takes you down below sea level to the lowest point on Earth. We pause for a moment to enjoy the view and take a photo of the sign indicating that we are now going beneath sea level. Our first stop is at Masada, a massive rock outcrop 434m-high (1,424ft). Ride the cable car to Masada’s flat summit where there are incredible views of the desert and the Dead Sea below. Your guide will give you a tour of the remaining structures from King Herod’s palace-fortress. Find out about the history of Masada, and how it served as an untouchable refuge for Herod and later for Jewish rebels. Learn how King Herod built this palace complex in 37BC-31BC, and see mosaics and archaeological remains of a Roman bathhouse, storerooms, guardhouse, palaces, and more. At the end of the Masada tour, you can spend time in the Masada Museum located at the foot of the mount. The museum holds more than 500 artifacts discovered at Masada, and there is an informative movie about Masada’s history. We continue from Masada to Ein Bokek, a hotel and resort area on the shore of the Dead Sea. Here you can enjoy the Ein Bokek beach. The tour will stop for a lunch break either at a restaurant at the foot of Masada or at the beach. Spend the remaining time relaxing on the beach, and enjoying the unique environment of the Dead Sea. Try smothering your skin in the mineral-rich black Dead Sea mud, or float in the hypersaline water. The water is so thick with salt that you can’t sink! The Dead Sea water, mud, and even the Dead Sea sun are known to be therapeutic to the body and soul. After a satisfying day of new experiences, we drive via the city of Arad back to your cruise ship in Ashdod port.