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Things to do in Southern District, Israel

Our most recommended things to do in Southern District, Israel

From Jerusalem: Tour to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River

1. From Jerusalem: Tour to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River

After being picked up from Jerusalem, travel to Bethlehem where you will meet your guide before heading into the old city of Bethlehem. Enjoy a guided visit to the Church of the Nativity.  Continue your tour with a visit to the Milk Grotto Church before riding to the city of the shepherds, Bayt Sahur where you will visit the Chapel of the Shepherds Field before getting to visit an olive wood factory where you will see artisans crafting wooden sculptures.  Then journey through the wonderful Judean Desert to the lowest point on earth. Have chances to stop and take pictures at the sea level point in the desert overlooking the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Jericho.  Stop and have lunch then pass the Mount of Temptation and drive into Jericho where you will see some of the famed sights in the city including Zaccheus's Tree which is mentioned in the bible.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Guided Day Trip

2. From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Guided Day Trip

On this full-day tour of the Holy Land, enjoy pick-up from your hotel in Tel Aviv in a comfortable air-conditioned coach and travel along highway no' 1 to Jerusalem. You’ll be accompanied throughout the day by a knowledgeable, professional guide. You’ll enjoy a panoramic overview from Mount Scopus, overlooking the new city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount Esplanade of the old city. As you travel along the Kidron Valley, you’ll be able to take in views the Garden of Gethsemane as well as the walls of the city. On reaching the Armenian Quarter you'll enter the Western or Wailing Wall square via the local bazaar. See the Christian Quarter and the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Dolorosa. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is considered to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. You'll also walk along the 1700-year-old Byzantine Cardo, the main street, and see the renovated Jewish Quarter. Transfer to Bethlehem (Palestinian guide and vehicle). Bethlehem, meaning “City of Bread”, was the birthplace of Jesus according to Christian tradition. Your drive to Bethlehem takes you by way of Nativity Circle. Visit the Church of Nativity, and also the cave where Jesus was born. You’ll see Manger Square, where Jesus was placed after his birth. Before completing the tour, visit St' Catharine - a Roman Catholic Church. You’ll enjoy an overview of the Shepherd's Fields on the return drive to Tel Aviv.

From Tel Aviv: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

3. From Tel Aviv: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

Embark on a full-day guided tour from Tel Aviv to the Judean Hills and the shores of the Dead Sea by bus. Visit the ancient palace of Masada, ride a cable car, and admire the Qumran caves on your drive back. Perched on a high plateau, the ancient fortified palace of Masada became a refuge for Zealots who took a stand against the Romans, until the mass suicide of the zealots in 73 AD. The ruins sit precariously on a plateau some 1,300 feet above sea level and measure 2,000-foot long by 1,000-foot wide. They boast extraordinary views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. It is an exhausting climb, but we will ascend by cable car to make life easier. Explore the fortress built by King Herod in around 37 BC. Visit the remains of the palaces and see mosaic floors, Roman baths, and other findings. Masada was also home to the oldest synagogue in Israel, but one of the most remarkable features is the 12 water cisterns, each with a capacity of up to 140,000 cubic feet. Following the tour of Masada, you will drive to the Dead Sea Mineral Beach located in the Jordan Rift Valley, between Jordan and the West Bank. It is the lowest place on earth and its high density of salt makes for a unique experience as you float on the beautiful aquamarine surface. Take a mud bath and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the natural Dead Sea mud. You will then drive back to Tel Aviv, with an on-route view of the Qumran cave, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Guided Tour

4. From Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of the Masada Fortress and take in the sweeping views of the Judean Desert. Travel in a comfortable and airconditioned van to the nature reserve of Ein Gedi before floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Depart Tel Aviv. Be driven through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region, the lowest on earth. Heading south alongside the Dead Sea, reach the foot of Mount Masada, the ancient fortress which was constructed in Roman times and is famous as the location of an iconic story of heroism. At 9:00 AM ascend Masada by cable car and explore the site. At 11:00 AM continue to Ein Gedi, a beautiful nature reserve and oasis where you will have a chance to take a short hike or walk through the cooling and beautiful surroundings. After Ein Gedi, continue to the Dead Sea where you will access a private beach and have a chance to float in the famous waters and immerse in the muds that are so famous all around the world. Return to your hotel in Tel Aviv in the early evening.

From Jerusalem: Half-Day Bethlehem Guided Tour

5. From Jerusalem: Half-Day Bethlehem Guided Tour

After meeting at the David Citadel Hotel, you will begin your 4 to 5-hour tour, depending on the season. You will explore some of the religious highlights of Bethlehem, including the Church of the Nativity, St. Catherine, and the Shepherds' Fields. You will begin with the chance to visit the 1,500-year-old Church of Nativity where Jesus was born. From there you will enjoy beautiful views of the Old City of Bethlehem complete with the Manger Square. You will then take a ride through the city of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour passing by the main sites. A special visit to the Milk Grotto is also available, as well as a tour to the Shepherd’s Field where the Angels first announced the birth of Jesus Christ.

Eliat: Coral Reef Snorkeling Trip with Instructor

6. Eliat: Coral Reef Snorkeling Trip with Instructor

Snorkel the underwater world of Eliat's colorful coral reefs, and admire the more than 10,000 different kinds of fish, sponges, coral and other sea creatures that live there. Take the option for an underwater photo shoot to take some great memories home with you, if you like. Assemble at the meeting point, and rent or purchase your mask, snorkel, and fins from the local partner's diving center. Then, set off an unforgettable journey to Eliat's coral reefs. Receive brief instructions on swimming techniques and equipment safety rules from your experienced instructor before plunging into the water. Capture the experience by ordering an underwater, digital photo shoot from the diving center, at additional cost. Make fantastic souvenirs with photos of your friends and family with the abundant sealife and vibrant corals in the background. Please note that you cannot touch anything while you are underwater so as not to harm the natural balance. For the same reason, it is prohibited to feed the underwater inhabitants.

From Jerusalem: Full-Day Bethlehem and Dead Sea Day Tour

7. From Jerusalem: Full-Day Bethlehem and Dead Sea Day Tour

Discover the famous old city of Bethlemen and the Dead Sea on a guided day trip from Jerusalem. Swim in the Dead Sea, visit an olive wood factory and see the famous Church of the Nativity. Following pickup in Jerusalem, ride to Bethlehem to meet your guide before heading to the Old City of Bethlehem. Begin with a guided visit to the Church of the Nativity. Next, if availability allows, visit the Nativity Star and the Cave of St. Jerome. From there, head to the Milk Grotto Church, where it is believed that the Holy Family found refuge from the Massacre of the Innocents before they could flee into Egypt. Next, drive to the City of the Shepherd's, Bayt Sahur. In Bayt Sahurt, enjoy a guided visit to the Chapel of The Shepherd's Field, the church where the angels first appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. Continue your trip with a visit to an olive wood factory and watch the artisans crafting wooden sculptures. Continue through the Judean Desert to reach the lowest point on Earth. Hop out and take pictures at sea-level in the desert . Continue to the Dead Sea to enjoy the rest of the day, either floating in the rich water or relaxing at the beach.

From Eilat: Timna Park Guided Jeep Tour

8. From Eilat: Timna Park Guided Jeep Tour

This fascinating four-hour tour will open up the wonderful world of the Arava desert and one of its pearls, Timna.  See bizarre colored rocks, natural sculptures, the blue of the sky and the ocher of the surrounding mountains. Your guide will tell you about the amazing history and geology of this unique place. Inside the park, stop a few times and see the incredible history of the copper-related area. Along the way, see the natural mudflats of sandstone and a few pillars of Solomon, Borg Hill, the famous mushroom and arches. Take your hike at a stop near Lake Timna where you can fill up bottles with colorful sand for a souvenir. From there, head back towards Eilat.

Dual Perspective Tour of Hebron & West Bank from Jerusalem

9. Dual Perspective Tour of Hebron & West Bank from Jerusalem

Take a full-day tour to explore Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, and the most contested. See the sites and meet people from both sides of the Old City, Israeli and Palestinian, both within "H2", the Israeli controlled side of Hebron. Starts with a guided tour of the Jewish "settler" neighborhoods of Hebron, beginning at the hilltop Tel Rumeida, with a Bronze Age archeological site, army base, and tomb of the Biblical Ruth and Jesse. From there we will visit the Beit Hadassah museum about Jewish life in Hebron until the riots of 1929, the "Shavei Hevron Yeshiva" in Beit Romano and the Avraham Avinu quarter and restored synagogue. Visit the Israeli/Jewish side of the divided Tomb of the Patriarchs, known as Maarat (the Cave of) HaMachpela with the symbolic tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Leah, all said to be buried in the cave beneath. Crossing over into the Palestinian side, start at the Muslim side of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known as Ibrahimi (Abraham's) mosque, led by a Palestinian guide. Inside, discover the Mameluke era mosque and minbar- raised wood platform, and tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca. Then, walk through the colorful Old City "Casbah" market and have a home-cooked lunch with a Palestinian family. Climbing on top of a family home for a rooftop view, learn about the difficult conditions of Palestinian residents and shop owners living in close proximity to the nearby settlements. Going through the busy city center, cross a checkpoint and end the tour back at the top of the closed "Shuhada" street. This is a unique tour: it will present two very different narratives of one ancient, very contested city, Hebron. This is the only tour with two guides, Israeli and Palestinian, each showing half of the divided old city. The tour is political but objective, with each participant free to form their own opinions.

From Ashdod Port: Masada and Dead Sea Guided Day Trip

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Southern District, Israel

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 10,019 reviews

Wonderful day trip despite a long 8 hour (16 hour return) trip from Eilat. I strongly recommend for people who can do it to leave from Sharm El Sheikh as much cheaper and closer! About 10 times cheaper … Very interesting visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (to be recommended first) to be able to enjoy the pyramids in the afternoon … we were lucky enough to come across the guide Nasser who was extremely nice , friendly and beautifully competent. He makes every effort to make you spend an unforgettable moment !!! Visit the pyramids and the camel ride of pure pleasure guaranteed!!! Thanks to Nasser, the organization was perfect and extremely well orchestrated Now I have a high quality friend in Egypt

Impeccable support from Eliaatours As most tours, they will waste some time at a cosmetics company by the Dead Sea.

Everything perfectly organised, interesting places and above all the extraordinary guide…Tomer is a talent!

Amazing sites, extremely knowledgeable and engaging tour guides, well worth the trip!

Nice guide. Answered every questions and gave a lot of explanations.