Qumran

Qumran: Our most recommended tours and activities

Jerusalem: Masada National Park and Dead Sea Excursion

1. Jerusalem: Masada National Park and Dead Sea Excursion

The tour begins with pickup from your hotel and departs Jerusalem via the Judean Hills, heading towards the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. As you descend below sea level along the route, pass through the Biblical wilderness of the landscape and learn about the history-rich region from your guide. On the way, keep an eye out for the ‘Inn of the Good Samaritan’ and stop on route to admire the desert that stretches out before you and marvel at the ancient city of Jericho that can be seen in the distance. Upon arrival at the shores of the Dead Sea, notice the salt encrusted shores and follow the coastline towards Masada. Although it's impossible to climb the Snake Path up to Masada as the Romans did 2000 years ago, there is a convenient cable car to the top of the mountain plateau. Learn about how King Herod built a fortified palace here, with a swimming pool and even a synagogue. Head back down to the Dead Sea and pass the desert oasis of Ein Gedi, home to lush foliage and gorgeous waterfalls and the place where David hid from angry King Saul. The tour will also pass by Qumran, where the 2000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in a number of hillside caves. The tour ends at the Dead Sea, which was once a contender for a title of the Seven Wonders of the World. Enjoy a swim in the sea, which is world-famous for its therapeutic mineral-rich waters, and float around as you relax after a busy day of sightseeing.

From Jerusalem: Masada National Park and Dead Sea Day Trip

2. From Jerusalem: Masada National Park and Dead Sea Day Trip

This tour heads to southern Israel through the Judean Hills and past the Inn of the Good Samaritan. We pause at sea level for an unforgettable photo-op then continue our descent further and further down beneath sea level towards the iconic Dead Sea. Our first stop is at Masada where we take a cable car to the plateau summit and tour the remains of Herod’s 2,055 year old palace fortress. We see remarkable structures including palaces and a bathhouse. From Masada the tour takes you past the desert oasis of Ein Gedi and Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We spend the rest of the day relaxing on one of the Dead Sea beaches. You can float in the salty-water that is 8.6 times more saline than the ocean creating natural buoyance. Use the Dead Sea mud as a natural skin mask and soak up the glorious Dead Sea sun.

Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River from Tel Aviv

3. Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River from Tel Aviv

After your 6:30 AM pick-up from Tel Aviv, head to Bethlehem to explore the city before it becomes bustling with other groups. Discover the birthplace of Jesus and the Church of the Nativity. Descending through the Judean Desert, reach Jericho, the lowest city on Earth, and explore the Mount of Temptation.  Explore the Mount of Temptation, ascending by cable car. The cable car ticket is not included and costs approximatel $16. Stop at the Jordan River, Qasr al Yahud Baptismal Site, where according to tradition, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.  Return to Tel Aviv at around 6:30 PM. Note that the order of sites is subject to change.

From Tel Aviv: Masada & the Dead Sea Small Group Day Trip

4. From Tel Aviv: Masada & the Dead Sea Small Group Day Trip

On this full-day tour to the Judean desert and the shores of the Dead Sea including Masada, the site of one of the most remarkable stories in Jewish history. 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 you 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 are 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 the hotel in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv with an en route view of the Qumran cave, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

From Tel Aviv: Dead Sea Visit & Desert Safari

5. From Tel Aviv: Dead Sea Visit & Desert Safari

Take a 10-hour safari tour of the Judean Desert, and discover the lowest place on earth at the Dead Sea. Available with pick-ups from Tel Aviv hotels, each tour starts with a transfer through a Biblical wilderness. Pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan. Then descend to a point beneath sea level. Enjoy distant views of the Biblical city of Jericho, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, and best known as the city that Joshua (Joshua 6) conquered after his troops circled the city walls causing them to fall. Upon arrival at Qumran, see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Now kept in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, the Scrolls were kept in good condition for 2,000 years thanks to the lack of humidity in the Dead Sea region. Next, transfer to a 4WD jeep to cross the rough desert terrain. Take a thrilling ride through the desert, negotiating the steep inclines, ravines, sand, and rock. Reach the Cliffs of Dragot and look down on the Dragot River. See the Murbaat Caves with their fascinating square entrances. End your adventure by washing away the dust of the desert and cooling off in the Dead Sea. Change into your bathing suit and float in the mineral-rich water. Make use of nature's natural face mask - the Dead Sea black mud - and lather it into your skin to benefit from the mud's therapeutic properties.

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

6. From Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Masada, Ein Gedi, and Dead Sea Tour

After pickup from your accommodation in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, your full-day tour begins with a drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea region. Stop at the foot of Mount Masada, the ancient fortress constructed in Roman times. Here you can ascend Masada by cable car and explore the site at your own pace.  Continue to Ein Gedi, a nature reserve and oasis where you can enjoy a short hike. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Dead Sea and a private beach and spa. Float in the healing waters and immerse yourself in the therapeutic mud. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back to your accommodation in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

Other Sightseeing Options in Qumran

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What people are saying about Qumran

Overall rating

3.8 / 5

based on 160 reviews

An unforgettable tour!!! Great guide, who provided lots of background information but also left time to linger. The shared meal was priced really ok by Israeli standards and very tasty! The heat (38 degrees!) was the only negative - but that's how it is in July :-) The bus was super air-conditioned and you didn't have to walk as much as you would on a tour of Jerusalem, for example. The landscape was breathtaking, you see a lot on the tour! The Jordan River and the Mount of Temptation, which you can take a cable car to (with an incredible view!!), were my personal highlights! There are not enough stars to give for this unforgettable day!

The tour guide ad drivers were very friendly and helpful. The visit to Masada was exceptional. The views were beautiful. To get to the top in the cable car was really wonderful. The experience at the Dead Sea was memorable.

It is much more meaningful to have a person explain to you what you are seeing and the history than to listen to an audioguide.

Well organized, tour guide competent and friendly, nice and helpful At all times the feeling: "The tour was worth it"

Amazing experience through desert hills with a knowledgeable, pedagogical, and very likeable guide !