Our most recommended things to do in Southern District, Israel

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

1. 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.

Jerusalem: Guided Walking Tour of the Old City

2. Jerusalem: Guided Walking Tour of the Old City

Starting from Jaffa Gate of the Old City, we’ll step back into time and walk through the different Quarters of the Old City. Taking in the indescribable energy that every corner presents, we’ll visit the sites most holy to all three religions. To Jews, King David’s Tomb and the Western (Wailing) Wall, the last remains of the Jewish Temple which stood here thousands of year ago. To Muslims, the site where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven, the Dome of the Rock, as well as the beautiful Al Aqsa Mosque. And to Christians, the Via Dolorosa along which Christ walked with his own cross to his crucifixion, and the room of the last supper, as well as venturing inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre! Biblical stories will be put into context as you stand in the place where they took place whilst learning about the 5 Pillars of Islam, the foundation of the Jewish nation and the discovery of the True Cross, to name a few.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Guided Day Trip

3. 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.

Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River Tour

4. Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River Tour

After being picked up from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem depending on your booking option, 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.  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. Itinerary in Detail - Best Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River Tour Explore Bethlehem for 4-5 hours, starting at about 8:30 AM in Bethlehem Shepherds Field (30 Minutes): Visit a charming place where the Christmas story happened. Milk Grotto Church (10 Minutes): Experience calm and peace in this spiritual church. Nativity Church (60 Minutes): Learn about Bethlehem's history at this important place. Note that Grotto visits may not be possible unless booked VIP option Zuluf Olive Wood Factory & Community Store (25 Minutes): Watch skilled craftsmen at work and shop for handcrafted items, No Lunch Breaks: Enjoy convenient falafel and chicken shawarma sandwiches for takeout Jericho and Beyond Sea Level Stop (5 Minutes): Take a moment to appreciate the significance of this location at sea level. Saint Gerasimous Monastery (15 Minutes): Discover the history of Saint Gerasimous Monastery in Jericho. Jordan River (30 Minutes): Reflect by the Jordan River, a place with deep biblical meaning. Hisham Palace (30 Minutes): Explore Hisham Palace, where old architecture tells stories from the past. Old City of Jericho (30 Minutes): Step back in time as you explore the ancient tales of Jericho's Old City. The Sycamore Tree (5 Minutes): See the Sycamore Tree linked to the story of Zacchaeus from the Bible. Elijah Spring (5 Minutes): Enjoy the peaceful Elijah Spring, a calm oasis in the desert landscape.

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 3 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.

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

6. From Jerusalem: Masada & Dead Sea Full Day Tour with Pick Up

Enjoy a full-day bus tour from Jerusalem to ancient ruins in the Judean Hills and the shores of the Dead Sea. See the archeological site of Masada and a fortress built by King Herod. Go for a dip at the Dead Sea Mineral Beach and uncover the cave where the dead sea scrolls were found. Visit the Masada National Park ruins which are perched on a high plateau. View the ancient fortified palace of Masada which became a refuge for zealots who took a stand against the Romans, which ended in the mass suicide of the zealots in 73 AD. Follow your guide and ride up on a cable car to 1,300 feet above sea level to the plateau where the immense Masada ruins rest precariously. Look out at extraordinary views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. Explore the fortress built by King Herod in Masada in around 37 BC. Stroll through the remains of the palaces and see mosaic floors and Roman baths. Uncover the oldest synagogue in Israel and admire remarkable features like the 12 water cisterns that each had a capacity of 140,000 cubic feet. Drive to the lowest point on earth at the Dead Sea Mineral Beach which is located in the Jordan Rift Valley. Experience the high density of the salt in the water as you float with ease on the surface of the aquamarine water. Take a mud-bath and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the natural Dead Sea mud before heading to the Qumeran cave, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Return to your accommodation in Jerusalem at the end of your tour.

From Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Bethlehem and Dead Sea Day Tour

7. From Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: 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.

Jerusalem: Tour with Private Guide

8. Jerusalem: Tour with Private Guide

Experience the captivating wonders of Jerusalem on a remarkable private walking tour. Listen to your guide as you visit and learn about some of the city's most historically significant landmarks. Begin your adventure as your knowledgeable guide awaits you in the lobby of your centrally located hotel, ensuring a convenient start to your exploration of this remarkable city. Embark on a journey that encompasses the essence of Jerusalem, offering a comprehensive view of its iconic landmarks and a glimpse into its rich history. Traverse the ancient streets as your guide paints a vivid picture of Jerusalem's past, sharing concise yet fascinating narratives that bring the city to life. Uncover hidden gems and intriguing secrets within the Old City, starting with your entrance through the Zion Gate, passing the enigmatic Armenian Quarter, and making your way to the captivating Jewish Quarter and the ancient Byzantine Cardo. A highlight of your tour awaits at the world-renowned Western Wall, an awe-inspiring segment of the Temple Mount's western retaining wall. Erected by the legendary Herod the Great during his ambitious Temple expansion in 20 BCE, this monumental wall serves as an open-air sanctuary, with heartfelt prayers discreetly placed in the crevices between its imposing stones. Continuing your expedition, you will follow in the footsteps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa, known as the Way of the Cross. This sacred route traces the path from His condemnation to the site of His crucifixion, attracting countless pilgrims who choose to retrace His steps and pause at significant stations along the way. Concluding this memorable journey, you will arrive at the revered Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a site of immense spiritual significance for Christians worldwide. This hallowed sanctuary stands upon the very location where Jesus was crucified, buried, and triumphantly rose from the dead, offering a profound experience of faith and reverence. Your tour culminates near the iconic Jaffa Gate, a gateway to further exploration and discovery within the enchanting city of Jerusalem. Take the opportunity to continue your leisurely stroll, absorbing the vibrant atmosphere and immersing yourself in the captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern allure. Embark on an unforgettable private walking tour of Jerusalem, where every step reveals a captivating tale, and the city's enduring beauty leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

From Eilat: Timna Park Guided Jeep Tour

9. 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.

From Ashdod Port: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Trip

10. From Ashdod Port: Jerusalem and Bethlehem Day Trip

Your guide will be waiting for you when you disembark from your cruise ship in Ashdod and the tour will begin with a pleasant drive to Jerusalem in a comfortable vehicle with A/C. At Mt. Scopus, the tour stops for a panoramic view across the city rooftops. Then drive towards the Old City passing biblical sites like the Garden of Gethsemane that stands on the Mount of Olives alongside the Church of All Nations. Also, spot the ancient Jewish tombs in Kidron Valley, and the Ophel Promenade as we drive parallel to the Old City walls. We enter the Old City on foot through one of the massive gates in the 16th-century walls and pass the Western Wall excavations as we walk towards the Western Wall. This sacred Jewish site is all that remains from the 2,000-year-old holy Jewish Temple that once stood on Temple Mount. In the Jewish Quarter, we see the Byzantine Cardo lined with columns, then we walk along a section of the Via Dolorosa, as Jesus did bearing his cross. The Via Dolorosa culminates at the Holy Sepulcher Church which was built in the 4th century to encompass Christ’s tomb and the site of the crucifixion at Golgotha (Calvary). The tour stops for a lunch break in the Old City and you have time to meander through one of the traditional markets. Leaving the Old City we can see Mount Zion as we drive towards the town where Christ was born. In Bethlehem, we tour the Nativity Church and see the Holy Grotto where the nativity took place. The tour ends with a drive back to Ashdod port where you can rejoin your cruise ship and continue to your next port of call.

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What people are saying about Southern District, Israel

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 10,693 reviews

the guide took us to the mining place from this century, what was very nice experience even before the Timna… then we went to Timna park where we stopped on some nice places, like the ancient mining spots, solomon pillars, the mushroom rock and finally near to the lake to make some color sand bottles. To go by jeep on the main road - with strong wind against you is cool experience. I would prefer to spend little more time on the stops… especially on the solomon pillars and for us personally we would love if the tabernacle tour was included in the trip - or have it as a option. Because of not having time to go to the tabernacle, we visited the park day after on our own.

What an amazing experience!! Our tour guide Yonathan was knowledgeable about any and every topic we could come up with - we learned so much about history, archeology, religion, culture, and general social topics of the area. He was extremely accommodating and helped us tailor our day based on our interests and our needs with our young toddler. We had an incredible day and visit thanks to this private, personalized tour and our wonderful guide! I highly recommend doing a private tour to get the most of your trip

it was very nice dive in the place with many fish and nice corals. The instructor was nice. I payed also for the pictures… the quality wasn’t as was showed me… probably not took with the same camera (and even same place) and I would prepare more pics with fish and corals then only me in the water, but it can be just me. And I understand it is not easy to be taking pictures and videos and to manage non licensed divers :-). All together I have enjoyed it and can recommend the experience.

One of our best trips in Israel and Palestine, we booked it only one day before but everything was so smooth. Definitely the best driver ever, punctual, communicative, very friendly and patient. The tour guide Tia is very nice, knowledgeable, patient, very helpful and thoughtful. Wonderful journey and will recommend to our friends in the future

Perfect organisation, enough time to enjoy both sites. Short commercial visits, nice to buy small gifts. Don't forget to bring towels and sandals for the beach.