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Things to do in

Southern District, Israel

Our most recommended things to do in Southern District, Israel

From Ashdod Port: Masada and Dead Sea Guided Day Trip

1. 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.

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

2. 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: 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.

Dead Sea Chill Out Day Trip from Jerusalem

4. Dead Sea Chill Out Day Trip from Jerusalem

Take a tour to the Dead Sea to laze on the beach and float in the mineral-rich waters during the best part of the day. You will depart from Jerusalem before the hottest part of the day, and spend a relaxing afternoon at the Dead Sea beach. Set in the Jordan Rift Valley, between Jordan and the West Bank, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Its high salt density provides you with a unique experience as you float unaided on the beautiful aquamarine surface. Cover yourself in the mineral-rich mud at a private beach at the north of the sea, and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the natural Dead Sea mud. You will be back in Jerusalem in the late afternoon to early evening depending on the season.

From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem Old City & Dead Sea Guided Day Tour

5. From Tel Aviv: Jerusalem Old City & Dead Sea Guided Day Tour

Explore Jerusalem on this full-day bus tour from Tel Aviv. Experience the spiritual sanctuary of the 3 great religions of the Western world as you see sights like the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Armenian Quarter. During the tour, see some of the city’s most holy places, including the Mount of Olives, the Via Dolorosa, the Western Wall and more. Get picked up from your hotel in the morning for the drive to Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, one of the highest peaks in the city. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the sights below. Travel along the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane and the walls of the Old City. Enter the Western Wall Square via the Armenian Quarter, and stroll through the Bazaar to the Christian Quarter. See the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of the crucifixion. Walk along the 1,700-year-old Byzantine main street, the recently restored Roman road of The Cardo, and the renovated Jewish Quarter. Soak up the magical atmosphere of this most sacred of cities, before descending through the Judean hills to the shore of the Dead Sea.  The drive to the Dead Sea is without a guide, but once you have arrived at the lowest place on earth, swim, float, or enjoy a mud-bath to benefit from the rich-minerals that the natural Dead Sea is renowned for. Transfer back to Tel Aviv for the end of your tour.

From Tel Aviv/Jerusalem: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea

6. From Tel Aviv/Jerusalem: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & Dead Sea

After a pre-sunrise departure from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, drive through the rolling hills of the Judean desert. At 5:30 AM, you’ll arrive at Masada, a set of mountaintop fortifications that date back to the 1st century BCE. Hike to peak to watch the sunrise from the summit, painting the surrounding valleys in rich hues. Continue to the En Gedi Nature Reserve, which covers an astounding 3,500 acres. A massive oasis in the desert, it includes vast streams and rivers that spill out from impressive waterfalls. Amble through the mountainous terrain, marvelling at the lush greenery in the heart of the desert. To cap things off, head to the Dead Sea, where you’ll have 1.5 hours to relax. Coat yourself in its iconic black mud, famed for its restorative qualities, and float in the highly saline water. After your time at the lowest point on earth, you’ll head back to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem: Half-Day Bethlehem Guided Tour

7. 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.

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

8. 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: Tour to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jordan River

9. 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: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour

10. From Tel Aviv: Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea Tour

You will be picked up early in the morning at 2:00 AM from Tel Aviv. Travel to Masada mountain arrive at 5:30 AM and begin your hike to the top. On the way up to the top, enjoy the extraordinary desert sunrise, one that can only be seen in the right place at the right time. Once at the top you will enjoy some time to experience the site. Head back down the mountain and travel to Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve. At 8:00 AM arrive at the Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve. Enter the reserve to watch the desert wildlife in the magnificent green Ein-Gedi Oasis. 10:00 AM continue your journey to the Dead Sea. Arrive at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and enjoy bathing and floating on it's therapeutic waters. After floating and covering yourself with mud your driver will begin the trip back to Tel-Aviv. At approximately 2:00 PM arrive back in Tel-Aviv.

Other Sightseeing Options in Southern District, Israel

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What people are saying about Southern District, Israel

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 8,457 reviews

Had a fantastic time with our guide Yonathan. Visited the main sites in Jerusalem and received interesting insights and very detailed explanations about them all. We are a group of mixed nationalities and one of my friends is mobility impaired. Yonathan organized the tour so that no one was left behind. We really had a wonderful time with him. Highly recommended!

Experience was just great. The thing that disappointed me was the huge commission get your guide applied. Considering that Abraham Hostel who is the one who makes the tour charges around 40 pound for the trip while if you book with get your guide you pay 98 (!). Book directly next time!!!!

Our guide was very efficient in getting us through the Bethlehem sites. They were generous at the olive wood factory giving us coffee and pastries. A site to buy or have lunch was not provided. So take the guide up on his offer to buy falafel sandwiches or bring your lunch.

Very interesting! The guide, an archeologist, was very knowledgeable and entertaining! Highly recommended!

Fantastic tour, I will recommended to everybody who comes to Israel. Great guides.