Characterised by deep ravines and steep cliffs, the drive through the Judean Desert to Masada, on a remote rock plateau, is stunning. First settled in the Stone Age, the desert lies just east of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world.
The story of the fortifications of Masada, where a handful of Jewish rebels made a courageous stand against a Roman legion, is the stuff of legend. You’ll ride the cable car to the summit, where you can explore the ancient synagogue as well as the ruins of palaces with mosaic floors, Roman baths and the impressive water cistern network, devised by Herod as a means to survive siege conditions and fill his swimming pools.
Next, your guided tour will take you to the sulphurous spa resort Ein Gedi, fed by the Dead Sea, and feted for its health benefits for thousands of years. The mineral and salt content of the Dead Sea is thought to help ease a wide range of ailments, and of course it’s an experience in itself just to gently float along. Whether you have a mud pack compress or a swim in the hot pools, just remember to spoil yourself. You’ve earned it.
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