Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Day Trip

Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Day Trip

Hi -

We are off on our first trip to Israel next week. We will be visiting our daughter and son-in-law, who are living there for the year. She has planned an itinerary which includes a day devoted to Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea. She has suggested we rent a car (or van I guess - there will be 6 of us) and do Masada at sunrise then go on to the other two areas before heading back. My questions are:

- Is the only way to get up to the top of Masada at daybreak to hike up? Is the trail going to be doable in the dark for a 9 year old (and several out of shape adults)?

- Is this a doable day in terms of seeing all three sights?

- Does anyone have suggestions for a reputable car rental agency? I assume we would only need the car for a day...


Thanks!
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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It's doable depending on what you want to do at Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. If it's just a drive there to have a look, then you'd be fine.

Where are you driving from?

I'm an out-of-shape adult and I made it to the top (eventually!) - it's a long hike, but steady. Just make sure to have lots of water. I don't know exactly when the cable car starts, but I believe it was something like 8am?

I was in Israel as a teenager with my family - my brother was 9 at the time and loved climbing up. It was a highlight of our summer.

I think you could probably do Masada in the morning and the Dead Sea spa in the afternoon - but doing the hike up to Ein Gedi after Masada would make for a really, really long day in my opinion.

We just did a search on Expedia when we were looking for the car - most typical car companies have offices all over Israel so it wasn't a problem.

As an aside, Ein Gedi is a beautiful part of Israel and it might be worth an overnight depending on how long you'll be in Israel and where you're coming from. Kibbutz Ein Gedi was our favourite place I've stayed both times I've visited.

Have a wonderful trip!
PittPurple
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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I would suggest you stay overnight in one of the Dead Sea hotels. You can visit Ein Gedi, swim in the Dead Sea (a must!), and travel around. Get up real early the next morning and get on the trail before sunrise. Spend a couple hours on the Masada (Metzada), and then some more time in the area before heading back (where to?).

Shop around for that rental van. All the big companies are represented in Israel, plus a couple locals, the largest is Eldan.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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We did exactly what you are envisioning, and it is certainly do-able. To get to the top of Massada for the sunrise, you will definitely have to walk up - the tram starts running at 8am. The 'Snake Path' is well-graded with switchbacks, so children or out-of-shape adults can do it just fine if they take it slowly (I'm living proof!). You might be starting off in the dark, but soon you will have twilight as the Sun approaches rising. You may not be able to tour around the summit ruins before 8am - there is a gate that I heard is locked before the tram starts up. Also you might want to consider taking the tram back down to save some time.

'Ein Gedi' comprises a Kibbutz, a Nature Reserve, and a Spa; so I'm not sure what parts of that you want to visit. The Nature Reserve contains waterfalls and the spring (ein) that gives this place its name. If you are up for just a little more hiking, you should walk to at least the first waterfall, which is an easy 2-km hike. The spa is a commercial enterprise with a gift shop, cafeteria, hot mineral baths, mud pots, a nice outdoor pool, and a little train sort of a vehicle that takes you to the shore of the Dead Sea (which, due to inflowing water withdrawn by countries to both sides, has retreated over 1 km!), and showers to rinse the salt crud off. If you don't want to pay for all that, you can walk down to the Dead Sea from just south of the turnoff to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and go in for free.

However you choose to do it, you will have plenty of time to drive there, see everything, and go back.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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hi esklader

Doable??
well. if wanna put an "x" and say i've been there...
seeing your headline, i immediately thought 'why not add another day'

i wouldn't advise to have it all in one day

aby
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Hi
Cable car starts at 8:00.
From Jerusalem, calculate 1:30 hr drive, and if you want to climb early you should start hiking at 05:30, going up takes 45 min. for someone out of shape it might take longer. On top you will probably spend 1.5-2 hours.
If you do it with a driver/guide, you can climb from the western side-Arad, it takes 20 min. only.
Days are hot and I recommend going down by cable car.
On the same day, you can enjoy The Dead sea, you will have enough time, or visit Qumran ( the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
Good trip
Adi
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Old Jul 21st, 2008, 01:47 PM
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We're looking at an Israel pre-trip before a tour of Jordan. Is it possible to plan an overnight in the vic of the Dead Sea after touring Masada and vicinity from Jerusalem, then drive up to Amman with a stop at Jericho.

Is it possible to get a driver/car from Jerusalem to the Allenby Bridge (with an overnight at the Dead Sea), then transfer to Jordanian transport on the Jordan side to get to Amman? If so, any idea how much something like that would cost?

Does it make sense?

Thanks, richard58
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