Explore the rugged Judean Desert by 4x4 and swim in the Dead Sea on this action-packed full-day trip from Jerusalem! Travel into the desert by air-conditioned coach and pause at the Qumran Caves, where the precious Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered. Then, board a 4x4 for a thrilling drive along ravines, wadis and desert slopes to see the spectacular Dragot Cliffs and ancient Murbaat Caves, another archaeological treasure-trove. Finally, head to the Dead Sea to relax, float in the salt-rich waters, and enjoy a therapeutic mud bath.
Leave your central Jerusalem hotel in an air-conditioned coach and drive into the Judean Desert. Enjoy the scenery and pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan, a site that symbolizes the Bible parable.
Pause at the signpost marking sea level and descend past Jericho, the world's oldest continuously populated city, in the distance. Before long, arrive at Qumran, an archaeological site near the Dead Sea.
See the exterior of the caves where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a goatherd in 1947. Protected by 2,000 years of arid desert conditions, the ancient texts were found rolled up in dusty clay jars and included early manuscripts of the First Testament and other precious religious writings.
Transfer to a 4x4 with an expert driver to explore the surrounding desert. Recharge with tea, coffee and local Bedouin snacks, and then rumble up steep slopes and through rocky ravines and plateaus to the famous Dragot Cliffs.
Here, enjoy spectacular views over the Dragot River bed and gaze at the cliff-face Murbaat Caves, known for their square-cut entrances. Listen as your guide explains the treasures found in them in the 1950s including Bronze Age artifacts and 2nd-century documents that charted the second Jewish Revolt of 132-135 AD.
After your desert explorations, hop onto your coach and head for the Dead Sea. On arrival, maybe enjoy lunch (own expense) at the cafe before relaxing on the beach. Then, enter the cool, salt-rich waters to experience the unique floating sensation and perhaps also give yourself a mud bath in the therapeutic black mud.
Later, return to Jerusalem where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.