Travel from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Masada
One of the special things about traveling around Israel is that within one hour you can experience a completely different environment, such as the spectacular Dead Sea and Masada. Learn more below about the best ways to travel to the Dead Sea and Masada.
You can also skip the lines and book a Masada ticket package online. It includes entrance to the site, a ride on cable car, entrance to private Dead Sea beach and lunch at Masada Restaurant. Interested?
Anyway, on to our guide to traveling to the Dead Sea and Masada…
Of course it is most convenient to join an organized tour of the Dead Sea and Masada that takes care of transportation and logistics.
Masada, the Dead Sea & View of Qumran is a popular one day tour that takes you to the Dead Sea and allows you to ride a cable car up to Masada fortress and enjoy the stunning view of the Biblical wilderness.
You can also give yourself the best of both worlds with an inspirational and educational tour of Jerusalem’s Old City as well as a relaxing trip to the shores of the Dead Sea if you book the Jerusalem & the Dead Sea one day tour.
We also recommend the following tours:
One of the fun parts about driving yourself is that you have the freedom to get off at various points along the journey. Once you leave Jerusalem you soon enter the Arava Valley, and will see the stunning sites of Qumran and Jericho on the left. About 25 minutes into your drive, you will get to sea-level, which is marked with a sign, and is a great photo opportunity. Find out more about car rentals in Jerusalem.
The roads are notorious for their downhill and winding nature, so drive slowly, carefully and don’t be tempted to pass a truck on the way.
When you arrive in the Dead Sea, you will see Bedouin tents and stores that sell pottery and souvenirs. From there, continue straight and as you make a right toward the Dead Sea, you will see a gas station, one of the few in the region, so make the most of the opportunity to fill your gas tank up, stretch your legs and stock up on snacks.
As you drive down south, you’ll encounter the various Dead Sea Beaches, then Ein Gedi, Masada and finally Ein Bokek. You may choose to continue straight down to Eilat, which is a few hours further away.
Private Taxi Cab
Private taxi cabs from Jerusalem can be arranged to the area, with the cost around 350 ILS to both the Dead Sea and Masada.
In Israel, public transportation is a common way of not only getting around the city, but also for intercity travel.
Egged Bus 486 travels from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (platform 5) direct to the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada (no buses on Shabbat from Friday afternoon till Saturday evening). There is a public beach at the Dead Sea accessible to all about one hour from Jerusalem. There you will get to float in the heavenly mineral-rich therapeutic waters but may have to walk a little further afield to find mud on the shoreline.
The trip to Ein Gedi is one hour 30 minutes in duration and costs (one-way ticket) 37.50 ILS (63.80 ILS return). Many people find it worthwhile to get off at the Ein Gedi Spa, or the Ein Gedi nature reserve, where a two-hour hike includes two fresh water springs, lush green vegetation and sightings of wild ram and desert guinea pigs.
To get to Masada, the 2,000 year old Roman fortress on a cliff overlooking the Dead stay, stay on the bus and get off a few minutes later. The fare to Masada costs 42 ILS (71.40 ILS return). Many people try to time their trip with sunrise when there are spectacular views from Masada. The view of the sun coming up behind the red Moab Mountains with the Dead Sea and Judean Desert below is certainly a highlight of a trip to Israel for many.
If you’re looking for a vacation, then head to Ein Bokek, where all the major hotels are found. The bus ride to Ein Bokek is two hours in duration and costs 42 ILS (71.40 ILS return).
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