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Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

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Montreal
posts: 28
reviews: 31
Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

Hi,

We will be in Israel at the beginning of November and I'm planning a day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi and would like to get some advise on itinerary, timing and how feasable it is (as last time I was there it was many years ago and I don't remember the details).

We will be driving from Ashkelon (3 adults and two kids 14 and 9) - it looks like 2 hours drive to Masada. I guess we can be there around 10AM. I'm planning to use cable car and to spend at Masada around two hours. After that we would like to go to Ein Gedi Reserve first (as I know that all National parks close at 4PM). We'll need some quick lunch either at Masada or on our way to Ein Gedi - all in all I think we should be able to make it to Ein Gedi Park before 2PM. Will 2 hours be enough at Ein Gedi park? How challenging are the climbs there?

After the park we would like to go to the beach at Ein Gedi - to show kids how different Dead sea from everything they saw before. So a quick dip would be good, however - will it become cold around 5PM in November - will we be really able to go into the water?

Thanks a lot in advance for any recommendations/updates on my itinerary.

Irene

7 replies to this topic
Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,811
1. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

You need to drive to the end of Road 31 (at the southern end of the Dead Sea), in case you were thinking of driving northeast from Arad on road 3199. If you do the latter you would end up on the wrong side of Masada, and as there is no road through Masada you would not be able to drive from there to Ein Gedi.

The climbs at both Masada and Ein Gedi are not difficult. In fact, if you take the cable car at Masada you won't be doing any climbing there anyway.

It's warm enough for a quick dip in the Dead Sea all the year round, but it will be dark by 5 in November. In any case, the national parks close at 4 in winter, as does the Ein Gedi beach (which is the only one anywhere near where you will be that won't involve a time-consuming drive).

I would do the Dead Sea dip before going to Ein Gedi, then you can spend as much time as you like - or can fit in - at Ein Gedi before it closes.

Montreal
posts: 28
reviews: 31
2. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

Thank You Shuffaluff! Have another question - do you think we will be able to swim in Ein Gedi Park (in the pools, under waterfalls) - it's been a while, but I have impression from my visits many years ago that water is pretty cold there even in summer.

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,811
3. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

You can't swim in the pools under the waterfalls. See this thread:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297744-i13226-k…

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,464
reviews: 81
4. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

Not to be contrary, but yes, you can swim in the pools under the waterfalls. There are about 3 pools where you can take a dip and at least 2 of those have decent waterfalls. The pool at the top of the trail is still closed because of the danger of falling rocks. There are no swimming signs everywhere and everyone, including the army folk, just ignore them. Every birthright group has a group picture taken under the waterfall in one of the pools, the one with the overhanging rock where I have hit my head twice now, hard enough to see stars! Bring watershoes as the pools are rocky. You need watershoes for the Dead Sea as well.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,427
reviews: 31
5. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

OK for the tiny details - you can go into the pools along the trail and get wet - I wouldn't call it swimming. If by swimming you mean a reasonable depth of water and actually swimming then no - the water is barely 2 feet deep at its deepest in the midst of winter after the rains.

You can go in the water, sit under the waterfalls, splash, etc. and have lots of fun.

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
posts: 2,450
reviews: 26
6. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

I'd try to leave a little earlier in the morning to maximise your time at Ein Gedi. There are several lovely trails there for a beautiful 2-3 hour hike. Re. climbs - the hikes are graded by difficulty, but none of the shorter ones are very difficult. Wadi Arugot is a nice option for a hike of around 2 hours, part of which you can hike through a stream.

Montreal
posts: 28
reviews: 31
7. Re: Day trip to Masada and Ein Gedi

Thank You, everyone! I will definitely adjust our plan based on your recommendations.

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