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A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

Long Island, NY
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A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

As I solidify my itinerary for my trip, I have more specific questions. I am traveling with my college age daughter and a close family friend. We two elder ones are in our 50's and 60's - which is relevant to our plans below.

First of all, I re-read through my previous threads/posts on this topic and want to thank you all for your valuable advice and suggestions.

While taking them into consideration, we now plan to rent a car for this day (and the day before), forgo the pre-dawn hike up Masada and begin our ascent closer to 8 AM. We plan to leave Jerusalem at 6 AM (sunrise is at about 6:40 AM so it should be starting to get light out.) My daughter and I plan to hike up and our friend would like the choice to take the cable car up, which I believe opens at 8 AM. We plan to spend about an hour on Masada and will all descend via cable car at about 10:30 AM. I figure we will spend a little time to shop and for a snack.

By 11:30, I plan we will be on our way to a hotel by the Dead Sea for a dip and lunch (an hour for each.)

By 2 PM we would head back north for a visit to Ein Gedi as well to Qumran and start heading back to Jerusalem by 3:30 PM

My questions:

1) Does the day's schedule sound realistic?

2) Do you think we could be back in Jerusalem to return the car by 6PM considering travel time, rush hour traffic and the fact that I am not familiar with driving in Jerusalem? (If not, I will plan to return it the next day.) I am planning to rent with Eldan.

3) Is Ein Gedi a good destination in the middle of the winter - is there something to see or experience there without a big hike?

4) Is there a place to ride a camel along our route? (My daughter and I had a ride last year and could easily skip this and I doubt our friend will be interested, but I thought I'd ask anyway, just in case she's interested.) I read somewhere that one may have a chance to ride a camel at Mount of Olives....

As always, your suggestions and input are greatly appreciated. - Eve

Long Island, NY
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11. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

Do you think the timing of this schedule will work? And is there a fee at Qumran?

6-630 AM - leave Jerusalem, 1.5 hour drive to Masada

8 AM - arrive at Masada, hike up, spend about an hour (9-10 AM) on top, cable down and a half hour at base

11 AM - leave Masada and head to Ein Bokek 1/2 hour drive

11:30 AM - Ein Bokek hotel for dip and lunch

1:30 PM - head to Qumran for view of the caves 1 hour drive

2:30 PM - visit at Qumran the head back to Jerusalem 3/4 hour drive

Israel
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12. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

There is an entrance fee to Qumran:

http://old.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/general2/data_card.php?Cat=~25~~882773155~Card12~&ru=&SiteName=parks&Clt=&Bur=647172523

Since you will be going in winter, when there is a possibility of flash floods (leading to closure of Road 90 in that area), you should check before going. If there is heavy rain in Jerusalem the day before, there are likely to be floods, when all the accumulated water rushes down the mountains into the Jordan Valley. When that happens the road is closed (although there are always a few idiots who think they know better, and some of them won't be doing it - or anything else - a second time...)

Ask at your hotel reception desk for weather reports, and if there is a flood warning.

Israel
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13. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

Your plan is doable - with a few observations.

The drive from Jerusalem to Masada is two hours. Giving yourself only an hour on top of Masada is shortchanging this amazing site. You will miss so much. In actuality to fully see everything there you need closer to 6 or more hours, but I urge you to allot at least two hours to the top of the mountain.

Long Island, NY
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14. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

Yes, we plan to find out about flash floods before we go. We've been to Masada before and loved it but never hiked up the Snake Path : )

Assuming there is no flash flooding (I'll stay optimistic but safe)- how does the timing of the day look? (And I will allow 2 hours to drive to Masada.)

Israel
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15. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

I don't think you will manage all you have planned. But you are welcone to try and run from place to place. There is little if any chance of getting to Qumran before it closes, and perhaps even by dusk. The caves can be seen from the highway. They are not accessible to the public and have nothing in them to see even if they were.

Chana

Israel

Long Island, NY
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16. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

Thank you all very much for the feedback and information - very helpful to me :)

17. Re: A day trip by car to Masada and the Dead Sea

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