Experience Jerusalem's ancient history and the beautiful nature of the Judean Desert on this short and sweet 3-day itinerary. Visit the Tomb of King David and stroll through an open-air market, see the Dead Sea Scrolls, and take in the views from the hilltop Masa fortress. End your trip on the Dead see to experience the rich minerals and world-famous salty water.

Highlights

  • Explore the Jewish and Christian quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem
  • Visit the city of Bethlehem
  • Relax on the shores of the Dead Sea

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Jerusalem Old City Jerusalem
Day 2 Jerusalem New City Jerusalem
Day 3 Dead Sea / Masada Eilat

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Jerusalem Old City

Old City of Jerusalem
Old City of Jerusalem

Your three-day tour starts with an exploration of ancient Jerusalem and an incredible panoramic view from Mount of Olives. From here, drive to the Old City of Jerusalem to visit the Tomb of King David and the room of the Last Supper on Mt. Zion. Wander through the streets of the Jewish Quarter to the Roman Cardo, which formed the main shopping avenue during temple times. 

From here, walk through the Herodian quarter and continue to the Western Wall, the holiest site for modern-day Jews. Continue into the Christian quarter and walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The tour then departs Jerusalem and continues to Bethlehem. Stop to see Rachel's Tomb on the way to the Church of Nativity and the Manger Square, where crowds of people gather to celebrate every Christmas. 

Return to Jerusalem in the evening. 

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Day 2: Jerusalem New City

Mahane Yehuda Market
Mahane Yehuda Market

After breakfast head out to explore. Your first stop is the Knesset to discover Israel's democratic system at the parliament building. View the Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem, then visit the colorful Mehane Yehuda open-air marketplace. Sample different wares and enjoy street food for lunch, then make your way to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, a Temple Model, and various ancient artifacts. 

Dinner is on your own again. Make your way to the First Station, a marketplace and cultural center on the site of Jerusalem's original train station, for an evening out. 

Day 3: Dead Sea / Masada

Floating in the Dead Sea
Floating in the Dead Sea

On the final day of the tour, leave Jerusalem behind you and drive through the Judean Desert to reach the Dead Sea, which at 1300 ft (400 m) below sea level is the lowest point on earth. Stop at Qumeran to visit the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, which you saw in the Shrine of the Book during yesterday's museum visit. 

Continue the drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to the ancient desert fortress of Masada. Ascend to the top by cable car (optional hike to the top) and tour the archaeological site where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 CE. You'll see different buildings, including the bathhouse and synagogue, as well as restored buildings and modern displays.

Return back to the ground by cable car, then continue to the Dead Sea to Ein Bokek Beach. Enjoy floating in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea and cover yourself in mineral-rich muds to experience its therapeutic properties. 

Map

Map of Jerusalem, Masada & Dead Sea - 3 Days
Map of Jerusalem, Masada & Dead Sea - 3 Days