Exploring Israel: Around the Dead Sea
Israel is full of surprises! This week, I’ll tell you more about my experiences in this beautiful country and the places I’ve visited around the Dead Sea. Wondering about the first three day? Click here, here and here to read all about it!
Qumran is well-known as the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The place tells an interesting historic story and has a really beautiful environment. We went here at the beginning of the day for like an hour. In my opinion, one-two hours is enough to discover the Qumran Caves. The park is open from April to September from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and from October to March until 4 p.m. The entrance fee is NIS 21 for adults and NIS 9 for children.
The Ahava fabrique
After visiting the Qumran Caves, we made a quick stop at the Ahava factory. Ahava is the world-famous cosmetics company which offer products where the Dead Sea mud is included. You can go into the factory to have a guided tour, an informative multimedia presentation or to just have expert advice from a cosmetologist. During our time at the factory, we only got to see the informative multimedia presentation. Afterwards, we went into the shop to look at all of the products, but in my opinion it was very expensive, so I didn’t buy anything.
Right after the quick stop at the Ahava factory, we went to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, which I found one of the highlights of the day. Ein Gedi is the biggest oasis in Israel. It has springs and waterfalls, which made it a beautiful place to walk around. Also, Ein Gedi is well-known for the many ibexes the place is home to. We didn’t saw them in the park, but at the end when we went outside, we had the luck that we could see a whole group anyways! When we walked through the park, we also came across a hyrax. Ein Gedi is also home to these animals.
The Nature Reserve is opened in summer and winter. In Summer time, the park is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Fridays and the eve of Holidays, the park is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. In Winter time, the park is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Fridays and the eve of Holidays, the park is open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
It depends on what you would like to see in the park, for how long you have to walk around. Normally, people walk around an hour and a half minimum through the park, but some take a full day. Since we were travelling in a group, we didn’t had a choice and saw a nice part of the park (including a waterfall and cave) in one hour and a half. The entrance fee is NIS 28 for adults and NIS 14 for children.
Of course we also had to visit Masada, one of the most-visited places of Israel. It’s a beautiful rock where Herod the Great made a fort during the time of 37 until 4 before Christ. At that time, he was the king of Judea. On the rock, you still can find the remains of the palaces of Herod with, around it, Roman fortifications. You can definitely spend an afternoon visiting the place and it’s worth the visit.
The Dead Sea
At the end of the day, we had the chance to swim in the Dead Sea ourselves! We went to Kalia Beach, which is sort of a park where they also offer other facilities, like a bar, restaurant, gift shop and of course showers and changing rooms. This was a very crowded place with tourists to swim in the Dead Sea, but the experience was great! Actually, you cannot swim exactly, but you’ll immediately float. The sea also has natural mud, which is there for visitors to immerse themselves in. A great last part of the day! Definitely something you shouldn’t miss during your trip to Israel.
Overall, I find this one of the best and most perfect days out of our roundtrip through Israel. Not only is the Dead Sea area magnificient, it’s also full of beautiful animals and floating over the Dead Sea is such a great experience.
Curious about the last two days of our journey? Stay stunned!