The Dead Sea, a geological wonder more than 400 meters below sea level in the lowest point on the surface of the earth, is a wonderful place to travel as well as healing your body and relaxing your mind. The surrounding area is full of hiking paths and interesting historical remains, including the dramatic Jewish fort of Masada. It is 65 kilometers long and 16 kilometers wide at its maximum point. The lake has no outlet, but in the hot climate of the area the rate of evaporation is so high, that the water level has remained almost constant.
- Qumran: The caves where of one of the greatest religious discoveries of modern times took place. In 1947 a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon the Dead Sea Scrolls, papyrus documents dating from the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. More than 500 Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts, ten of them almost completely preserved, have been found in 11 caves at Qumran. These are the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Bible. The scrolls include all the books of the Old Testament, apocrypha, and various writings that describe life in the time of Jesus. These manuscripts are the work of the Essene community who established their center at Qumran. The Essenes hid their library and archives in the surrounding caves thus saving these books from destruction.
- Mount Sodom: A rock-salt mountain which is a must-see. This is a low mountain to climb and the view all the way to the top is simply breathtaking.
- En Gedi Beach: A public beach which lets you enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for free. The beach is composed of stones rather than sand.
- Wadi Boqeq: A great hiking experience. It’s offer a relatively easy path.
- Wadi Arugot: En Gedi Nature Park’s southern valley. With a multitude of pools and waterfalls along the trails, this Wadi offers a good hiking trip. Don’t miss on the 5th century synagogue northeast of the wadi entrance with its mosaic pavement.
- Arad: Founded in 1961, Arad is best known for the Tel Arad archaeological site on its doorstep. The massive walls of the citadel have been rebuilt using original material. The entrance to the complex is through the east gate, surrounded by massive towers. Within the walls lie remains of the old city and a Hellenistic tower. The most important building is the Jewish temple in the northwest of the citadel.
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