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Desert Jeep Tour from Jerusalem: Mar Saba Monastery and Wadi Qelt

Highlights
  • Jeep tour through the Judean Desert with a local guide
  • Stop at the sacred site of Mt Azazel and travel through remote desert landscapes, home to nomadic Bedouin tribes
  • See Mar Saba Monastery, an abbey built into the desert cliffs
More
Desert Jeep Tour from Jerusalem: Mar Saba Monastery and Wadi Qelt
From US$100.00
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travelers
Pickup from Jerusalem New City
Your guide will wait for you in Jerusalem New City (exact meeting point will be provided in the voucher).
US$100.00
Overview

Leave Jerusalem for the Judean Desert on a full-day Jeep tour to Mar Saba Monastery and Wadi Quelt, and discover Israel’s rugged scenery and sacred landmarks. Take in views from the ancient sacrificial site at Mt. Azazel and head off-road into a rocky valley. Visit a Greek Orthodox monastery on the edge of a cliff, descend to Moses’ legendary tomb then spend the afternoon soaking up desert sunshine in Ein Prat, a nature reserve supported by sheltered springs; enjoy an Israeli coffee by the water before returning to Jerusalem.  

What to Expect
Board your jeep in the morning, and travel out of Jerusalem into the Judean Desert. As the city traffic gives way to the smooth blond landscape of sand dunes, listen to your guide talk about the places visited on your itinerary.

Your first stop is at the lofty heights of Mt Azazel, a sacred spot where a mountain goat — or in this case, a scapegoat — was cast off the cliffs each year to carry away the sins of the people. Soak up the views over the desert, and then carefully travel down into the valley. The terrain is truly off-road here — a place inhabited by nomads and Bedouin tribes. Look out for their tents and animals, and visit an ancient water hole that’s still in use by desert farmers today.

Continue to Mar Saba Monastery or St. George Monastary, both tucked-away treasures that overlooks a deep ravine. Flanked by rock caves, the Greek Orthodox monasteries have the history to match their impressive looks; founded some 1,500 years ago, they are believed to be some of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world.

Stop for around 20 minutes to view Mar Saba or St. George Monastery before continuing through the desert. Pass Nabi Musa, an ancient structure believed by Muslims to be the tomb of Moses. After a brief stop to purchase lunch from a shop along the way, travel onward to Ein Prat to enjoy the rest of your afternoon. The nature reserve is made up of several springs and natural pools, which spawn rich vegetation and flowers to an otherwise unflinching desert landscape.

Pay your entrance fee, and then use your time here for a dip in the water or, if the weather is cooler, follow your guide on a valley hike. Trails meander alongside streams and dip between cliffs, allowing for rewarding views over the reserve.

Before leaving, enjoy a coffee with your guide and gaze out at Wadi Qelt, the largest spring inside Ein Prat. From here, make your journey back to Jerusalem to end your tour at the start point.
Write a ReviewReviews (16)

1 - 5 of 5 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2018
How Nomads survive

Took this trip the day before a longer tour of Israel. It added a dimension to my Israel experience by getting immersed in the arid sun baked areas just outside the relative lushness of Jerusalem. Five of us in one jeep, well air conditioned, Ami...More

Thank AndyKiwi
Reviewed 6 April 2018
Amazing Jeep Ride

One of the best tours I've taken in Israel. The guides were amazing and the scenery spectacular. It was so nice to get out of the city and spend time in the desert to learn more about the land of Israel.

1  Thank Joyce L
Reviewed 5 March 2018 via mobile
Judean Desert Tour

The Judean Desert tour was wonderful. Our eyes were opened to the wonder of the desert and insight into the country of Israel. Thanks to our guide Nir Friedman who made this a once in a life time experience.

Thank dolfkleyn
Reviewed 2 March 2018
Great tour of the desert in West Bank!

Our guide was great and gave some really good background to some of the places we visited. The scenery was beautiful and we really enjoyed Wadi Qelt.

Thank pearlbuhler
Reviewed 1 January 2018
Excellent trip

It was wonderful to see the desert after being in the city. Our driver was fabulous and answered any question to the best of his ability. Some of the roads are very rough. Be warned!

Thank pianist52549055
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