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Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

NJ
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Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

We are planning to go on a day trip on Saturday from Jerusalem to Masada in the early morning, then to Ein Gedi, then Dead Sea, then Qumran to see the film there. I was just thinking that things might be closed on Saturday for Shabbat. Does anyone know??

Question about Ein Gedi. Someone told me that its a beautiful place for a hike? Is it appropriate for kids, mine are ages 7, 9 and 13. If we do this, how much time should I allow there, w/o rushing.

I wanted to go to the Dead Sea and Qumran after Ein Gedi. Is this too much, especially in August w/ 3 kids??

Also, Regarding Kibbutz Ein Gedi, can we go just and look around and eat lunch in the communal dining hall w/ the kibbutznicks w/o staying overnight at the guesthouse?

israel
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1. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

The three sites are open on Saturday. The Qumaran site entrance closes at around 15.00 and you have to leave by 16.00 (this may change by an hour in summer but I am not sure).

The hikes in Nahal Arugot and or Nahal David next to Ein Gedi are suitable for kids your age especialy the Nahal David one and you can swim in some of the rock pools there so be sure to take bathing suits. Allow two hours for this hike. Entrance to the Nahal David park closes at 15.00 to allow thw wildlife it's time too.

IMO, at least that is where I take my clients, is the Ein Gedi beach just two minute from the Nahal David park. The beach is free and has fresh water showers a life guard on duty and unlike the Southern beaches this is still natural Dead Sea and not evaporation ponds like the southern beaches.

You can climb Massada by foot from sunrise, the cable car astrat at around 08.00. Last car down is at around 16.00 (again this may vary a little in summer).

Jerusalem to Massada will take about an hour and forty five minutes to drive. You meed at least one and a half hours to do Massada any justice at all but with young kids you wont want to be there much longer. From Massada back to the Ein Gedi area will take less than half an hour.

Of the things you want to do Qumeran is the northern most so do that last but if it is important then make sure to get there before it closes.

Adam

israel
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2. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

The three sites are open on Saturday. The Qumaran site entrance closes at around 15.00 and you have to leave by 16.00 (this may change by an hour in summer but I am not sure).

The hikes in Nahal Arugot and or Nahal David next to Ein Gedi are suitable for kids your age especialy the Nahal David one and you can swim in some of the rock pools there so be sure to take bathing suits. Allow two hours for this hike. Entrance to the Nahal David park closes at 15.00 to allow thw wildlife it's time too.

IMO, at least that is where I take my clients, the Ein Gedi beach is the nicest and is just two minutes from the Nahal David park. The beach is free and has fresh water showers a life guard on duty and unlike the Southern beaches this is still natural Dead Sea and not evaporation ponds like the southern beaches.

You can climb Massada by foot from sunrise, the cable car starts at around 08.00. Last car down is at around 16.00 (again this may vary a little in summer).

Jerusalem to Massada will take about an hour and forty five minutes to drive. You meed at least one and a half hours to do Massada any justice at all but with young kids you wont want to be there much longer. From Massada back to the Ein Gedi area will take less than half an hour.

Of the things you want to do Qumeran is the northern most so do that last but if it is important then make sure to get there before it closes.

Adam

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3. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

In August with three kids I wouldn't spend an awfullly long time outside, which is what you are planning to do. I wold skip the hike in Ein Gedi and just go to the kibbutz for a meal. I doubt you can go to the communal hall, but contact the guest house and ask them. After the meal, go down to the Dead Sea for a dip and go back home. You'll all be exhausted. Bring lots and lots of water and sunscreen. Drink even if you are not thirsty as the Dead Sea area is very dry and you don't feel the heat.

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4. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

Sorry - you do feel the heat but you don't feel it dehydrating you.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

I second Anon's comments. When I was at the Dead Sea for a day in June, my shirt was literally caked with salt at the end of the day, and I was unaware I was even sweating. (Sorry if that sounds gross....) Luckily, I had been warned, and forced water all day, as much as a liter or so an hour. You can easily become severely dehydrated without knowing it, and this is a particular issue with your kids. You must force them to drink water constantly.

And August is worse than June.

That said, if you are careful you can have a very good day. At Ein Gedi, you might be able to take the relatively short walk to the waterfall; that's not too much of a hike. And it's lovely. I think you can even go for a dip in the natural pool there.

Douglas Duckett

In Tel Aviv -- and very happily so.

NJ
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6. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

Adamsela,

Regarding Nahal David, do you think this would be a hard hike to do with kids, especially after going up to Masada in the morning. We plan to take the cable car, not walk up. But, still, I'm not sure whether we'd be up for a hike at Ein Gedi, althouth the one there I believe is only 30 min, and then again at Nahal David which you mentioned to allow 2 hrs for. If this is too much, which should I eliminate?

israel
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7. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

There are several trails in and around Nahal David - the short one to the big water fall takes about half an hour in each direction at an easy pace (in a hurry I can do this in less than 15 minutes). On the way are several spots where one can paddle in the cool and clean water.

Not only is this hike possible with your kids but in my opinoin it is a MUST even at the expense of missing out on Qumeran.

Have fun.

Adam

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8. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

They are talking about August!!!! I would not do all those walks in August and at least you MUST bring with you hats, sunglasses and TONS of suncream and water.

israel
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9. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

Anon - all what walks ? They are taking the cable car to the summit of Massada and back down again and then heading to Nahal David for a short walk including a swim - I really do not see the problem. Bacause it is August the swim will be great and the walk to and from it negligible. Since they are tourists they do not have the leisure thay you and I have of planning our trips with season in mind but having said that I run literaly hudreds of trips in the summer months for youth groups and famillies.

Guys, just dress properly, drink plenty and have fun. If you feel it is getting too much you can always change the game plan as you go - it is not like you have to book a plane or the likes.

Adam

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10. Re: Masada/Ein Gedi/Qumran - open Saturday?

I do actually see a problem. Last July, just before Tish'a BeAv I took my son to the Davidson park and the Burnt house. We did it around eleven for appr. three hours and by the evening he was running a fever. Now, this family might be very experienced in hiking or just might not. Even if you don't hike Masada, the visit to the plateau itself is still going to take a long time - all under the sun. The short hike at Nahal David is 1.5 hours. I just think people should know the objective situation before they start planning what to me are ambitious itineraries so they won't be upset if they'll be forced by circumstances to make changes to them.