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

  • 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
Desert Jeep Tour from Jerusalem: Mar Saba Monastery and Wadi Qelt
From USD 100.00
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Pickup from Jerusalem New City
Your guide will wait for you in Jerusalem New City (exact meeting point will be provided in the voucher).
From USD 100.00

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.
Reviews (21)
1 - 5 of 10 reviews
Reviewed 20 October 2018
Fascinating and informative!

The tour was very well organized. The drivers/guides were the people with passion who love what they do, love the desert and nature. The tour was an excellent mix of historical knowledge (on ancient Judaism and Christianity, Beduin life on the desert), experiencing nature and...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Andrzej F
Reviewed 13 October 2018
Desert Jeep tour

Overall the Jeep tour was ok. Driver was very careful on some dangerous turns and hills. Morning part of tour was very interesting. Biggest problem on this tour was the very poor quality of the jeep. I realize that we go over difficult terrain and...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank martykluner
Reviewed 17 September 2018
Judean Desert Jeep Tour: Fun ride, amazing views and knowledgable guide

Not only did our small group get to experience stunning views of the desert and the Mar Saba monastery, the off-road jeep ride was also quite fun and we were very lucky with our guide Nir Friedman: He told us a lot about the origin...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Xyritha
Reviewed 11 September 2018

Greatest guide ever! Small group! Cool car - and so much to see, so much to learn in the amazing desert. We had an amazing day out there.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Doreen K
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

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank AndyKiwi
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
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30 August 2018|
Response from AndyKiwi | Reviewed this property |
I'm in New Zealand. Or if you wanted to know where the Judean Desert Jeep tour starts it's at Abrahams Hostel Davidka Square Jerusalem. They deal with the online bookings via their website.