3 Places You Can Visit in Masada
Masada is a fortress located in the Southern District of Israel, a site of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in 73 C.E. It is a historically relevant site that has become a popular tourist destination. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. While Masada, unlike Jerusalem and Haifa, is not a district or city there is a lot to do and explore in the surrounding regions.
Break down your Masada visit to these three sites:
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is 20-30 minutes away from Masada. It is known for being the lowest point on earth, being 1,400 feet below sea level. Besides its geographical traits, it is also known for its hypersaline waters which have health benefits, which have been proven to help treat psoriasis, rhinosinusitis, and osteoarthritis. If you are not after those benefits, you can still enjoy the perks of the salty water which allows you to float in deep water. Be careful about drinking the water, because it is ten times saltier than the ocean. In case you do, go over to the shore and rehydrate yourself.
When visiting the Dead Sea, you can make it a point to visit other beaches close by like Ein Bokek Beach and Mineral Beach. Ein Bokek is free, with showers and changing rooms; a nice place to refresh yourself if you do not have a place in the area. Mineral Beach has mineral mud from the Dead Sea. You can give yourself a mud bath and coat yourself while staying on the shore.
The Masada Museum holds a collection of finds by the Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin, who excavated Masada in the early ’60s. Among the archaeological finds of the region are Roman weapons like arrowheads and remnants of daily life like dates, barley, and pot shards from 73 C.E.
Besides showcasing the finds, they bring the stories to life by featuring critical historical figures of the area like Herod the Great, Josephus Flavius, and Eliezer ben Yai whose lives mark different events in history from 1 B.C.E to 73 C.E. It is a great location to visit before visiting Masada itself to learn about the ruins.
Snake Trail and Cable Cars
To make the most out of your Masada trip, use the Snake Trail and cable car for your ascent and descent. The Snake Trail, on the eastern side of the mountain, is considered integral to the Masada experience. The climb is pretty steep, so make sure to visit with comfortable clothes and hydrate yourself frequently on the climb. You can see the Dead Sea slowly appear as you make your ascent. After you have seen the ruins on top of the plateau, you can take a cable car ride down and get a comprehensive view of the area (also see how far you have climbed!)
It is a location that has access to vacation rentals in Israel; you can check bnbkosher.com for alternatives to the expensive hotels that are near the Dead Sea. However, if you are in a short-term rental in Jerusalem or holiday apartments in Tel Aviv, you can make Masada a day trip.
Don’t miss out on this World Heritage Site!