Masada meaning a strong foundation is an UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Judean desert. It over looks the Dead Sea offering a unique look into the past.
You can hire a car and get there DIY but for so many places in Israel I would really recommend a tour. There is so much history to learn about and side stories you miss out on not being with a professional. Many team Masada up with the Dead Sea – both half days which is what we did. Ask your hotel or book online – we booked a private tour which catered for many ages and numbers which I would highly recommend. If you don’t be sure to book at least your entrance ticket.
There’s a whole centre there with toilets, snacks, shop etc so you aren’t just driving to a massive deserted (no pun intended) site. If you are coming in the summer then book early morning – like the Dead Sea it is in the desert and it gets super hot and if nothing else not that enjoyable to be walking round in.
When you arrive at the centre you have two choices. A jam packed large cable car (note this is simply to get from A to B rather than its own experience). Or you walk! The walk is about 60-90 minutes so it’s long and a bit of a right of passage for many but a cable car is definitely preferred!
And as you ascend you get a glimpse of the the vastness of this site. But wait till you are at the very top away from the cable car for those photos as the view just gets better!
Masada was built in the first century BC by King Herod as a palace fortress. He even built a side for sunrise and one for sunset!
Later, it became a haven for over 900 Jewish people fleeing the Roman siege of Jerusalem. Though it also is a dark and sad story as they then decided to take their own lives rather than fall into the hands of Roman soldiers.
We were taken round the old bathhouses, the storehouses, and the cisterns which we learnt all about the water supply. Which considering there’s on 3-7 days of rain a year was incredible.
If you are coming to Israel then this is a must – take water and sunscreen and of course a camera! Oh and whilst no rooftop they did have a terrace so kinda the same thing!