From Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv, the Dead Sea and Masada National Park are great destinations for a day trip away. If you are ever in the region, these two locations are highly recommend for their natural sights and surroundings. Masada National Park is located on the western side of the Dead Sea and is around an hour and 35 min drive and 2 hours and 10 from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Abraham Hostels do regular tours starting from both cities and it is definitely worth the money and time.
The Great Masada Fortress
With cliffs going up as high as 1400 feet, the large plateau sits at a great vantage point for a fortress. Herod the Great saw this and first started building his palace on the land in 37 BCE. Apart from the great military advantage, the location offers the best view of the dessert, as well as sights of the Dead Sea ahead.
Get up early and onto the early morning sunrise tour to see one of the best views of the sun erupting behind the Dead Sea and over the deserted land. The bus ride down is a great time to rest and nap before the 1 hour hike up the fortress for great pictures with an unbelievable view behind you. Explore the fortress and picture how people would’ve lived in this dry desert land. The sunrise and view is by far the best I have seen, for sure.
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
A short ride from Masada, Ein Gedi is one of the largest oasis and natural reserves in Israel. Nature lovers will immediate find the reserve calming and full of wildlife and animals. For others, the area offers beautiful natural waterfalls and fresh water, again offering fantastic photo opportunities.
The final stop of the tour is at the Neve Midbar Beach, a well maintained but highly tourist populated attraction. The level of salt in the water makes it possible to float without any effort and allowing your skin to pick up nutrients and hydrate. Be sure not to get any water into cuts and eyes as this will sting and hurt, alot.
Dead Sea and Masada – A perfect little day trip
Whether you really wanted to float, see the perfect sunset or simply have a day spare hanging around Tel Aviv, a tour to the Dead Sea and Masada is highly recommended and worth doing. The early start will discourage alot of us, but for those who do get up, the sunrise is phenomenal.
Also published on Medium.