In the heart of the Judaean Desert; to the east of Arad, is a lonely clifftop where there sit the ruins of an ancient fortress. Known simply as Masada; the Hebrew word for “fortress,” this stunning piece of history is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel. Moreover, In 2001, Masada has declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; with the Masada Museum in Memory of Yigael Yadin opening in 2007. I invite you to Join my Masada sunrise tour that you could have the full experience of Masada National Park.
Many tourists travel to Masada to witness the incredible sunrise and take in the fascinating archaeology and history. While some hike to the top; others choose to ride the cable car instead. This fortress has played a significant role in Israel’s history and still represents the people’s spirit today. The IDF even began a swearing-in tradition for soldiers on the top of Masada, where they declare that “Masada shall not fall again.”
What Happened at Masada?
On my Masada sunrise tour, I like to elaborate on what we know about Masada. All of the ancient historical information we have on Masada comes from one man; a first-century Jewish Roman historian named Josephus Flavius. Josephus detailed the history of Masada beginning from the time of Alexander Jannaeus; who was considered the first to fortify the site. Sadly, there is no archaeological proof to back that claim. Next, Josephus wrote that Herod the Great captured Masada and eventually built two palaces as a refuge for himself.
Also, Josephus wrote that a few decades later; a group of Jewish rebels who were considered extremists among their own people used Masada to hide. But the Romans soon found them, and a siege began. In the end, Josephus wrote that the group committed mass suicide leaving over 900 people dead. While some of Josephus’s story has not been proven true, some parts of the tale have archaeological proof. A Byzantine monastery was the last to occupy the Masada until it became what we know today.
Why Taking a Masada Sunrise Tour
So to truly enjoy the beauty of Masada National Park; you must take a Masada sunrise tour. And yours truly by chance, offers a Masada sunrise tour from Tel Aviv or from Jerusalem. Just to ensure that you can see this stunning view from either city. In general, the tour will involve rising early so that we can enjoy climbing the winding path to the clifftop fortress just in time to see the sunrise.
And as you bask in the sun’s warm rays peeking over the horizon; you can look to the mountains of Moab; over the Judaean Desert; and across the Dead Sea’s glistening waters. After the sun has risen; I will take you through the Masada’s highlights and its role throughout time. After the Masada sunrise tour, we will have the opportunity to explore some of the other fascinating sites in the area like Ein Gedi National Park or have a dip in the Dead Sea.