Masada reminds me of the movie 300 where a small band of Greek warriors fight off 1 million Persian soldiers. While putting on a great fight, the Greek warriors were eventually defeated and killed by the Persian army.
Much like the movie “300” you have a small group of Jewish people fight off a much larger Roman army. Aparently, the Romans had great difficulty breaking in the citadel. Because the Roman army was much greater in size, they eventually overpower the Jewish people. However, instead of being defeated and captured and probably turned to slaves, 960 Jews chose to commit mass suicide.
Masada the Jewish Colony
When I visited Masada, the one big question I had was why did they choose to live here? The region is extremely hot and the conditions are harsh and doesn’t seem like the ideal place to live. Speaking to our taxi driver, he pointed out that Masada looks exactly like the other mountains making it camouflage and hard for enemies to spot.
Pathway in the ancient colony
From a tourist standpoint, Masada is one of the best place to get a view of the Dead Sea. Up top, you will get a beautiful panorama view of one of the world’s seven natural wonders.
Just make sure to bring plenty of water when exploring the ancient citadel as it gets really hot at the peak. I got sunburns all over my body after two hours of sun exposure (which really hurts when I floated on the Dead Sea later on).
Taking pictures in Masada can also be frustrating as you will be mobbed by huge tourist groups from Korea. The best course of action is to go to less populated spots in Masada. Then, wait for the giant tour groups to pass before taking pictures of other more popular spots.
The cost to enter Masada is 74 Shekels (about $25 CDN).
Our taxi ride from our hostel to Masada and the Dead Sea cost us 800 Shekels (200 Shekels per person or roughly $67 CDN). We chose to take a taxi to Masada and the Dead Sea because our hostel quoted us 300 Shekels to shuttle us to both places. We will save 100 Shekel per person by hiring a taxi instead. You can of course take the bus to both places but it would be a very long and uncomfortable day for you.
If you are in Israel, do make sure to visit Masada. Stop by the Dead Sea afterwards.