Jerusalem to Masada

Old May 21st, 2007, 07:30 PM
  #1  
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Jerusalem to Masada

I'll be in Jerusalem in June and wanted to take a day trip to Masada. Could anyone give me some tips on the best way to get there? If there are many stops along the way worth seeing, we may rent a car. Is it worth it?

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Old May 22nd, 2007, 03:36 AM
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we are on a cruise in sept and have a free day in jerusalem and also want to go to masada I have found some really helpful information on cruise critic roll calls for royal princess june sept and particularly 23 november boards regarding day trips guides etc the 23rd folk seem to have found several guides trips etc not sure if it is safe to travel on your own but try this site
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:03 AM
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We did a day trip to Masada from Jerusalem, but it was 10 years ago so my memory is a little hazy. We organised the trip from Jerusalem once we were there, and it was very easy. We left Jerusalem very, very early (it was still dark), in order to get to Masada as the sun was just coming up. We went in August and it was extremely hot, so there would be no way I would have wanted to have walked up later in the day. After Masada, we were taken to the Dead Sea which was fun.
All in all, it was a great day out - I would recommend going on a similar organised trip rather than trying to drive.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:03 AM
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I won't be traveling alone. From what I am told, hiking the mountain before sunrise is a must. Can anyone recommend a place to stay near Masada. I think it's too far to drive from Jerusalem to make it before sunrise?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Most have crossed posts! Like I said, we left Jerusalem when it was still dark!!
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:24 AM
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Thanks, that's very helpful! We will look into an organized tour. Are there things around Masada/Dead Sea that we'd want to see where having our own car would be helpful? For example, we were thinking of stoping in Bethlehem. Anywhere else that one would recommend on a drive from Masada/Dead Sea to Tel Aviv?
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:39 AM
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If you want to get there for the hike up the snake path just at sunrise, you'll need to rent a car. The drive should take you only about 1.5 hours or less from Jerusalem. The bus tour companies (Egged & United) that provide day trips from Jerusalem to Masada (and the Dead Sea) don't leave Jerusalem until almost mid-morning as they pick up first in Tel Aviv. So I don't think that's what you want... especially since in June, it will be quite HOT up on top of Masada! So be sure to drink a lot of water and wear a HAT against the hot sun, comfortable shoes, etc. When you come down at the end (either by the snake path again or by cable car), you can get some wonderfully refreshing freshly squeezed juice (orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.) at the outdoor terrace there.

Even if you rent a car, you won't be able to visit Bethlehem 'on the way' to Masada. I know that on the map, it may look possible, but Bethlehem is, of course, in the PA Authority and not technically part of Israel anymore, so you can go there, through the checkpoint, but not with an Israeli rental car and not with that car continuing south from there. You would have to go back out to Jerusalem and around to continue down Route 1 and connecting with Route 90.

I suggest you visit Bethlehem (without your car) on another day - or really a half-day is usually enough to visit the Church of the Nativity, the Shepherds' Fields, the Milk Grotto, even do a little olive wood shopping.

And there ARE things to see and do on the way from Jerusalem to Masada (and back again): the Martyrius Monastery archaeological site in Ma'ale Adumim is fascinating. And of course, there's the St. George Monastery in Wadi Kelt & Ein Fawwar (a beautiful spring way down in the gorge at Wadi Kelt); there's Genesis Land <http://www.genesisland.co.il/> which recreates the feeling of living in the desert about 2000 or so years ago; and you can stop at Mitzpeh Yericho for a wonderful overlook of the ancient/modern town of Jericho (also in PA territory, so you can't drive your rental car there, sorry). That's just a few possibilities!

But what else will you be doing? How long will you be here, etc. etc. etc.?

Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful time!

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:18 AM
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Be carefuk if you do an organized say tour. We did that a few years back and it combined Masada with a resort on the Dead Sea. Only problem was it was only about 90 minutes at Masada then lunch and a very long, boring afternoon stuck at the resort.

If the resort isn't your cup of tea, avoid that combination tour.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Wow, thanks for the very helpful information!

Unfortunately we only have 2.5/3 days in Israel as we were lucky enough to add it on to an Egypt/Jordan trip.

So far we have a day in Jerusalem, early morning/most of the day at Masada/Dead Sea, and then the evening/half day in Tel Aviv.

I don't think we need any advice on Jerusalem/Tel Aviv, but any suggestions for the Masada/Dead Sea day would be most welcome. Thanks so much!
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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An add-on to NoFlyZone's comment about group tours. We were in one of the shops at one of the resorts at the Dead Sea and a group that had taken a tour was organizing a revolt against the bus driver! Apparently, the bus driver did numerous pick ups from the various hotels so that over an hour of the "tour" was actually spent going from hotel to hotel to pick up their fares. There was also a predetermined amount of time spent at some of the shop(s) even though the group did not want to shop. Several of these people were quite vocal about feeling that they had been "had" by the tour operator. So, if I were going to take a tour I would ask detailed questions about the itinerary.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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hi kcdc07

there is a new YHA guest house right at the bottom of Massada
http://www.iyha.org.il/eng/Index.asp...8&ArticleID=64
You can get there in the afternoon/evening? by bus 444 & 486 from Jerusalem - check "Egged" buses timetable.
Then do a very early morning climb (or cable car)

On the way: IMO one should not miss The Ein Gedi (Oasis) National Park, with its 2 river canyons, springs (natural) pools, waterfalls & wildlife like Ibex & Hyrax. If you decide to rent a car & explore the park, i can give you detailed instructions including some less visited pools to bath in...
(Check the timetable) You may take the bus to Ein Gedi, do a quick tour of Nahal David & catch the bus to Massada.

If hiring a car u can also drive up to some magnificent view-points, visit Qumran caves site & stop on the beautiful road at various places (even for phtographing the umbrella-like african Acacias).
If you are interested in plants there's an impressive collection of desert-adapted plants along the road.

personally i love the Judean Desert

aby
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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of course there's some free hot springs not far from the road towards the sea; but that deserves some specific instructions as there's a safety problem because of collapsible holes - a new geomorphological phenomena (dangerous)...
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Wow does Masada bring back fond memories for me!

I spent a summer of collee in Israel back in 83 before the Intefadeh, when things were pretty peaceful. On a 3 day trip we visited Masada ad the Dead Sea. 20 people hiking up the Snake Path with 3 flashlights amongst us around 9 PM was an adventure in itself. Walking around in the dark until 11PM then sleeping under the stars in absolute silence was soo memorable.

Do they still allow people to sleep overnight on Masada?

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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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we have booked with a company called genesis 2000 try googling doing an overnighter going to nazareth jerusalem amsada ein gedi very reasonable cost
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