Take in the immense, mountainous desert at the Masada Lookout and view the well-preserved and historic palaces and ruins of King Herod.
Masada is an ancient stone site atop a desert plateau with a view of the Dead Sea which can be reached by snake path or cableway. This National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is a well-preserved piece of the ancient kingdom of Israel with many of its buildings and artifacts restored. Masada is one of the most popular Israeli tourist attractions featuring light shows on summer nights. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) holds swearing in ceremonies at the top of the mountain and many young Jews take birthright excursions to the top at sunrise.
Built as a palace by King Herod in the first century BCE, Masada became a fortress against the Romans, the siege of which led to the mass suicide of Jewish rebels. Masada’s last occupation was by Byzantine monks who built the Monastery of Marda. Its remoteness left Masada untouched for two millennia until the site was extensively excavated in the 1960s.