Friday, June 27, 2014

Masada via the Snake Path

Masada via the Snake path. One of the most exciting ways to get to the Fortress of Masada is via the snake path that winds up the mountain from the eastern side of Masada – from the Dead Sea side. The best time to get there is an hour before sunrise. This is when the gates of the national park are opened. The timing is such that you should get to the fortress of Masada by sunrise, and if not – at least high enough for a nice view.
Masada via the Snake Path

Don’t worry about darkness, very quickly there’s enough light to see the path. I recommend checking the sunrise time on the date you plan to arrive and call the site to ask what time they open. We visited in May and it was around 5AM.
Make sure you have good hiking shoes, water, and a light breakfast. You’ll need also cash for the entrance fee and for the cable car if you are not planning to walk back down. Going up takes 40-60 minutes usually.
After entering the national park, you will get to a sign that will guide you towards the Snake path.

The path is quite long and sometimes steep. Once you gain some elevation, you will see the beautiful sight of the Dead Sea and the Jordan mountains. The path turns steeper as you go up, and towards the end there are many stairs. This is quite a challenging walk uphill but anyone fit can do it, also children.

When you are near the top – you will see the sign for the Snake path for those going down.

The sign with the small number (1) with a headset for the audio guide is the mark of Masada – you’re there!

While going up the sun is coming up from the east. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy and the sunrise was less impressive, but still beautiful. This is a good time to enjoy the view, the rising sun, and take a break to drink something and to have a light breakfast (the one you carried in your backpack, because there’s no cafeteria up in Masada at 5 or 6 am).

Visiting during the early morning hours allows to enjoy the place while it is still rather empty and cool. Expect many stairs everywhere….and of course – fantastic views!

Another advantage of an early visit is that the small animals and birds are out. Some of them would let you get near them and feed them!

After going up and seeing everything, at 8AM the cable car starts running and you can buy a ticket down.

The view from the cable car is impressive and it only takes a couple of minutes to go down. A the bottom station there’s a museum, toilets, a cafeteria and restaurants. We did not stay long there – we rushed to the hotel just in time for a late breakfast!

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