Masada, a desert mesa rising high above the Dead Sea, figures prominently in the Israeli psyche. Shorthand for describing a kind of ‘they’ll never take us alive’ attitude, the term ‘Masada complex’ is part of modern-day Israeli parlance. The story of the siege that took place here has been adopted as a symbol for the modern Jewish state. Israeli school children visit the site as part of their curriculum and some Israel Defence Forces (IDF) units hold their swearing-in ceremonies here, replete with the oath that ‘Masada shall not fall again’. For travellers Masada is an absolute must-see. Set amid spectacular scenery, the site exudes a haunting ambience (especially before dawn) that is unforgettable.
Masada destination guides
Perched at the crossroads of Middle Eastern history for centuries and the spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, Israel remains a must-visit destination for anyone eager to understand this dynamic, always-changing region.
Highlights of Israel
A spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, Israel occupies a unique place in Middle Eastern history. With sacred sites central to three of humanity’s major religions, you could spend a lifetime in Israel and never experience all of its wonders. This trip delivers you to the country’s top natural, historical and cultural treasures in style.