When you think of a youth hostel, do you imagine creaky iron beds, a sorrowful lobby and a tired breakfast? You probably haven’t been to the Masada Youth Hostel yet. Well, put all your preconceived notions aside, and come with us on a guided virtual tour of this charming place. Warning: there’s a good chance that, when you’ve finished reading this, you’ll start packing up and driving off into the middle of the desert.
Part of the fun of a vacation, is to sit and read in the lobby, have coffee on the terrace with a nice view, or pass the time in the pool. The Masada Youth Hostel understood this and accorded extra investment in the public spaces. Already at the entrance, you will encounter a spacious and tastefully designed lobby, with cozy seating areas and, most importantly, huge windows allowing you to sit in the air conditioning and take in the stunning views of the Dead Sea and the Masada Marls. From the lobby extends a huge, wide terrace with tables and chairs, and you’re invited to sit there and take in the beautiful scenery. Recommendation: bring your drinks, fruit and snacks, and prepare for a perfect evening in front of the sunset.
From the other side of the lobby, you can look out over what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the place – the pool. Imagine a circular pool of cool water surrounded entirely by desert scenery. It feels as though you’re in a secret natural cistern hidden away in the middle of the desert. Behind you are the Ha’Etekim Cliffs, before you, the white and sculptured marlstone rocks and, in the background, the Dead Sea shimmering in deep blue. The pool is open from April to October.
You’ll also find a large basketball court in the area, to vent your energies and spend a fun evening – because where else can you play basketball, when the view through the fence is of the Ha’Etekim Cliffs?!
Prepare for all the previous ideas you’ve had on youth hostel rooms, to be completely shattered! The rooms at the Masada Youth Hostel are beautiful, comfortable, clean, equipped with everything you need and they’re maintained at a very high level. The rooms have a TV, fridge, coffee corner, a small balcony overlooking the sea or mountains, WiFi and, of course, air conditioning. For those in need of extra accessibility, there are also easy-access rooms, as well as an accessible reception station, elevators, hearing aid systems, and stair-markings for the visually impaired. In short, someone thought in advance about your comfort, right down to the smallest details, so that you can enjoy every moment in the room.
What’s in the Area?
Once you’ve arrived here, you’ll quickly discover that you’re right in the middle of everything – yet the place is very quiet and calm. A contradiction in terms, perhaps, that can probably only be found in the desert. Let’s start with the obvious – Masada National Park, with its many attractions, is right next to you. 5 minutes’ walk and you’re inside the cable car that will take you up to its summit.
The hostel itself is on the border of the Masada Marls –soft, white marlstone rocks that have eroded over the years, and in which the wind has created spectacular sculptural forms. Walking among the marlstone rocks is just like walking through a mysterious sculpture-garden created by Nature.
A five-minute drive south, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Ein Bokek’s bustling hotel complex, with its shopping mall offering hi-end brands, shops, restaurants, a beautiful and convenient, recently renovated public beach, a splendid promenade along the seafront, and more. It’s also the departure point for one of the most popular summer tours – Nahal Bokek, a stream with an abundance of water and an easy walking trail, suitable for the whole family.
A twenty-minute drive north, and you’ll reach the spectacular oasis of the Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve – Nahal David, Nahal Arugot and the Ancient Synagogue. This means that, half an hour at most, after you’ve left the stream, you can already be cleaned up and in bed in your room. What a pleasure!
Masada is also a wonderful starting point for adventure tours, jeep tours, a new cycling path recently inaugurated, and more. You are welcome to ask for information at reception, and the staff will be happy to give you details that will enhance your experience in the area.