The Journey to the Holy Land continues as we travel to the Dead Sea and Masada. These are two popular excursions that can be done within a day trip from Jerusalem and offer some of the most surreal photo shoot landscapes.
Watch the behind the scenes video:
First stop is Masada, which is located on top of a mountain in the Judean desert about an hour and a half from Jerusalem. We take a funicular to the top of the mountain, which is over 400 meters high. This is isolated spot is where King Herod, King of Judea's fortress was built so he could protect himself from a revolt. It is a fortified temple that includes his living quarters, a sauna, a swimming pool with mosaic floors, a cistern with rainwater, and more - all built in Roman style. It is amazing to see such a historic site in the middle of a barren desert.
After King Herod died, the Romans seized Masada and the Jewish rebels decided to take their own lives rather than be at the hands of the Romans. The site is now place where the Israeli Army takes an oath to protect Israel. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most respected sites for the Jewish people.
Photo Pro Tip: There are multiple vantage points along the edges of Masada where you can photograph the panorama of the Judean desert and Dead Sea.
Next stop is the Dead Sea, which is located on the Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian desert land. We visit Kalia beach and float in the water. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 394 meters below sea level. The water has an unusual salt concentration, giving it a natural buoyancy. It is surrounded by a barren desert landscape, which makes for surreal photography. We covered ourselves with the mud from the muddy shores and floated in the water. The beach is enclosed with buoys and is very crowded at the sunset time.
Photo Pro Tip: Venture to the edge of the buoys where no one else is floating and bring a book into the water. Bring a waterproof case for your phone. This will help you get the iconic Dead Sea photo (see below).
Also, something to note about the Dead Sea is that it is very muddy. The sea floor is like quicksand, there are areas with coarse salt crystals, and the water can be harsh on your camera gear. Be sure to bring the following travel essentials and camera equipment before embarking on the Dead Sea and Masada excursion:
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.