The lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea brings together breathtaking natural beauty, compelling ancient history and modern mineral spas that soothe and pamper every fiber of your body. Surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Negev Desert.
Really just a lake, the Dead Sea is part of the long border between Israel and Jordan whose towering mountains can be seen from the Israeli side, part of the Judean and Negev deserts. Just 20 min. drive from Arad, the Dead Sea is a place popular with Israeli’s wanting a few days relaxation, people, taking advantage of the medical properties of the water, as well as tourists staying for a short time to experience the unique Sea and surroundings. People famously cover themselves in the mineral-rich mud and float in the salty waters at the beaches which line the shores of the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea beaches at Ein Bokek, in the southern Dead Sea, are lined with resort hotels so can be busy during the peak season.
Hiking at the Dead Sea
David River (Nahal David) Walking
Duration: up to 2hrs.
Starting Point: Ein Gedi
A full Judean desert experience is encapsulated in this short but non-the-less spectacular river hike. David River (Nahal David) is in the northern branch of the reserve of Ein Gedi. The river itself is about 11km long. It starts high up the Judean plateau, keeps a moderate slope and is mostly dry. It drops some 190m down a huge dry waterfall to the level of the sloping cliffs, where it creates a steep and curly canyon of white smooth limestone. The springs are in a lower part of the river and provide 120 m^3 per hour in the summer, and around 170 m^3 per hour in winter. The river ends merging with Arugot River forming a delta of 2-3km to the shores of the Dead Sea.
The river is named after King David. The bible (1Samuel, 24) describes him hiding there from King Saul. While David was hiding in the cave, King Saul entered it while he could see nothing in the darkness with a search for rest-room. David then gave up his chance to get rid of his persecutor. The biblical story rendered the names to the near sites – Mount Jesse (King David’s father), Shulamit waterfall, and Dodim cave.
Hiking in Ein Bokek River
Starting point: On Route 90, in the hotel district opposite the David Hotel.
Ein Bokek is a beautiful nature hike that is suitable for all ages although not stroller friendly. If you are travelling with a little one, make sure that you have a carrier or sling so that you can carry your baby. From the parking lot near the road follow the path which is well marked in black. After a few hundred meters, you will enter the canyon and walk along a path with natural walls of rock on either side.
A waterflow flows through the sandy bottom of the canyon to a pool below. Depending on the time of year and how much rain there was during the winter, the pool below can be either full or shallow. After hanging out at the pool and waterfall, you can take the same trail back to the parking lot.