Eilat, Dead Sea & the South Hidden Secrets of Eilat, Dead Sea & the South

Hidden Secrets of Eilat, Dead Sea & the South

A Walk in Nahal Qumran
Days Out in Eilat, Dead Sea & Negev

Nahal Qumran runs through the Judean Desert and runs through a dramatic gorge towards the Dead Sea by the ancient village of Qumran.

Cliff Nahal Qumran Israel

Qumran is famous as the home of a small sect of devout yet monastic Jews at the end of the Second Temple. The hermits devoted much of their time to writing scrolls that they hid in nearby caves. The scrolls were discovered many years later - The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Amudei Amram & Shchoret Mountain
Days Out in Eilat, Dead Sea & Negev

The mountains near Eilat hide numerous natural treasures; some of them are surprisingly easy to access.


Drive 10 Kilometers north of Eilat on the main road (route 90) and you will see a pair of brown signs pointing left (westward). The signs will name two of the prettiest places in the region. They are easy to access by (almost) any car, and are suitable for children - Amudey Amram (Pillars of Amram) and Shchoret Canyon. After a bit more than 2 Km drive the track will split, take the left fork for Shchoret Mountain & Canyon and the right fork for Amudei Amram.

Ein Gedi National Park
Days Out in Eilat, Dead Sea & Negev

About Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi - a desert oasis - green scenery in the midst of the yellows and browns, located west of the Dead Sea. The name Ein Gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein which means spring and gdi (or gedi) which means goat-kid and you will certainly encounter the mountain goats scampering up the cliffs.


Ein Gedi was settled for thousands of years and there are some incredible mosaics in the Ein Gedi ancient synagogue. In the Bible, Ein Gedi is mentioned in the Song of Songs (1:14) - "the vineyards of Ein Gedi".


Ein Gedi is a place for a walk or a hike or in the local - a "tiyul."  Ein Gedi is one of those places you can go to time and time again. I think that the average school kid probably has two or three excursions to Ein Gedi during their school career and maybe one or two trips a year with their families.
Ein Gedi Synagogue
Days Out in Eilat, Dead Sea & Negev

EinGedi SynagogueThe archeological site of Ein Gedi (Eingedi) is located about half a mile north of the Nachal David – Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Every January a group of volunteers continues to excavate this interesting site. This past January (2011) they revealed another room in the Ein Gedi old synagogue complex and found multiple clay objects.

Ein Netafim - An Israel Desert Hike with Rami
Days Out in Eilat, Dead Sea & Negev

Most people visiting  Eilat will head directly to the sea and prefer the excitement of swimming with the beautiful fish and marine wildlife. I suggest that you find some time to also head in the other direction into the mountains just west of the city. If you take the road (Road 12) going up the mountains you will soon reach the sign to Ein Netafim. "Ein" in Hebrew means both "eye' and "spring." "Netafim" means small drops. Bear in mind you are visiting one of the driest areas of Israel and do not expect much water!


Hiking in Ein Netafim

Park at the parking bay just by the road and walk northbound on the signed trail until you reach the edge of the canyon. The scenery is very unique, yet it is a route that is suitable for children of almost any age. The way down, is a bit difficult with metal handles on the cliff but it is worth the decent as the surprise awaiting at the bottom gives you a real feeling of the Israeli attitude towards wet places. Once down you will discover the poorest and smallest spring you ever saw. A few drops of water collected into a miniature pond with a flake of green color on the base of the cliff, is all that you will find!

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