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.
Look out for the ibex and the other creatures that are very friendly. You are warned to be cautious if you encounter desert leopards, but it is not likely. I saw a few of them once at 2:00 in the morning – and that was amazing.
Nahal David, Nahal Arugot & Other Ein Gedi Hikes
Nahal David is the simpler walk – there are lots of pools in which you can cool your feet or go swimming – just perfect for the hot day. There are even places where you can just leap off the rocks into the pool below.
The water forms its own channel through the rock and so there are a few places where you can take a natural shower – amazing!
Nahal Arugot is a more rewarding walk with year round water but it takes longer and is not as easy with small children.
There are also several trails that go further into the desert with spectacular views of the Dead Sea. These are well worthwhile doing, and many people find that the desert walk, with frequent water pools, and an ice cream at the end makes a perfect day out. If you are interested in these trails come equipped for a proper desert hike and consult with the rangers on site before setting out.
See Ein Gedi Reserve
See also Nature Reserves
See also the Ein Gedi Photo Gallery
They are very strict here about the no food rule – I have even seen bags being searched and rangers intervene when they see you eating. However, water is essential – there is a cooler to fill your bottles behind the wall on the right after the turnstiles. It is very hot here, you must drink especially if you undertake some of the more challenging routes in the reserve.
Bring clothes and shoes that can get wet. There are a couple of pools that you can go in where the water is quite deep; please keep an eye on your children in all of the pools.
The official Ein Gedi NP site claims partial wheelchair access – we assume that this is for the synagogue, as the trails are not paved and there are some steep steps and hearty climbing amongst rocks.
Ein Gedi Accommodation
There is a youth hostel and also a kibbutz hotel (that we have heard good things about) that makes for a perfect desert hideaway.
Getting To EinGedi
On Road 90, by the Dead Sea.