"Ein Gedi: Oasis by the Dead Sea" Top 5 Page for this destination `En Gedi by iblatt

`En Gedi Travel Guide: 105 reviews and 378 photos

A Green Paradise in the Desert

Ein Gedi is a kibbutz founded in 1953 on the shore of the Dead Sea, in those days as remote as a place in Israel could be, at the end of the road, close to the Jordanian border. Today it is only a 90 minute drive from Jerusalem, much more accessible, but still when you get to Ein Gedi you feel very far away from the city, like on a different planet.

The kibbutz is a beautiful green paradise, a live-in botanical garden. There is a kibbutz-style resort with good accomodation, good food and easy connections to the Dead Sea spa, to the nature reserve and to nearby attractions. From Ein Gedi there are great views towards the Judaean Desert to the east and the Dead Sea to the West, with desert canyons and palm tree plantations in between.

Ancient Ein Gedi and the Secret of Perfumes

The Jewish settlement in Ein Gedi goes back to the Second Temple era (early Roman period), but developed and thrived from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD, during the late Roman and Byzantine periods.

The villagers grew date palms and parsimmon bushes, manufactured perfumes including the very desirable parsimmon (commiphora opobalsamum) perfume, the well-kept "secret formula" of Ein Gedi, the equivalent of the Coca Cola formula in our days...
The ancient synagogue with its magnificent mosaic floor is the best remaining evidence from that period.
The ancient Jewish village and its synagogue were destroyed by fire in the 6th century AD, probably during Emperor Justinian's persecutions.

Canyons, Waterfalls, Salt, Sulfur and Mud...

There is a lot to do in Ein Gedi. Nature all around is beautiful. The Nachal David Nature Reserve has lots of vegetation, waterfalls, natural pools, a beautiful canyon, wildlife and a system of hiking trails. Another beautiful nature reserve is the Nachal Arugot canyon.

On a different note, also part of the fun, is the Ein Gedi Dead Sea beach and spa. There is a free public beach and camping site, and a private beach belonging to the spa. The spa has a mud bath, sulfur pools and showers and an open-air swimming pool.

Whether your holidays in Israel are long or short, don't miss Ein Gedi, there's no other place like it!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Oasis, nature hikes, spa, beach, archaeology, kibbutz experience, mild winter weather...
  • Cons:Very hot in summer!
  • Last visit to `En Gedi: Feb 2011
  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2011
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Reviews (21)

Comments (4)

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Excelent page with lot of information

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    You've got here lots of interesting and useful information. It brought back wonderful memories. I hope to visit En Gedi again. In the meantime I had to feel satisfied meeting hyrax during my African holidays last year

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Great pages, great tips!

  • piglet44's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Hi Ilan you taught me a word in English "parsimmon" cool!

iblatt

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