Ein Gedi, Israel

Ein Gedi is a unique oasis-reserve located in the Judean Desert, on the western coast of the Dead Sea. Nearby many centuries ago there was an ancient city of the same name, the ruins of which are one of the most interesting places for archaeologists.

According to Allcitycodes, Ein Gedi in Hebrew means “source of the goat”. Rich pastures on its territory, fed by the waters of a natural spring, served as a guarantee of the prosperity of the city and a place for grazing numerous livestock, among which goats occupied not the last place.

The settlement of Ein Gedi existed here before our era, around the 7th century. It was an important supplier of figs, dates, grapes, wine, valuable incense and a rare type of balsam known far beyond the ancient city. A kind of successor to the traditions of the past is the kibbutz, founded in 1953. Not only dates are grown on the territory of this agricultural commune. Kibbutz Ein Gedi produces the famous mineral water, the source of which was known 3000 years ago, and cosmetics based on Dead Sea minerals. There is a museum and a cactus garden. Ein Gedi also includes a medical complex on the shores of the Dead Sea with hydrogen sulfide baths and a beach.

According to National Geographic, Ein Gedi is one of the ten must-see places on the planet.

How to get there

The most convenient way, without transfers, to get to Ein Gedi from Tel Aviv. Departure is from the bus terminal Arlozorov (Arlozorov Terminal), located in the northern part of the city. There is only one bus number 421 per day. Approximate departure time to Ein Gedi is 8:40 am, back at 14:27. Travel time is two and a half hours. One way fare is 95 ILS.

How to navigate in the city

The territory of Ein Gedi is divided into several parts, each of which can be reached by bus from Tel Aviv. The distance between the stops is significant, so in case of the wrong choice, you will have to walk a fairly long distance in the heat. The first stop is the famous oasis reserve, with stunning waterfalls, caves, streams, rich flora and fauna, and an ancient synagogue. There is also a hotel near this stop. The second stop is a beach on the Dead Sea, a restaurant and a gas station. The third is for those who want to visit Kibbutz Ein Gedi, which is currently home to several hundred people. The last stop is the famous Ein Gedi Spa, which offers a range of beauty and wellness treatments for everyone, including pools with special warm water rich in minerals and salts.

Ein Gedi beaches

Ein Gedi has a public beach. The entrance is free. The beach is rocky, practically unequipped. There are only plastic umbrellas to protect from the sun, showers and toilets. It is recommended to take special shoes with you, as you can injure your feet not only on the stones on the shore, but also in the water of the Dead Sea itself. The descent to the water is not very convenient. The private beach belonging to Ein Sedi Spa is much better equipped, but it is also rocky. There are special walkways for more comfortable diving into the water.

History and culture

The appearance of the settlement of Ein Gedi is associated with the decline of the northern kingdom. The choice of a place for the future city was connected, apparently, with a unique location – next to a natural source of water, which is a spring falling down from a height of two hundred meters and feeding the surrounding territories. The remarkable water supply system that has come down to us speaks of a high level of technical development. Moreover, Ein Gedi was a wealthy city. The basis of the well-being of the inhabitants was agriculture and the production of very expensive and fragrant oil, which is in great demand outside the city. The secret of creating oil was kept in the deepest secrecy, as evidenced by the inscription on the mosaic floor of the preserved ancient synagogue, according to which the one who discovers the secret of Ein Gedi, that is, the recipe for production, there will be a curse. The city is mentioned in ancient texts, including the Bible.

It is believed that it was in Ein Gedi that the Old Testament David was hiding from the wrath of King Saul. In honor of this event, one of the streams of the reserve is named “David’s Stream”. There are references to the settlement in the Song of Songs of King Solomon.

Ein Gedi has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. This seemingly endless process continued until the 6th century AD. e. The nomadic tribes that came to this land completely destroyed the city.

Shopping and stores

Since the famous factory for the production of cosmetics based on minerals and salts of the Dead Sea “Ahava” is located on the territory of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, the store located there is the best place to buy various face and body skin care products.

Entertainment and attractions in Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi National Reserve is open from April to September – from 8:00 to 17:00, the rest of the time from – 8:00 to 16:00. The entrance ticket costs 29 ILS. Children get a discount. The ticket entitles you to visit the ancient synagogue. Ticket offices close an hour before the closing of the reserve.

According to National Geographic, Ein Gedi is one of the ten must-see places on the planet.

The botanical garden in Kibbutz Ein Gedi is one of the local attractions. More than 900 species of different plants grow here.

Ein Gedi, Israel