These spring-fed freshwater ponds and the lush greenery around them were a favorite holiday spot of Jordan’s King Hussein in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the oasis and its veritable forest of salt-resistant plants, including tamarisks and reeds, are an agreeable place to spot birds and take a cooling dip, though the pools (open Friday and Saturday late March to November) can be crowded. Map.
There is no access to the rapidly receding Dead Sea shoreline – note the sign, some 4km from the water’s edge, reading ‘The sea was here in 1967’. However, you can see a Second Temple-period farm where the Essenes of Qumran apparently produced date wine and a farsimon oil and raised sheep and goats.
The southern Hidden Reserve is off limits – for reasons of conservation – unless you join a one hour guided tour (9am & 1pm Fri & Sun Sep-Jun).
Ein Feshkha is 3km south of Qumran. Thanks to the local geography, the site is never closed due to flash floods.