Perched on a cliff 600m above the Dead Sea – the views are truly spectacular – this no-frills, hippyish holiday village (08-622 2202, reservations 1-700-707 180 ; http://www.metzoke.co.il; dm huge tent 110NIS, d/q private tent 250/500NIS, d with bathroom 400-650NIS, basic q 400NIS; reception 8am-8pm) is like a quick trip back to the 1970s, with bare-bones infrastructure, worn furnishings and very basic bathrooms.
There are 50 basic rooms and hundreds of sleeping spots in large tents that can be subdivided to keep members of a family or group together. You can pitch your own tent for 50NIS per person (90NIS including an excellent Israeli breakfast).
Sleeping bags can be rented for 30NIS. If you want to cook, bring your own food. Dinner is available for 95NIS (65NIS for kids aged three to 12 years). You must check in before 8pm. It’s situated 18km north of Ein Gedi; a steep 5.5km up the hill (it may be possible to hitch) from the army roadblock on Rte 90, where you can ask any Jerusalem–Dead Sea bus to stop.