Category Archives: Camping Sites

Camping Sites in Israel

In Israel there are camping sites of course. The only problem is how to find them. I give you one wonderful tip, and that’s Google Maps. In Google maps you can search for “Camping sites in Israel” or “Camping sites in Tel Aviv” and the like. Here, take a look and click here for an example. But here are some ideas of main camping sites and where possible, the price in Israeli Shekels.


The Masada Night Camp

Masada Mountain & Cable Car

For those astonished by the rich history of the Judean Desert, the Masada night camp is a must. The ancient fortification holds the tragic story of the demolition and exile of the Israelite people in the first century. The site, visited by hundreds of thousands each year, is considered a symbol of Jewish identity and is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Make sure to arrive on a day where the local audio-visual show takes place. For a truly picture perfect moment, climb the mountain before dawn and enjoy the stunning sunrise from the top, an intense yet worthy hike.

Hurshat Tal

Mount Tabor

Nature lovers should not miss Hurshat Tal, located in northern Israel. The national park was declared a nature reserve mainly due to the centuries-old Mount Tabor oaks growing there. The campsite has a large pond of cool water from the Dan River; perfect for a summer swim. Guests can also enjoy the small springs spread out throughout the reserve. For those who prefer to sleep in closed areas, the site offers various bungalows and guest rooms.

The Dead Sea

Dead Sea

The famous Dead Sea, known for its extreme saltiness allowing you to float effortlessly in the water, and its healing effects. The water may not contain living organisms but definitely it’s full of life with hundreds of guests visiting daily. Many attractive campsites can be found near this national treasure. A recommended place to pitch a tent is the Ein Gedi Beach Campground. With a natural spa as your backyard, what can go wrong. Let yourself relax with a one of a kind landscape at the lowest point on earth.

Ein Gedi Beach Campground
This campground sits on the northern shores of the Dead Sea in Ein Gedi Beach. It is in a centralized location for travelers who want to explore the Masada, Dead Sea and Ein Gedi region. Because the campsite is attached to the Ein Gedi Beach, travelers can can take advantage of the beach’s picnic areas and snackbar. Kibbutz Ein Gedi is also across the street from the campsite. Staying overnight at the campsite is free, but there is a charge for the use of toilets and showers. There is no electricity. The campground is located off Route 90.

Ein Gedi Beach Campground is temporarily closed due to sink holes in the area

Kefar Hanokdim

Arad

Kefar Hanokdim campground is between the city of Arad and Masada, located in the Kana’im Valley in the Judean desert. The campground includes bedouin-style tents with colorful rugs and mattresses. The site is designed to be a peaceful, reflective place, shaded by palm trees and surrounded by gardens. Visitors have a great view of the Judean desert and are a short distance to Masada. There are also various activities visitors can do at the campground, like riding camels. Prices at this site vary depending on the type of accommodation.

Kesem Hamidbar Campsite

Dead Sea

This campground is located 20 minutes south of the Dead Sea coast in Moshav Neot Hakikar. Kesem Hamidbar offers large Bedouin tents. There are five tents that can accommodate 10 to 25 people, and mats, mattresses and pillows are included. There is a self-service barbeque and kitchen, where visitors can cook their food (charcoal not included). There are also hot showers. Kesem Hamidbar is located off of Route 90, 10 minutes north of the Arava junction.

Masada Campsite West

Dead Sea

Masada Campsite West is located inside the National Park near Mount Masada. Here, travelers can bring their own private tents and trailers or rent rent tents and mattresses. There are also six guest cabins on site. The campsite includes an outdoor barbeque area (charcoal not included), a gas cooking area, a kitchen and a refrigerator. The cost for camping overnight in a private tent starts at 53 NIS for adults. Other prices vary. The entrance to the campsite can be accessed only from the city of Arad.

Shkedi Camp Lodge
Shkedi’s Camp Lodge sits south of the Dead Sea in Neot Hakikar. The campground has several spacious and stylish bungalows. They include mats, mattresses, and cushion. Each bungalow can accommodate up to 15 people. There are also air-conditioned cabins available. The campground includes clean toilets, hot water showers, a barbeque and grill area, and a self-serve kitchen. Shkedi’s Camp Lodge is open September-June and is 20 minutes south of the Dead Sea shoreline.

Camping Neot 

Lot’s Wife pillar, Mount Sodom

The Camping Neot is located 20 minutes from the Southern Shore of the Dead Sea, in the Valley of Soddom. The Camping offers space for private tents and has 3 large communal tents with mattresses.In summer months you will be able to enjoy the swimming pool of the camping! Also, the camping facilities include hot showers, grocery store, BBQ space.Prices start from 50 ILS.

Kfar Blum Kayaks – Jordan Campground

Rafting the Jordan River

The Jordan campground located at Kfar Blum Kayaks (see also Rafting the Jordan River and Kayaking down the Jordan River) offers the ideal combination of excitement and serenity. The site is located on one of the most sacred rivers in history, the Jordan River. Enjoy it’s beauty by taking a kayak trip. There are various routes available depending on your preference and expertise. Other adrenaline activities include zip-lining and wall climbing. Explore the outdoors by day and absorb the peaceful environment by night.

Rafting the Jordan River

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee

Israel’s largest freshwater lake, the Sea of Galilee, is also the lowest freshwater lake on earth. Much of the country’s water supply comes from these sweet waters. Besides swimming, there are many activities to do in the area. Visit Hamat Gader hot springs for a soothing experience or get in shape by biking around the shore (a 60-kilometer trail awaits). The Kinneret has a variety of campsites to choose including the Gofra Beach campground, which offers a thermo-mineral water spring. Leave your smartphone behind as you explore all that the natural environment has to offer.

 

This summer, instead of booking a five star hotel, why not try a five-billion star hotel and instead of the repetitive hotel experience, go camping and connect with mother nature. Israel’s constant warm weather makes it the ideal place for a camping retreat. Whether it’s by the beach, river, or lake, the country’s natural gems can satisfy any wanderlust. Read on to discover the must visit campsites in Israel.

Ha’Bonim Nature Reserve

Shipshape in Haifa

If you’re looking for an alternative to the popular Tel Avivian beaches, Ha’Bonim Beach is the answer. Located south of Haifa, this nature reserve has clear blue waters, outstanding sunsets, and nature trails. Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean as you spend the night at one of Israel’s most beautiful shores. In the morning take a walk along the coast and discover the area’s secret blue cave and colorful flowers. For lunch it is recommended to visit the small town of Zichron Yaakov, a short drive from the campground.

Yarok (Green) Campground, Beit Hillel

In the heavenly Upper Galilee, you will find the moshav Beit Hillel. The Green Campground is located on the Hasbani River, a stream which later connects to the Jordan River. Bring your family, friends or significant other and enjoy the fresh air and green scenery characterizing the area. Depending on your preference, you can either bring your own equipment to the site or reserve a Native American tipi tent. Start packing for a weekend full of bonfires, mores, and river-dipping.

Sodom Day Tour

By tradition, this area is the site of Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities that were destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone, punishment from God because of their people’s depravity (Genesis 18-19). These days, Sodom is much better known for its desert hiking and cycling trails than for sodomy. And for that we have this day tour. Normally, a day tour occupies about a half day, but I added several hiking opportunities to this day you and that means you will be busy the whole day. It’s breathtaking nature in action. Look also for the stories behind the cursed cities in Israel. See also the maps of the Dead Sea.



‘The Situation of Man’

The Situation of Man
The Situation of Man

Atop a bluff overlooking the Dead Sea Works stands this modern sculpture, a rusty steel column with old steel railway ties striving to climb it like desperate worms.
Next to the sculpture, a viewpoint looks out over a crazy juxtaposition of smoke-spewing heavy industry, electric-blue evaporation pools, green farm fields (over in Jordan) and the wild, tawny beauty of the desert.

Mountains of Moab
Mountains of Moab

Views are best in the late afternoon, when the setting sun turns the mountains of Moab a reddish gold.

Mountains of Moab
Mountains of Moab

The 600m-long access road intersects Rte 90 250m north of the main entrance to the Dead Sea Works. Turn off at the white-on-brown sign reading ‘Plant Viewing Point’ (ignore the yellow ‘no trespassing’ sign) and follow the green signs marked (in Hebrew) ‘LaMitzpeh’ (‘to the scenic lookout’). Beyond the sculpture, a 4WD road continues to the Amiaz Plateau.

Lot’s Wife

Lot's Wife pillar, Mount Sodom
Lot’s Wife pillar, Mount Sodom

About 11km south of the southern end of Ein Bokek, high above the west side of Rte 90, a column of salt-rich rock leans precariously away from the rest of the Mt Sodom cliff face. It is popularly known as Lot’s Wife because, according to the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt as punishment for looking back to see Sodom as it burned (Genesis 19:17 and 19:26).

Dead Sea Works

Dead Sea Works
Dead Sea Works

Israel’s only major natural resource – other than sunlight and the gas fields off the Mediterranean coast – is the Dead Sea, from which products ranging from magnesium chloride and anhydrous aluminium chloride to table salt and cosmetics are extracted. Founded in the 1930s, the DSW is now the world’s fourth-largest producer of potash, an important component of agricultural fertiliser.
By day, the rusty (from the salt air) smokestacks, pipes and holding tanks of the DSW complex look like a mid-20th-century industrial dystopia, but by night, when the sprawling facilities are lit by thousands of yellowish lights, the site has a mysterious, otherworldly beauty.

Mount Sodom

Mount Sodom
Mount Sodom

Two trails head down the steep flanks of Mt Sodom from a lookout point, reachable by 4WD, whose views are at their best in the late afternoon.

Ma’aleh HaSulamot (Ladders Ascent; 1½ hours to walk down), named after its many stairs, connects with Rte 90 across the highway from the sun-blasted huts of the Dead Sea Works’ first workers’ camp, built in 1934.

Another descent to Rte 90 is Shvil HaDagim (Fishes Trail; 1½ hours down), so named because of the many fossilised fish you can see in the rocks.

Mt Sodom, 11km long and up to 2km wide, is one of the world’s stranger geological formations. Start with the fact that it’s made almost entirely of rock salt, a highly soluble material that in any other climate would have melted away. In fact, over the millennia the area’s rare rainfalls have dissolved some of the salt, creating deep in the bowels of the mountain a maze of caves (closed to the public) up to 5.5km long.

Many are connected to the surface by shafts that hikers need to make sure they don’t fall into, and some are filled with delicate, eerie salt stalactites. And then there’s the matter of Mt Sodom’s summit.

A respectable 250m above the surface of the Dead Sea – the views of Jordan’s Moab Mountains are gorgeous – it also happens to be 176m below sea level.

West of Mt Sodom, Wadi Sodom is ideal for mountain biking. If you start at the top (accessible by 4WD), it’s about two hours, mostly downhill, to the Neve Zohar area.

A round-trip circuit that connects with beautiful Wadi Pratzim (Wadi Perazim), whose upper reaches pass the famous Flour Cave (closed to the public), is another option.

Sleeping

The Mt Sodom area has several well-marked camping zones (chenyonei layla) without facilities, including one up on the Amiaz Plateau (Mishor Amiaz) and another further north at Wadi Tze’elim.

Mt Sodom International Bike Race: www.desertchallenge.co.il

Map of Dead Sea - Sodom Day Tour
Map of Dead Sea – Sodom Day Tour

June 2019 – MIDBURN FESTIVAL 2019

Tue 4 June 2019 – Sun 9 June 2019 | All Day
xSde Boker – Sde Boker, Negev, 810 NIS

(Photo credits: Midburn)

Art and Music Festival | 5 Days with Camping | Negev | May – June

Burning Man’s Israeli offshoot, and now the second largest regional Burning Man after Africa Burns, Midburn is a special 5-day festival held in the Negev. Founded in 2014, 2016 saw a record 8,000 people attend. This is not a music festival – there are no official stages – it is more of an art, self expression and community festival where camps host parties – and in the center of the playa are incredible art displays and a huge temple that is burned on the final night.

Self Reliance and Self Expression are key components – be yourself, be inclusive, and be self-dependent – the only thing you can buy on the playa is ice.

Midburn exists in the spirit of 10 principles:

  1. Radical inclusion
  2. Communal effort
  3. Gifting
  4. Civic responsibility
  5. Decommodification
  6. Leaving no trace
  7. Radical self-reliance
  8. Participation
  9. Radical self-expression
  10. Immediacy

Usually around October there is a large Midburn Reunion. You can see all the local Midburn Events in the Secret Tel Aviv Calendar.

Check out the Midburn Facebook Page

Check out 2016’s aftermovie:

 

May 2019 – MENASHE FOREST FESTIVAL 2019

Thu 30 May 2019 – Sat 1 June 2019 | All Day
xKibbutz Mishmar HaEmek – Mishmar HaEmek, Mishmar HaEmek, 290-335

Live Music | 3 days with camping | North Central Israel | May

A fun 3-day festival, with live performances from over 80 top Israeli bands across all genres – the lineup has included amazing bands like Red Band, Daniella Spector, Tatran, The Hoodna Afrobeat Orchestra, and many more. There are two main music stages, plus loads of workshops, stalls, and art zones. Rock, reggae, poetry, dance, theatre, performance art, folk, experimental music, and more, all in the spirit of a strong social statement and connection to nature.

Website | Facebook

Check out 2017’s aftermovie!