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Dead Sea Nature Parks

One of the things that the Dead Sea region is famous for is the incredible nature parks it is blessed with.  In the midst of this intensely dry desert land are the most miraculous oases.
Ein Feshkha\Einot Tzukim is the lowest nature reserve in the world and one of the most stunning ones in Israel, with natural spring pools, abundant vegetation and archaeological artifacts dating back to the Second Temple period.
There is nothing you want to do more in this region than jump in to a cold pool of water and Nahal David is just the place to do so. A major attraction in the Ein Gedi Reserve, Nahal David is believed to be the place where King David hid from the wrath of King Saul. A number of pools lead to an incredible waterfall allowing hikers to cool off in a most beautiful setting.
The Ein Gedi Reserve is home to another stream; the Arugot Stream and the fresh water sources and large variety of plant and animal species make this Reserve an extremely popular choice for visitors. There are a number of trails on offer from family-friendly ones to harder ones for the experienced hiker.

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The desert oasis of Ein Feshka was renamed "Einot Tzukim" "Cliff Springs" by Israel when it fell into Israeli hands during the Six Day War. Today it is a nature reserve and archaeological site. Einot Tzukim is located approximately three kilometers south of Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea.
Einot Tzukim is the lowest nature reserve in the world and one of the most stunning nature reserves in Israel. In 1969 Einot Tzukim was declared a nature reserve and in the years that followed it was divided into three sections; the northern closed off area, the central open-to-the-public area and the southern hidden area.
The northern area, which covers about 2,700 dunam, cannot be visited and only professionals enter once in a while to check that nothing has been damaged. In this section nature is allowed to "do its thing", without being interrupted by human beings.
The central section covers about 500 dunam and this is where the natural spring pools are situated. Visitors are invited to enjoy, swim and hike. There are shaded areas, cloakrooms, bathrooms, picnic tables and abundant vegetation. Also found in this section is the archaeological site that dates back to the Second Temple period with fascinating findings such as a Herodian mansion and the only persimmon perfume-producing apparatus in Israel.
The southern 1,500 dunam section is where guided tours take place in order to allow the general public to enjoy the breath-taking natural beauty while ensuring that it won't be damaged. A guided tour has to be booked in advance.

The stunning Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is located to the west of the Dead Sea and is home to two year-round streams- the David Stream in the north and the Arugot Stream in the south. The combination of the location of the reserve and the fresh water sources makes for a large variety of plant and animal species. A number of trails are on offer in the reserve from easy, family-friendly ones to harder ones for more experienced hikers.

Nahal David (David's Stream) is a major attraction in the Ein Gedi Reserve. It is believed that at this place King David hid from the wrath of Saul some three-thousand years ago and it was here that he cut Saul's, (who was the king at the time) robe rather than killing him.
The trail is clearly marked and passes a number of pools and small waterfalls before arriving at the stunning upper waterfall. There are steps on the trail but nothing too tough. Hikers should allow at least an hour and a half so as to include a dip in one of the lower waterfalls.
Ibex can be spotted on the trail (especially in the afternoons), as can hyrax; leopards used to be commonly seen but unfortunately they face extinction because of breeding problems and are rarely seen nowadays.
For serious hikers, the trail breaks off to the right fifty yards down the return path from the top waterfall and this path passes through remains of Byzantine irrigation systems and offers incredible views of the Dead Sea. One doubles back on oneself on this trail and returns to the source of the Nahal David stream. Near the top one takes a short side path up to the remains of a fourth-millennium BC temple. The main path leads on to the streambed, turns east and reaches "Lovers' Cave" that was formed by boulders and is filled with crystal-clear water. Here, in this romantic and refreshing pool, one is directly above the waterfall of Nahal David.
How to get there: When travelling to Ein Gedi from the north, the first turnoff to the right is the parking lot at the entrance to Nahal David


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