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Physically demanding and environmentally challenging, the trek through the Arava Region contains some of the most stunning scenery and breathtaking adventure along the path. Tall, narrow slot canyons offer scrambles up ropes and ladders to the top; jagged mountain ranges vary in color from sandy white to deep red to black granite; and, at the end of the route, the legendary Red Sea stretches forth, offering rest and refreshment after several days’ grueling journey.

The region is also replete with historical significance. The path crosses ancient Egyptian copper mines at Timna, mysterious temples from unknown civilizations near Shaharut, and remnants of old spice trade routes at Moa.

The vast expanses of open desert and rugged terrain that comprise the Arava Region present trekkers with a wilderness experience like no other.

Owing to the lack of inhabited places in this region, trekkers will likely need to cache water supplies at the designated night camps at some stage ends. See individual stage pages for information on access to the these camps, and make your logistical plans carefully, to make sure you’ll always have enough water!


Accommodations

Stage Location Name Type Price p/p Contact Information (+###) [country code] Amenities
1 Tzofar Spice Route Khan G Shared, Bedouin-style tent:

– 80NIS/night

– 120NIS with breakfast

– 190NIS half-board
Private Room/Hut: 300-500NIS

+972 (0)52-366-6476

inndesert@gmail.com

electric outlets, heating, showers, restrooms, cooking area, pool, meals (if coordinated in advance), petting zoo, donkey and camel excursions
1 Tzofar Antelope Farm G – Camping in open, shared hut with mattress and access to facilities: 90NIS

– Private double hut: 500-600NIS

+972 (0)52-366-6041

info@afrika.co.il

Camping area: mattresses, heating, lights, electricity, showers, restrooms, bbq area, picnic tables, area to pitch personal tent
Private huts: a/c, television, restrooms, jacuzzi, refrigerator, microwave
1 Tzukim Nof Zuqim G Individual cabins: 800-1300NIS/night +972 (0)8-658-4748

orders@nofzuqim.co.il

a/c, kitchen, showers, restrooms, grills, jacuzzi, meals
1 Tzukim Midbara G Individual cabins: 600-1200NIS/night +972 (0)52-701-0444

midbara12@gmail.com

a/c, swimming pool, jacuzzi, meals, bike rentals
1 Tzukim Lev HaMidbar G Communal sleeping in large, geodesic domes; groups only; 2500NIS for groups of up to 20 people; 125NIS for each additional person +972 (0)58-532-5442

info@levhamidbar.co.il

a/c, fans, heating, lights, electricity, restrooms, showers, kitchen
2 near Wadi Barak; 1.0km off Hwy 90 around 7.0km north of Paran Barak Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
3 along the trail ~5.5km north of Tzihor Jct Tzihor-Paran Junction Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
3 Paran (~6km off-trail) Aviran Khan G – Dormitory-style hikers’ room: 110NIS/night, 150NIS with breakfast

– Private rooms: 300-520NIS/night

+972 (0)53-937-0111

aviran@arava.co.il

a/c, meals (if coordinated in advance; dinner only for groups), rides to and from trail, kitchen, wifi, jacuzzi, television
3 near Tzihor Jct Nahal Tzihor Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
4 Shitim Desert Ashram G – Camping in your own tent is allowed; showers and toilets provided

– Dormitory: 220NIS

– Private room: 550NIS

– Cabin: 940NIS
*prices include all meals

+972 (0)52-382-4617

ashram@desertashram.co.il

a/c, swimming pool, vegetarian kitchen, showers, toilets
4 Neot Smadar Kibbutz Neot Smadar G – Single room: 250-360NIS

– Double room: 350-450NIS

+972 (0)54-979-8433

smadarim011@gmail.com

a/c, restrooms, showers, refrigerator
4 Neot Smadar Kibbutz Neot Smadar G Free for hikers +972 (0)8-635-8170

visit@neot-semadar.com

If you contact the kibbutz in advance and indicate that you will be hiking through the region, they will find you lodging in or near one of the community’s public buildings.
5 near Kasui Dune Kasui Sands Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
6 north of Shaharut Khan Shaharut C – Hikers’ tent: free

– Bedouin-style tent, includes shower: 15NIS for hikers, 85NIS for others

– Desert trailer: 100NIS

+972 (0)52-335-1357

camel1985@gmail.com

toilets, showers, kitchen, meals/water (if coordinated in advance)
6 north of Timna Park Nahal Mangan Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
7 Timna Lake Timna Park C Contact park +972 (0)8-631-6756

timna2@ardomnet.co.il

places to pitch private tent, large tents with mats and mattresses, showers, restrooms, lights, faucet, restaurant, small shop
8 8.0km south of Timna Lake along trail Raham-Eteq Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
8 900 meters east of trail in Wadi Shehoret Shehoret Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none
9 700 meters east of trail along Hwy 12 Yehoram Night Camp C Free Cannot be reserved; just show up none


Accommodations Key

F – Family Stay
G – Guesthouse (small, locally-owned establishment with private rooms)
H – Hotel
Hs – Hostel (accommodation offering dormitory options)
T – Bedouin Tent (usually dormitory-style sleeping on mats on the floor of a large tent)
S – Shelter (a few areas have free hiker shelters, which are a simple room with cots that hikers can use)
C – Camping (a paid or free place to put down a tent, may or may not have facilities)

Transportation

Getting to the Abraham Path in the Arava Region

The main airport in Israel is Ben Gurion International airport, located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel has a well-developed and affordable system of public transport that includes buses, shared taxis (known as sheruts) and trains. For bus schedules and prices, see www.bus.co.il. Train connections service the coastal cities as well as Beersheva; see rail.co.il for schedules and prices. Both buses and trains do not run on Shabbat (from Friday evening to Saturday night), while shared taxis run seven days a week.

Eilat, the final endpoint for the trek through the Arava Region, is by far the most central hub for public transportation in the region; buses headed to Eilat from other cities in the country make stops at a few other locations on or near the trail. Sapir, Tzofar, Tzukim, Tzihor Junction, Shizafon Junction, Shaharut, and Timna are all serviced by these lines.

Airport Transport to the Arava Region:

There are a number of ways to reach both Sapir, the beginning of the Arava Region trek, and Eilat, its endpoint. Because most buses traveling from major cities to Eilat make stops at Sapir, the same lines will take you to either end of the Arava route.

  1. Via Beersheva: For information on getting to Beersheva, see Beersheva Region Transportation.  From the Beersheva central bus station, buses depart throughout the day for Eilat (passing by Sapir).
  2. Via Tel Aviv: Take a train from the airport to the Tel Aviv HaHagana station (depart every half hour).  Walk from the HaHagana train station to the Tel Aviv central bus station.  Buses depart the Tel Aviv central bus station for Eilat (traveling through Sapir) every 1.5-2 hours.
  3. Private taxi: Airport taxis have set prices.  Consult an airport employee for more information.
  4. Car rental: Several rental car companies are available 24/7 at the airport. Costs range from $30-60/€22-44 per day with gas/petrol costing about $8/gallon or €1.6/liter. Note that most car rental insurance offered by credit cards is void in Israel. Insurance from most Israeli rental cars is void in Palestinian Territory areas A and B.

Public Transportation to Other Locations in the Arava Region:

Sapir, Tzofar, and Timna are stops on most bus lines heading to Eilat. Tzihor Junction, Shizafon Junction, and Shaharut  are stops only on lines running from Beersheva to Eilat.

Entering by land:

From Jordan there are three crossings into Israel: King Hussein/Allenby in the center, Sheikh Hussein/Beit She’an in the north, and Aqaba/Eilat in the south. The crossing from Aqaba into Eilat brings travelers to the endpoint of the Arava route. From Eilat, transportation is available to the rest of the region.

From Egypt, there is one crossing into Israel at Taba. Buses from the Taba crossing to Eilat run frequently throughout the day. From Eilat, transportation is available to the rest of the region.

Visas:

Citizens of the US, EU, Russia, Japan and most western countries are issued a free 3-month B/2 tourist visa upon arrival which may be extended by applying at a Ministry of Interior office. Visitors from most other countries require a visa in advance. Citizens of most Arab and predominantly Muslim countries can individually apply for a visa but it is difficult to obtain one in practice. The most commonly issued visas for these travelers is through organized tour groups, and the application is often handled by Palestinian tour operators based in East Jerusalem. For specific visa guidelines, check the information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As of 2013, Israeli visas at the border are being issued on a separate piece of paper and not stamped directly in passports. Israel charges an exit fee of 108 NIS when exiting via a land border (no separate exit fee when leaving via the airport), and 173 NIS when exiting via the Allenby Bridge crossing (known as King Hussein Bridge in Jordan).

On rare occasions, visas are denied or 2-week only visas are supplied to visitors suspected of being involved in political activism. Travellers mentioning they plan to visit Palestinian Territory or friendships/connections with Palestinians, Muslims or Arab people are often subject to additional questioning and delays when entering and leaving Israel/Palestine. In rare cases, visa personnel may request to see a copy of your itinerary, proof of funds, and/or other documents verifying the purpose of your visit.

Sites in the Arava Region:

Timna

Explore the geological wonders scattered across this rugged, desertous valley that has long been mined for its abundant natural resources and is often associated with the fabled riches of the biblical King Solomon.

Tiger Temple

Wish for a bird’s lofty perspective as you puzzle out the rocky images scattered across the desert floor, a testament to the religious practices of some ancient civilization.

Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve

Take a break from walking through the desert and embark on a different type of journey – a safari through grounds inhabited by dozens of species of biblical wildlife.