SPNI Ein Gedi

Budget Accommodation in the Judean Desert

Many tourists take a one-day tour from Jerusalem and drive back to Jerusalem the same day. I recommend staying at least one night in the Judean Desert. Most tourists come to the Judean Desert from Jerusalem and the difference between the intense city and the desert views is something worth experiencing. The main thing to consider when choosing your accommodation in the Judaean Desert is what’s important to you – do you prefer relaxing on the shore of the Dead Sea, hiking in Ein Gedi, or seeing the sunrise from the top of Masada?

Hostels

SPNI Field School (Beit Sefer Sade Ein Gedi)
This is my personal favorite budget accommodation in the area. A good starting point for hikes in Ein Gedi, especially for the long 8–10 walking day tours. The field school rooms are basic. When school groups stay there it can be noisy, but the staff does what they can to separate the children from the tourists.
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Ein Gedi Youth Hostel
(68 rooms, starting at around $100)
More modern than the SPNI Field School and very popular. Like all hostels in the area, it can be noisy when big groups of youth stay there.
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Ein Gedi Youth Hostel
Photo from the hostel’s website.

Masada Youth Hostel
(280 beds, starting at around $120)
This hostel is situated at the foot of Masada, making it a great place for those who want to hike up to Masada to see the sunrise. It has a swimming pool that is open in the summer.
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Masada Youth Hostel
Photo from the hostel’s website.

Shkedi’s Camplodge
(starting at $25)
In Neot Hakikar, a small village 5 kilometres (3 miles) south of the Dead Sea, there is this great place to pitch a tent or to sleep in a dorm tent. Unlike the other places mentioned above, that were originally built for youth groups, this place is perfect for individual tourists.
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shkedi camping dead sea
Photo from the hostel’s website.

Ein Gedi Beach Camping
The four options above are not located on the beach. The only option to sleep right on the beach for free is the Ein Gedi Beach. The car park costs NIS 20, and NIS 2 is charged to use the toilets. You’ll find a kiosk in the nearby gas stations. Because of sinkholes the Ein Gedi Beach is closed!

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