traveling israel

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?


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.
Click here for more information

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.
Click here for more information

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.
Click here for more information

Masada ana
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.
Click here for more information

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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2 Responses

  1. Hi There. I love your website- your information is practical, well organised and includes lots of options so thank you. We will be a group of 2 couples in our young 60’s travelling next September 2020 in both Jordan and Israel for 20 days in total. We will arrive in Amman from Australia – (our cheapest option) and travel by car through to Aqaba. Our Israel plan is roughly to spend 1 night around the Dead Sea, 3-4 in Jerusalem, 2 around the Sea of Galilee 2 around Haifa and then onto Tel Aviv before departing. Car hire seems expensive in Israel. As we won’t need a car in Jerusalem would we be better taking a bus or private transfer from Eilat to the Dead Sea and another through to Jerusalem and then hire a car for the northern travels from Jerusalem?? Not sure which would be more economical or possible.
    Also in your view is it better to see/ experience the Dead Sea from the Israel or Jordan side?? Would very much welcome your thoughts. Many thanks Jayne Noble

    1. Thanks! The Jordanian side of the Dead Sea will be much cheaper and you can take a direct bus from Eilat to Jerusalem or Eilat to the Dead Sea area (Masada, Ein Gedi), and from there to Jerusalem. Enjoy Israel!

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