The Dead Sea Adventure Hostel was opened in the Spring of 2016, and is located in the dusty, desert town of Arad. Run by the affable Gilad, this place is absolutely perfect for those of you looking for some real desert adventure!
Don’t be put off by its location…in fact, it couldn’t be better located! Arad is probably one of the last places you thought of visiting in Israel, and many locals will probably steer you clear too, what with Arad carrying a nowhere-town, out-in-the-sticks stigma for many a year. But all that’s a-changing, especially with people like Gilad shaking things up a bit in this neck of the desert. And Arad definitely reminds me of the blossoming desert town of Mitzpe Ramon – except that Arad has the desert, the Dead Sea AND Masada on its doorstep!
The hostel itself was a LOT better than I expected (the photos on the website really don’t do it justice – though they are about to be updated according to Gilad). The room we stayed in for 3 nights was perfect for us, with 4 bunk-beds keeping the kids entertained (complete with desert views), and the beautiful en-suite keeping Mrs iGoogled smiling – seriously, the en-suite bathroom was way better than the en-suites of some hotels we’ve stayed in!
Coupled with the fresh pancakes cooked for us each morning by volunteer Udiyah, the mornings kicked off in just the right way! Even better was their concern that our celiac-suffering daughter could also eat pancakes, so they went and purchased some gluten-free flour especially – bless ’em!
But forget all that – the Dead Sea Adventure Hostel really does live up to its name! Ask Gilad – or his trusted sidekick Tamir – about the range of adventures you can experience, they might just blow you away. We experienced the magnificent Birkat Tzfirah, a stunning desert pool in the middle of nowhere, a Masada sunrise (Masada is just some 20 minutes away from the hostel), and salt caving in the amazing Mount Sodom, but their list of activities goes beyond that little lot, just in case you’re looking for some serious adventure.
Think moonlit caving and rappelling (ask about the Extreme Full Moon Adventure!), desert adventures with desert canyons, dune buggies, camels, and meeting the local Bedouin – and that’s just for starters, I’m sure Gilad has more adventures up his sleeve!
After all that adventure, you might be happy to hear that the hostel also hosts more relaxing evenings, with a Poyke night (a big pot of delicious veggies and broth cooked over a fire), and a Couscous Workshop, which takes you into the home of local artist Aliza and her truly mouthwatering couscous!
This is one great hostel for any of you looking for some true desert fun – we’ll be back!
For more details, see the official site.