This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Arava.
Arava is in the remote Negev Desert in the southern part of Israel. It is a long skinny region with very little in the interior. You will, however, find hostels in certain places near tourist attractions. The modern interpretation of Arava stretches from the southern shores of the Dead Sea to the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, along the border of Israel and Jordan.
Today, Arava is known for its unique geological formations and prehistoric rock carvings in the Timna Valley Park, and ancient copper mines reputed to have belonged to King Solomon (biblical times). You’ll also find a thriving tourism industry in the Arava. The Vidor Visitors Centre is a high-tech, advanced agricultural centre with interactive displays about the hydro-powered and wind-powered technology that has boosted the farming community in the Arava. The centre can arrange guided tours, horseback rides, or farm stays.
With the ever-growing tourist industry, expect to find an increasing number of backpacker hostels. In particular, look in Eilat or Hazeva for hostel accommodation. As the region expands, you’ll also find a number of bed and breakfasts, eco lodges, and luxury hotels.
Once settled, you’ll be able to begin exploring. Don’t miss the wildlife refuges, hiking and biking trails, local produce farms, chocolate and ice cream factories, and the tours teeming with history and Roman ruins. Israel is, of course, one of the oldest civilisations on the planet and was at one the the centre of the route between Europe and Asia. Traders passed through here with spices and silks. The ancient tribe that lived in the desolate Arava, the Nabatean, are famous for carving the rock facades at Petra, Jordan and being astute merchants. It is thanks to their advanced technology, trading skills, and self-sufficiency that the ruins of Avdat are such an important archaeological relic - don’t miss them! It is possible to explore their ancient city by camel trek.
Written by local enthusiast for Arava hostelsJakob Lombardi