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 Kalia.
Kalia, Israel (or Kalya) is an Israeli settlement and kibbutz in the West Bank; it is the farthest northern settlement on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea. It is worth noting here that this settlement is considered illegal under international law because the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits countries from moving populations into occupied territories. Israel disputes this, but the United Nations Security Council and a number of other international bodies all consider Kalia (and other Israeli settlements in the West Bank) to be in violation of the law. Therefore, in order to avoid any potential impact on other travel plans you may have, is advisable to research your country’s visa requirements or any travel advisories before planning to visit the West Bank. (For example, the United States and Canada both discourage travel to the West Bank.)
Kalia was first established as a potash plant and kibbutz during the mid-twenties. During the Arab-Israeli War in the mid-twentieth century, the residents were evacuated and the kibbutz destroyed. It was reestablished shortly after that as a Nahal military settlement, but is now primarily an agricultural kibbutz and tourist rest stop between Jerusalem and Ein Gedi.
There is little in the way of choice of accommodation in Kalia. Your choices include a guesthouse that caters to families and groups; solo backpackers may find it too expensive for a single person since its not a true Kalia, Israel hostel. The nearby cities of Jerusalem (one hour by car) and Bethlehem will offer more hostel choices for budget-minded travelers. However, like a traditional hostel, the lodges at Kalia do have small kitchens in the cabins. In general, hostels in Israel do not offer full kitchens, so this is definitely a perk here.
Nearby attractions include the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Kalia’s kibbutz runs the visitors centre here; the lodge staff will be able to give you more directions. The beach at Kalia is also popular with both Israelis and Palestinians. You can arrange horseback or ATV riding in the dunes, kayaking, or sailing from Kalia.
Written by local enthusiast for Kalia hostelsJakob Lombardi