So this post is about the best hikes in the Arava Valley! The Arava is no longer just a stop on the way to Eilat. In recent years, tourism in the area has developed, and Israelis and non-Israeli alike are discovering the charm of the Arava. At first glance, the Arava Valley looks monotonous. But a deeper look reveals a varied and fascinating landscape!
There are impressive canyons here; unique geological formations; water reservoirs in the middle of the desert and most of all a blessed quiet. The variety of agricultural crops grown in the Arava proves that even the arid soil can bear fruit. Families will not be bored here: you can ride donkeys; camels; or jeeps; fill bottles with colored sand and even see antelopes. Furthermore, there is a World Heritage Site is here! UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the Nabataean Incense Route that passes through the Arava as a World Heritage Site. So let’s start with my recommendations for the best hikes in the Arava.
Derech Hashalom is a hiking trail in northern Arava; leading along the Israeli border with Jordan; from Moshav Idan in the north, through Moshav Hatzeva, to Ein Yahav in the south of the road. The length of the road is about 24 km, it is paved and suitable for all types of vehicles and cyclists. The road was paved in the 1990s by the Jewish National Fund, following the peace agreements with Jordan. So about 1.5 km north of Hatzeva, the road reaches the Shalom (Peace) Lookout; which has a nice vista eastwards towards the Jordanian side of the Arava Valley and the Edom Mountains. There you would be able to rest under a beautiful and pleasant shed and an easy but really fun hike an area you could define as badlands consisting of marl terrain.
The Best Hikes In The Arava: Nahal Barak
Nahal Barak, also known as Barak gorge or Barak river, is a dry stream bed and canyon in the Arava desert in Israel’s South District. When it is flooded, Nahal Barak forms part of the network of streams that drain the Negev desert. The stream itself is 18 km long and flows in a general easterly direction into the Nahal HaArava, which in turn flows northward into the southernmost end of the Dead Sea. The stream cuts through limestone to form the gorge, which is known as White Canyon. There are several options for hiking at the Barak gorge including a tour. No doubt is one of the best hikes in the Arava!
The vast expanses of the prairie invite desert biking; especially during the fall and winter when the weather is pleasant. Yuval Seret, a cycling instructor, established Faran O-Fan in Moshav Paran; a tourist center where you can rent bicycles suitable for off-road riding; get a map of the area, and some advice on cool cycling trips. Furthermore, the tracks are suitable for riders at different levels – from families with children to experienced riders looking for challenging routes.
Moreover, one of the interesting routes that depart from Moshav Paran; is a route that includes riding in the Eshet furrow up to the Joshua Falls, a hike in the Joshua Falls, and riding through the Nahal Paran back to the Moshav. This is an easy route, suitable for families with children from the age of 9 and 15 km long.