The details

n Start and Finish: Main entrance to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Buses 421 or 486 from Jerusalem. n Entry: Adult NIS 23, child NIS 12. (08) 658-4285, (08) 658-4517. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. n Level of difficulty: Quite challenging. Suitable for fit and very careful walkers aged 12-plus. Not for mountain bikers or four-wheeled drive vehicles. n Length: 11 km. n Maps: Scale 1:50,000, Map 8 (Northern Judea Desert & the Dead Sea) OR Map 11 (Southern Judean Desert and the Dead Sea). The Ein Gedi area is on the overlap. n Estimated walking time: 6-8 hours, including a detour to the Hidden Falls in Nahal Arugot. n Best time: Spring, fall, winter. Please check in advance for flash floods. n Water: At and around the start and finish of the route. n Bring: 5 liters of water per person, a sun hat, sunscreen and sturdy shoes with good grips for walking. Include a compass, mobile phone, towel, swim gear, first-aid kit, penknife and a powerful flashlight. Mobile phone reception unavailable for most of the hike. Accommodations Ein-Gedi Guest House 08-659 4222; Ein-Gedi Youth Hostel 08-658 4165; Ein-Gedi Field School 08-658 4350 Restaurants Ein-Gedi Guest House 08-6594222; Ein-Gedi Thermal Springs Restaurant 08-659 4925; At Chaya's in the Ein-Gedi Botanical Garden 052-8325495, 08-6594931 Places to visit Ein-Gedi Thermal Springs 08-649 4813; Ein-Gedi Botanical Garden 08-658 4350; Almog Beach Nature Reserve 08-6376829, 08-6326422; Ein-Gedi Nature Reserve 08-6584285; Massada 08-6584117, 08-9959333