The rolling hills of the Arad region link Judea in the north, the Negev to the south, and the deep eastern chasm of the Dead Sea. At around 600 meters above sea level, the high desert air is dry, but even the meagre winter rains turn the ground into a carpet of wildflowers. The region’s ancient capital is now preserved within Tel Arad National Park, which encompasses the remains of a huge Canaanite city (Numbers 21:1) and an impressive fortress from First Temple times.
The modern city of Arad was founded in 1962. Its proximity to the Dead Sea means visitors can spend the day enjoying the healthful waters of the world’s lowest, saltiest lake, and ascend to the cool heights of Arad, less than an hour away to spend the night. Among its approximately 27,000 residents are a large number of new immigrants, particularly from the former Soviet Union. The city is known for its many artists whose works adorn the public squares and parks and whose galleries accent the region’s other points of interest.
The 3,600-hectare Yattir Forest is on the northern edge of the Arad region. To the surprise of experts, not only do pines and other conifers thrive here, but so do fruit trees and even vineyards, with a nearby winery another highlight.
Also accessible from the Arad area is the western approach to Masada National Park via the Roman Ramp. For ethic fascination, enjoy Bedouin hospitality at the village of Kseifa and nearby Drejat