Ein Feshkha, also known as Einot Tzukim, is the lowest nature reserve in the world, located in the Judean Desert alongside the shores of the Dead Sea, in the Megilot Region. The reserve, due to its location at the lowest point on earth, and on the shores of the mineral rich and saline Dead Sea set on much of the land that has been reclaimed since the Dead Sea shrunk, is relatively unique. It also features some archaeological gems.
The Ein Feshkha reserve is divided into three sections – a northern section which is closed to the public and used by researchers, a central section which is open to the public an features a series of pools for swimming, and a southern section which is open to the public only when visiting on an organized group tour or a specially licensed private tour guide.
Walking through the reserve at Ein Feshkha you are struck by the beautiful nature – rich foliage, pools swarming with fish, and diverse and extensive wildlife – not something you would expect in the middle of the desert, let alone on the shores of the salty waters of the Dead Sea. You’ll also be struck by the shrinkage of the Dead Sea. In the central, open reserve, markers show the level of the Dead Sea at various times throughout recent history – the distance between these is a harsh reminder.
Within Ein Feshkha are the archaeological ruins of a Herodian complex – an impressive villa and industrial building. Throughout history, the shores of the Dead Sea have attracted the high class and wealthy, looking to take advantage of the unique properties of the water.
The Ein Feshkha reserve is at the north of the Dead Sea, near Qumran. It is close to Ein Gedi, and many other sites in the Judean Desert.
Visiting Ein Feshkha
Ein Feshkha Opening Hours
Summer (April to September) – 8am-5pm
Winter (October to March) – 8am-4pm
Entrance is up until one hour before closing, and on Fridays and holiday eves the reserve closes one hour earlier
English language tours of the southern (closed) reserve run every Thursday and Friday at 11:00
Adults 29 NIS, Children 15 NIS
Ein Feshkha is located on Road 90 about 3km south of Kibbutz Kalia (about 10 minutes south of the junction between Road 1 and Road 90). The reserve is between Qumran and Ein Gedi.
Bus 421, 486, or 487 from Jerusalem stops at Ein Feshkha. Ask the driver so you won’t miss the stop. The journey takes around 45 minutes and costs NIS 24.