Timna Park is located about 25 km (about 17 miles) north of Eilat in Israel’s Negev Desert. One of the largest attractions in the south of Israel, the park, set in a beautifully majestic desert setting, has amazing history and geology, and a number of unexpected activities including those on the lake (yes, a lake in the desert!). Timna Park covers about 15,000 acres in a horseshoe-shaped valley surrounded by steep cliffs, with Mount Timna, the world’s first ever copper mine, standing tall in the center. Daily tours to Timna Park are available from Eilat, whilst the Timna safari shuttle is also available.
The amazing desert landscape as witnessed at Timna Park
History at Timna Park
Courtesy of Beny Shlevich
The ancient copper mines and mining shafts at Timna Park can be seen throughout the park as well as remains of smelting furnaces dating back to ancient imperial Egypt. Copper was the first metal used to create work and household tools, weapons, costly ornaments and cultic objects, so the importance of Timna in the ancient world was great. Multimedia displays tell the amazing history of the site, and visitors are engaged by dream-like stories of Egyptian goddesses and pharaohs.
Nature at Timna Park
Solomon’s Pillars are towering sandstone columns. Perfectly formed, in fact, so perfectly formed that you might not believe that they are the work of nature. But they, as with the rest of the amazing geology and landscape of Timna Park, are the work of nature alone, the result of strips of volcanic magma frozen into the cliffs. This scenery truly is the thing dreams are made of.
Hiking and Activities at Timna Park
Snaking across Timna Park are hiking trails short and long, for all levels of experience. From these, visitors can witness the amazing works of nature, and ancient man in the mines, as well as the amazing wildlife, plants and trees, which makes the desert their home, surviving in the harsh arid conditions. Within the park, rather uniquely for the desert, is a small lake, and pedal boats are included in the ticket price. For kids, there are also activities such as sand bottling (the region has a unique colored sand), and other craft activities.
The site has a restaurant and campground.
Visiting Timna Park
Timna Park is around 18km north of Eilat, a 15 minute drive through the Arava Desert. Due to the size of the park, getting around inside by foot can take a long time, so the site is best reached by car, the Timna Safari Shuttle, or on an organised tour.
The site is served by the Timna Safari Shuttle, which is available daily from Eilat during the winter season (October to April), incorporating transportation to the site, and in a safari style within it, stopping at the major points within the park.
All year round, the Timna Park Tour operates with a guided visit around the park.
Timna Park Entry Fees & opening hours
Timna Park is open daily from 08:00-16:00 apart from Friday when the park closes one hour earlier, at 15:00.
During the months of July and August and on the evening before religious holidays, the park is open from 08:00-13:00
Timna Park entrance fees are 44 NIS for adults, and 36 NIS for children (entry fees are included in Timna Tours)
Information about tickets and entry hours (as these vary seasonally) can be found at the park website.