In 1995 Arad was declared a city in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But long before that, during the Bronze Age, Arad was an ancient city that spanned an area of 100 dunams (about 25 acres). The first Jewish pioneering attempt to settle it once again was in 1921, but the effort failed due to lack of water. Forty years went by until the decision was made to resettle the desert city in 1961, when natural gas was found in the area. In 1963, settlement of the city began and it has grown and developed and now boasts 25,000 residents. Arad is the first planned city in Israel and was built on a grid plan. The desert city has much to offer domestic and foreign visitors.
Begin your day with a tour of the city’s Artists’ Quarter. At the Artists’ Quarter you can visit the Glass Museum – a unique global center for display, study and sale of glass art; enjoy the beautiful display of handmade dolls by Edward Shroster and Miri Leibowitz at the Doll Museum: and view the work of Dorit Ya’akobi – an artist of international renown who founded the Home of the Arts – Woman of a Thousand Voices in Arad. You can wander through the Quarter, full of the workshops of local artists, from jewelers, to Judaica and ceramics artists. Since the workshops operate at different hours, we strongly recommend that you arrange a guided tour that takes in the focal points of the Quarter, as well as the homes of the artists scattered throughout the city. You can also arrange to participate in a workshop as part of the tour.
From the Artists’ Quarter get back to nature on the Camel’s Way route that leads back to Kfar Hanokdim. The Camels Way runs from Mitzpe Omer to Kfar Hanokdim. The route is about 6.5 kilometers long, and the walk takes about four hours. For hundreds of years the nomadic Bedouin with their sheep, cattle, women and children and, of course, camels, walked along this route. The route is pleasant, with an abundance of the wonders of the desert to see along the way, and there’s even an app (which doesn’t require a network connection) that can help to guide you and while away the time with trivia questions and interesting and surprising facts about the area.
At the end of the Camel’s Way you will reach Kfar Hanokdim, a beautiful village in the Kana’im Valley, which is in the Judean Desert, between the city of Arad and the ancient citadel of Masada. In this green oasis, crowned with towering palm trees and biblical orchards, you can enjoy sumptuous Bedouin hospitality, have fun on camel treks and take part in an interactive drumming workshop for the whole family.
For additional activities at the Kfar, click here.