Waterfall in Ein Gedi splashes down rocks during the golden hour Waterfall in Ein Gedi splashes down rocks during the golden hour Ein Gedi is a lush oasis that's full of springs and waterfalls. (Photo: vblinov / Shutterstock)

Cool off in the Ein Gedi oasis

Walk through a lush landscape and splash through the streams of this beautiful nook in central Israel.

Along the coast of the Dead Sea, an unexpected oasis sprouts where plants and wildlife truly thrive.

Its ecological importance has led to the protection of Ein Gedi and its surrounding 3,000-plus acres – becoming one of Israel's most popular national parks.

Palm trees line road to Ein Gedi near Dead SeaYou can tell you're nearing an oasis upon approaching the park – the road into Ein Gedi is lined with palm trees. (Photo: vvvita/Shutterstock)

A variety of vegetation creates a lush environment for wildlife and visitors alike – acacia, jujube and poplar trees spring up alongside towering palms.

Dead Sea just over the mountain at Ein Gedi From the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve & National Park, visitors can catch a glimpse of the Dead Sea. (Photo: David Jones 大卫 琼斯/Flickr)

The nature reserve encompasses two canyons, Wadi David and Wadi Arugot. There is much to explore throughout this expansive park, including archaeological sites that date back to the first century.

David's Waterfall at the Ein Gedi Oasis in southern IsraelTurquoise waters are met with a grand splash at David's Waterfall. (Photo: vvvita/Shutterstock)

But by far the most popular attraction at Ein Gedi is David's Waterfall – and understandably so! Here, you can swim, relax or explore nearby caves.

Wadi David oasis at Ein GediDownstream from David's Waterfall, the Wadi David is a great place to sit back and cool off. (Photo: AG-PHOTOS/Shutterstock)

The waterfall is fed by one of four year-round springs that send their streams through the park, creating a verdant landscape.

A Nubian ibex kid chows down on some vegetation in Ein GediBehold, the adorable creature for which Ein Gedi was named! (Photo: Noam Armonn/Shutterstock)

At Ein Gedi, visitors often spot ibexes – and that's no coincidence. The phrase "Ein Gedi" means "Kid Spring" (as in, a young goat). Indeed, these adorable animals are among the most populous species within the park.

Dragonfly perches on a rock at Ein Gedi springThe spring at Ein Gedi supports all manner of wildlife, from the buzzing dragonfly to the furry hyrax. (Photo: Nico Caramella/Flickr)

Rock hyrax eating leavesThe tiny rock hyrax makes its home at the Ein Gedi oasis, where delicious leaves are plenty. (Photo: Uzi Yachin/Flickr)

Rock hyraxes enjoy snacking on the plants that grow alongside the springs. These little guys are most active in the morning and in the evening.

A green bee eater looks out from his post in the foliage of Ein GediA green bee eater looks out from his post in the foliage of Ein Gedi. (Photo: orientalizing/Flickr)

Birds are also plentiful at Ein Gedi. Naturally, it's a popular stopover for migratory birds.

Sun rises through branches at Ein GediDawn at Ein Gedi is a quiet, special time. (Photo: Andrew Chernakov/Flickr)

Bougainvillea flower at the Ein Gedi gardensA bright bougainvillea flower blooms at the Ein Gedi botanical garden. (Photo: mariait/Shutterstock)

A nearby village just south of the nature reserve offers even more to do, with a botanical garden boasting hundreds of species of plants native to Israel and from all across the globe.

Bright pink flowers at the Ein Gedi gardensThere's always something bright blooming at the gardens of Ein Gedi. (Photo: George Agasandian/Flickr)

Ein Gedi is a shady addition to any Dead Sea outing – an afternoon adventure that's perfectly complementary to a soothing stint floating in those healing waters.

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