Arad (Israel)Arad (Hebrew, ערד) is a small city in Israel that lies on the border between the Negev desert and the Judaean Desert.
Modern Arad was founded in 1962 by young Israelis, most of them ex-kibbutzniks and ex-moshavniks, who were seeking an environment free of the urban ills of overcrowding, traffic, noise and pollution. Although not noted for its great beauty, the town's growth has closely followed a well-designed master plan. Arad's present population is approximately 28,000 (2003 estimate) and reflects the broad spectrum of Israeli society with a special emphasis on recent immigrants.
From Beer ShevaFrom the Beer Sheva central bus station, line 386 (express), 387 (direct) and line 388 (higher frequency, but more intermediate stops) run to Arad. The price is ₪8.70.
From Tel AvivFrom Tel Aviv (Arlozorov terminal only), lines 389 and 421 run to Arad. Each line has only 2-3 trips per day each direction. Line 421 continues to the Dead Sea.
In addition, line 550 runs from Bnei Brak to Arad, approximately 9 times per day.
From JerusalemFrom Jerusalem, lines 554 and 555 run to Arad. These lines are oriented to the Haredi sector, so they start in Haredi neighborhoods rather than the central bus station. Together these lines have about 9 trips per day in each direction.
Having said that, Arad can easily be explored on foot.
phone: +972 7 776-2170, +972 8-9957 690The site of the ancient city, well worth a visit from an archaeological point of view. The site consists of two parts, the lower city (from the Bronze Age) and the upper city (an Israelite settlement).
Lower CityThis city from the Bronze Age was surrounded by a 1200m-long wall with half-round towers. Apparently, it was well planned including streets and houses.
Upper CityThe Israeli upper city bears evidence of a re-settlement 1500 years later during the time of King David and Solomon, around 1150 B.C. Near the citadel an altar was situated and a smaller model version of Jerusalem. Remarkably, on one of the found shards engravings with reference to the house of JHWH (בית יהוה) were visible. The city was conquered during the Babylonian siege of Judea (597-577 B.C.). Later, under Achaemenid Persian rule, this was a place of worship and sacrifice. In the Hellenic and Roman period it was used as citadel, after which it was mostly uninhabited. From the 7th to 9th century, it was used by the Arabs for residence.
"Eshet Lot" – The artists' quarterAn exclusive quarter with its own brand of desert atmosphere, combining creativity and artistry is in the heart of the industrial zone, on the road leading down to the Dead Sea. The artists, who are all inhabitants of Arad, united together to create a productive community with an enhanced sensitivity towards the environment.
Glass Art MuseumGlass manufacturer with an art focus. Worth a visit.
Arad Visitors Centre
Yatir ForestOne of the biggest forests in Israel and popular in summer for hiking and biking. The Israel National Trail runs through the forest and by Tel Arad.
Moav LookoutHere the Israeli artist Yigal Tumarkin created a big outdoor sculpture in 1968.
The following lookouts are used as hiking or biking destinations from Arad: and .
- The biggest shopping mall, , is located in the centre of the city
- The is famous for its weekly market on Mondays
phone: +972 8-9952207, +972 54-5439980address: Gilad St 21This is the secret in town. Offers a great apartment with 3 rooms (including private) and all necessities. Book through their website or just call ahead, they are not so firm with online bookings, but you want to make sure it is not fully booked. Don't mind the dog when walking up to their house - there is no sign, you have to walk up on the left side and knock.
phone: +972 58 4960748address: Odem St 68 (Rotem)Also offers tours into the surrounding area.
phone: +972 72-3902195address: 28 Bareket St. (Rotem)Another budget option. Member of ILH.
Israel YHA Hostel Aradphone: +972 8-9957150Book ahead, not to get an expensive private room offered if you arrive late.
Mid range / Splurge
phone: +972 8-997-3303address: 38 Yehuda Street
- Masada – A former Roman fortress on top of a mountain. The only road access to the west side of Masada is through Arad. This route is popular for those arriving early for sunsets.
Besides that, Arad is a great location for trips to all directions including:
- Dead Sea – One of the most famous things to see/do in Israel and Jordan.
- Judaean Desert – Visit its various attractions, next to the Dead Sea.
- Beer Sheva – University town, but does not much cater for tourists and especially backpackers.
- Mitzpe Ramon – Great site, hikes and views on the edge of a giant crater.
- Eilat – Holiday town in the far south with border crossings to Jordan and Egypt.