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Kibbutz Degania, Israel’s very first kibbutz founded in 1909, is not only a staple of Israel’s iconic kibbutz lifestyle and beginnings (check out the museum!), but boasts an amazing location along the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret). Couple a visit to the kibbutz with a night of camping along the Kinneret. There’s nothing quite like waking up along the quiet waters of Israel’s largest sweet-water lake.
Not too far from Kibbutz Degania and the Kinneret, you can float along the Jordan River. The Yardenit itself is known as the Yardenit Baptismal Site, and visitors can be baptized in the River Jordan, if they so desire. One of the amazing things about this location on the Southern tip of the Kinneret, is that you can camp wherever you want. All along the Jordan River you will see families, friends, and couples, spread along the shores, setting up camp for the night, or swimming in the water. It is a favorite spot for Israelis and visitors alike.
One of the best beaches in Israel, and easily accessible, Bet Yanai Beach is a great spot for an overnight camping experience by the sea. While there are fees for staying at the campsite (check their website for more information), seeing the Alexander Stream and basking on the beach during the day, makes it worth the price of admission.
One last not-to-be-missed spot along the beach is Hof Nitzanim. The beach does have fees for camping, but is one of the most unique beaches in Israel. It is clean and expansive and also features long stretches of sand dunes, nearly 20 kilometers (on which you can take your ATV). The area also has a natural lake, which features stiller waters if the waves get too choppy in the Mediterranean.
Ein Aya is located in the southern Golan Heights, and is named after a soldier who was killed in a training accident during his service in the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) Givati Brigade in 2004. This spot features a spring and pool, renovated by friends of the family, and now enjoyed by many as a great location to camp out, swim, and have incredible views over Jordan and Syria.
If you are in the mood for more of a desert view, head to Chan Hashayarot. The site was founded in 1999 and is located between Sde-Boker and Mitzpe Ramon (the giant crater). The lodging was built with the intention of hosting families, groups, and solo travelers who desired the quiet atmosphere of the desert. Don’t miss out on the camel rides!
If interested in one of the major landmarks of the Israeli South, head for Masada and stay at the Campsite Masada West campground. There are fees for staying, but camping here not only includes all the amenities you need, but also offers incredible desert views, and the possibility of seeing Masada at sunrise and sunset.