After miles of burned brown and beige desert rock, the green lushness of the Ein Gedi oasis leaps out in vivid and unexpected contrast. This nature reserve is one of the most beautiful places in Israel—with everything from hiking trails to ancient ruins. Settled for thousands of years, it inspired the writer of the Song of Songs to describe his beloved "as a cluster of henna in the vineyards of Ein Gedi." Loads of waterfalls and gurgling springs make this an option for summer hiking, too.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More