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Thanks to free parking, this beach is often mobbed, but there’s a lifeguard on duty, and it’s a fun place to try out the Dead Sea’s famous buoyancy. There are free (and very necessary) freshwater showers on the beach, and changing rooms are available for NIS 10. Remember not to get the Dead Sea water in your eyes, and do not try to submerge your head. Don’t swim if you have skin cuts or sores!

The very basic Pundak Ein Gedi Cafeteria (tel. 08/659-4761), just beside the beach, is the only restaurant in the region. Main courses are less than NIS 50. It’s open daily 11am to 4pm; an adjacent minimart is open daily 7:30am to 8pm.

About 3km (1 3/4 miles) south of Ein Gedi Beach is the public Ein Gedi Sulfur Springs and Spa (tel. 08/659-4813) that draws big crowds and is housed in a modern building. It’s especially popular with pensioners, who are bussed in from all over Israel, but foreigners also come to try it out. Here you can soak in mineral-rich spring waters drawn from The Dead Sea. Admission to the spa costs NIS 79 for adults Sunday to Thursday, and NIS 85 Friday, Saturday, and holidays.