Tourist Tip #91 / Timna Park, an Oasis of Fun

Eilat may be your final destination, but on the way don't miss a stop at Timna Park, a desert playground as rich in activities for the whole family as it is in historical wonder.

Some may call the landscape of Timna Park “primordial.” In Hebrew, it's referred to as "Genesis" landscape, a nod to the biblical wonder engendered by the soaring, wind and water-scored russet mountains, broad, white and winding wadis and profound silence that only the desert can offer.

Timna Park, located about 25 kilometers north of Eilat, offers all of this and so much more that you’ll need to allot at least half a day if you're on your way to or from the Red Sea resort city. You could even consider an overnight stay in the park’s campground near the lake to take advantage of the sunset tours (Tuesdays only) and nighttime activities. It’s a perfect destination for Eilat travelers this upcoming Hanukkah vacation and, actually, all winter long.

If you only have a couple of hours, visit the park’s signature natural monument, Solomon’s Pillars, to explore the natural red sandstone monoliths rising from Wadi Timna’s rocky floor. Nearby is the impressive Hathor rock-engraving and temple, which reminds visitors that ancient residents mined copper here and worshipped the goddess they believed blessed their efforts. Remnants of those efforts, including an ancient mining cave, are scattered throughout the park and waiting for your exploration. To get a great overview of the park’s natural and human history, there’s the imaginative Mines of Time multimedia presentation for the whole family (if anything, you'll appreciate the air-conditioning in the summer).

A variety of hiking and cycling routes await, geared to various skill levels, with playful names like “the chariots,” the Sphinx,” “leopard trap,” “rock drawings’ valley” and “the Great Arch.” There’s also rappelling and even a zip line. During the interim days of Sukkot and Passover there are fun workshops for children that take inspiration from the nature that surrounds the park and the copper that, for millennia, has inhabited it.; Tel: 08-6316756

Hours: September–June: Sunday–Thursday, Saturday: 8 AM–4 PM (on Fridays and holiday until 3 P.M).; July–August 8 A.M.–1 P.M. Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur eves 8 A.M.–1 P.M. 

Moshe Gilad