Region: Negev / South Area
Location: Located 30 km west of the Dead Sea, 45 km east of the city Beer Sheva and 111 km south of Jerusalem, 219 km north of the city of Eilat.
Driving Directions to Arad: Highway 31 connects Arad with Beersheba to the west, and the Dead Sea to the east.
Cities/Town Close By: Dimona, Be'er Sheva, Dead Sea
Population: approx. 27,000
Landscape: Located mostly on the western and southwestern Kidod Range, and the Arad Plain, which is the southwest end of the Judean Desert, Arad's elevation ranges between approximately 361 and 631 meters above sea level, Mount Kidod at 600 meters above sea level.
Modern Day History: Arad was established as a development town in 1962.
Arad had about 160 families until 1964. As Arad began absorbing olim in the 70s mostly from the Soviet Union the population increased from 4,000 to 10,500 in 1974. In the 90s Arad continued to absorbed immigrants from the former Soviet Union increasing the popluation to approximately 20,000.
Arad has a number of large public parks and forests, such as the ruins of Tel Arad, the Arad Park, and an airfield. It is also well-known for its annual music festival, which was one of the most popular annual music events in the country until 1995.
Arad proximity to the Dead Sea and Masada, provides tourists accommodations in it's three hotels: Inbar, Yefe Nof Arad and Margoa Arad. On the outskirts there is a large white monument called Mitzpe Mo'av conceived by Yigal Tumarkin in 1968 which offers a view of the Judean Desert.
The Israel National Trail passes through Arad, between Mount Kina and Tel Arad, a major archeological dig and tourist attraction. The the Zohar Peak and Zohar Lookout (Mitzpe Zohar) are common hiking and biking destinations on the national trail.
Biblical History: Tel Arad a Canaanite town located close to Arad (a Biblical archaeology site famous for the discovery of Ostraca) which The tanach describes Arad as a stronghold who kept the Israelites from traveling to the Judean Mountains through the Negev. Tel Arad was destroyed over 1,200 years before the arrival of the Israelites. During the Byzantine period the location was identified as Eusebius.
During the reign of the kings of Judah Tel Arad was fortified a number of times until it was destroyed between 597 BCE and 577 BCE by Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar the same time that Jersalem was under siege.
During the Persian period, 4th and 5th centuries BCE, almost a hundred ostracon and pottery were written in Aramaic and were mostly accounts of locals that brought oil, wine, wheat, and etc to the upper hill.
Parks/Forests: Tel Arad National Park, Tel Be'er Sheva National Park, Makhtesh Ramon, Visitors Center, Hai Ramon, Geological and Archaeological Park, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park, Ein Bokek, Einot Zukim Nature Reserve, Massada Sound and light show, Mamshit National Park, Qumran National Park
Nearby Biblical Sites/Tels: Tel Arad, Massada National Park, Tel Be'er Sheva National Park
Museums: coming soon
Theaters/Perfomance Centers: Center for Culture, Youth and Sports, Oron Center. Puppet Theater
Festivals: Arad Hebrew Music Festival - July each year
Things to Do: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Nature, Discovery.
Lodging: click here
City Map: click here