The Negev Israel's Majestic Desert
Packed with adventure and fun, Negev is truly a dream destination, especially for adrenaline junkies. Bustling with natural beauty, the Negev Desert in the southern region of Israel is pure bliss which encompasses over half of Israel’s total land area.
The southern part of Israel is sparingly populated but is filled with beauty and stunning natural wonders. Additionally, the Negev region offers marvellous views of nature that are guaranteed to leave you astounded.
Although a desert but not entirely deserted; there is a multitude of extraordinary geological marvels, delightful historical landmarks, along with nature reserves where one can go for hiking, cycling, camel rides, and safari.
The Negev is truly one of Israel’s crown jewels worthy of being placed on the list of must-visit cities.
Main Attractions of The Negev:
Ramon Crater – A unique place to explore!
There lies a Ramon Crater (in Hebrew Makhtesh Ramon) at the heart of Israel’s vast Negev Desert which is the world’s largest erosion centre. Encompassing a huge assortment of rocks of fascinating colours and forms, this beguiling natural phenomenon measures 40 km in length and between 2 and 10 km in width, shaped like a stretched-out heart. It forms Israel’s largest national park which is known as Ramon Natural Reserve.
Distant from the bustling city, featuring multi-coloured sandstone, fossils, and volcanic rocks, the Ramon Crater is Israel’s very own Grand Crayon.
The best place to reach Ramon Crater is from the town of Mitzpeh Ramon that features visitor’s centre and some spectacular observatory points that offer breath-taking views of the crater.
Sde Boker – A tribute to David Ben Gurion!
An interesting glance into the history of the Negev, Sde Boker is a Kibbutz originally established by pioneers, with an aim to settle the Negev in the early 50’s. Sde Boker is popular as the former home of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister who moved here in 1953. It has been turned into a museum where the original mementos, furniture, and personal items of Ben Gurion and his wife have been preserved.
Nevatim – The home to Cochin Jews!
A visit to Nevatim guarantees an extraordinary experience. Cochin Jews, originally from India, immigrated to Israel after the establishment of the state. The communities of the Cochin Jews repute themselves as one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The centre for Cochin Jews at Moshav Nevatim tells the tale of this unique community.
Vidor Center – A window to agriculture in the Arava!
Vidor Centre is truly a unique attraction that offers a multi-sensory experience of the exceptional nature. Tourists can discover advanced farming methods, climatic challenges, varied flora and fauna, special qualities of the soil, and the water of the desert.
The Old City of Be’er Sheva – Jewish virtual library!
Founded by biblical Abraham, Be’er Sheva is an ancient city of Israel with appropriate evidence of a settlement dating back thousands of years. This historic yet charming city offers a magnificent montage of urban spaces. Discovering this city will divulge unique and attractive architecture, fascinating history and stimulating stories.
Carasso Science Park – An interactive museum of science!
New in the ancient city of Ne’er Sheva, the Carasso Science Park is spread over 4.25 acres and it is the largest science park in the country. Entertaining and engaging for people of all ages, this science park features an intellectual museum, scientific garden with a plethora of games, and other activities. In addition, the park also offers ten amazing and interactive exhibitions in different fields of science such as Nuclear Energy, Genetics Communications, Microelectronics, etc.
Arad – A perfect epitome of a natural beauty!
Known for its young spirit and delivering rich experiences, Arad is a city that is recognized for its spectacular beauty. Surrounded by exquisite landscapes, tranquillity of the desert, and several walking trails, Arad is an ideal starting point and a superlative gateway for your desert retreat.
Timna Park – Best place for hiking enthusiasts!
One of the greatest parks of the Negev, Timna dwells in a horseshoe-shaped valley. Surrounded by steep cliffs, Timna Park offers an enjoyable experience for hiking enthusiasts. One can explore the splendid works of nature as well as the remarkable wildlife and plants which have inhabited the desert, surviving greatly despite the harsh arid conditions.
With several interesting tourist attractions, lofty mountains, and colourful sands, Timna Park offers a captivating experience that will definitely leave you awestruck.
Yotvata Hai-Bar – An absolute delight for animal lovers!
The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is one of the largest animal breeding and reclamation spots for animals mentioned in the Bible that have become endangered. The reserve offers a range of amazing attractions including the predators’ centre, a Nocturnal animal’s observatory in the dark room condition. In addition, the place also features the ground of 12 kms where herds of herbivores wander without restrictions.
The southern region of Israel has its own dreamy charm which is unparallel to any other adventure. Its highly adventurous and its inimitable terrain creates an ideal setting for several interesting sports and fun activities. From dirt biking and off-road cycling to abseiling down steep ravines and canyons, this region is a treat for adventure loving travellers.
Sandboarding in the desert
A one-of-a-kind mind-blowing desert experience. The gorgeously sweeping sand dunes of the Negev desert offer an amazing sandboarding experience which delivers a unique thrill of its own. For all sports and adventure fanatics, this activity must be put on the to-do list when in Israel.
This is probably the most authentic way of exploring the majestic desert of the Negev and one guaranteed to be etched in your memory. There are several camel farms all across Negev where people can enjoy camel rides.
Israel is also the home to the famous and thrilling “Burning Man” festival, wherein a temporary city is set up in the desert of Negev for 5 days, creating a platform for communal lifestyle, creativity, art, and radical self-expression. People from far and wide attend this festival to explore what is beyond their borders in terms of giving, taking, caring, and meeting new people.
Sunrise at Masada
In case you’d like to discover your adventurous side, you can climb atop by foot to witness the stunning Sunrise at Masada. Witnessing the gradual rise of the sun as it emerges over the Dead Sea and Jordanian Moab Mountains reflecting its light on the desert, is breathtakingly mesmerising and an unforgettable experience.
The Culinary Queens of Yeruham
Don’t forget to experience the “Culinary Queens of Yeruham” if you truly want to get an authentic experience of the country. A unique project wherein the local women of Yeruham (a small town in the southern district of Israel) host travellers from far and wide for delectable traditional meals in their own homes. Through this ultimate experience, you will get to know about the culture and background of locals while tasting the ethnic delicacies and enjoying the unmatched hospitality.
The Bedouin Experience
The Bedouin hospitality is Indisputably an unmatched experience which is both highly enjoyable, appreciable and culturally engaging with the locals of Israel.
The Bedouins are a group of nomadic tribes who have lived in Israel’s Negev Desert for several hundred years. Even today, many Bedouins in Israel continue to live in traditional ways, opening their hearts, their homes, and their way of life to the public to share their earnest hospitality.
Camel rides, traditional Bedouin food and overnight stays in traditional Bedouin tents are highly popular and engaging attractions for tourists in Israel. Amidst the peace of the desert, a visit to these villages offers fascinating insights on the lifestyle and history of Bedouin in Israel.