In amongst all the attractions the south of Israel offers, the Negev’s natural resorts and parks stand out as some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. Its dry and arid conditions make for some wonderful day&night adventures
There is a large array of accommodation options all throughout the Negev, ranging from traditional sleep-in Bedouin tents all the way to luxuries and fully equipped hotels, hostels and guest houses.
The Negev Wine Route
One of the Negev’s most recent developments and a real treasure for visiting tourists is the local Wine Route. A surprising and awe-inspiring trail, following a number of wineries, who against all odds and despite the harsh weather and soil conditions, have managed, with the help of technology and determination, to do the impossible, and grow grapes suitable for wine, in the hard, rocky earth.
While travelling in the Negev, you will come across a few main nature reserves and parks, which are absolutely not-to-be-missed. Some well known ones are Timna Park, Ramon Canyon, Yatir Forest and Scorpion Trail. These natural resorts are popular with tourists, combining both ancient scenery and new water and desert forestation technologies.
Ramat Hovav Visitor Center
Just outside the town of Be’er Sheba, the Negev’s capital, you can find one of the Negev’s most interesting tourist sites. The center is dedicated to the relationship between environment and industry, and offers an hour-long lecture about the issues concerning this complex relationship
Other interesting places to visit while in the area include the Israeli Air Force Museum, The Glass Art Museum in the desert town of Arad, and the Negev Museum of Art.
If you wanted to spend the night in a true Negev fashion, head down for an overnight sleep at Khan Be’erot, located inside the stunning views of the Ramon Crater – the largest of the Negev’s craters. Another unique Negev experience is a visit to Drijat – where you could experience traditional Bedouin hospitality and experience authentic desert living.
The Ramon Crater
The Negev’s beauty and spell-binding magic couldn’t be better captured than at the largest of the area’s craters. 40 kilometers wide, the crater offers stunning desert views, as well as a geological marvel. Take some time to explore this beautiful natural phenomenon at the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center, located at the crater’s northern cliff.
Right at the edge of the crater nestled the small town of Mitzpe Ramon, a unique place, which in recent years became a real hub for business and cultural innovations. Offering a wide selection of accommodation options, ranging from luxury hotels to an ecological farm, Mitzpe Ramon is not be missed.
Skydiving over the Desert
If you came to the Negev for some extreme driving and sports activities, you will not be disappointed. Day trip and overnight tours are a real highlight for both local and visiting tourists.
There’s nothing quite like driving around the harsh terrain at dawn, stopping for a cup of coffee by a hidden natural spring, and finishing off the day with a scrumptious Bedouin meal before retiring for an under-the-stars night sleep.
Information on group organized tours can be found here.
Shivta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built by the Nabataeans during the 1st century BC and subsequently re-erected by the Byzantines. At this site you will find the well-preserved ruins of a Byzantine city with three churches and a mosque that dates back to the 7th century.
Museum of Bedouin Culture
This museum about Bedouin culture has an interesting and nicely displayed collection of jewelry, clothing, domestic items, and assorted objects that deliver insight about Bedouin lifestyle and culture. Here you will learn about the various Bedouin tribes of the Negev region.
Avdat and Ein Avdat
Another Nabataean UNESCO World Heritage Site, Avdat is one of the most significant of the Nabataean, Roman, and Byzantine eras in the Negev. At the site there is a Nabataean tomb, a Byzantine fortress, and two churches. Near the ruins are the natural springs of Ein Avdat, where water surfaces from four rocks forming a natural spring in the desert.