The Ramon Crater is the largest crater in the Negev. It is about 40 kilometers long and its maximum width is about 10 kilometers. There are interesting sites inside it, such as Ha-Minsara ("The Saw-Mill") and Nahal Nekarot, for which there are organized excursions for the whole family.
Khan Saharonim is the ruins of a wayside inn in the side of the Ramon Crater, which was built in the Nabataean Period on the Incense Route from Petra to Gaza, for traveling merchants and wayfarers.
On the edge of the Ramon crater sits the town of Mitspe Ramon. This pleasant, quiet town, built in the landscape of the largest of the Negev craters, between paths and cliffs, mountains and springs, has recently become a thriving tourism town.
The Alpaca Farm, where alpacas are raised for their wool, is located on the northern rim of the Ramon Crater. Visitors can pet the alpacas, see the wool production process and weave their own souvenir.
(Nekarot River) is about 60 kilometers long and flows through the Arif mountain range and the northern Arava. It is one of the longest and most beautiful rivers in the Negev.
The legendary Incense Route is a 2,000 year old commercial success story. Valuable goods traveled the route, which started in Yemen to the East, crossed Saudi Arabia and Jordan to end in Israel in the Gaza port, where they were loaded onto merchant ships bound for Europe.
Ein Avdat features the remains of a Nabataean city on the Incense Route which prospered during the Byzantine period. Findings from the Nabataean Incense Route are displayed in the Information Center, as well as remnants of ancient agriculture.
Avdat was founded by Nabatean traders as a way station on this Incense Route. Long before, the Israelites had wandered near here through the Wilderness of Zin.
In Israel’s arid Negev of all places, just an hour south of Tel Aviv, you’ll find a wine-making renaissance in full sway. Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Carignan and Zinfandel grapes all thrive under the hot Negev sun.
Negev Wine Route
Kibbutz Sde Boker is the realization of the dream envisioned by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and defense minister, who loved the Negev and its expanses and wanted to settle the desert and make it bloom.
The capital of the Negev, the Old City, the university, the Turkish railway station, and the Bedouin market represent only a part of the colorful mosaic offered by the city of Be’er Sheba.
The vibrant city of Mamshit, first settled 2,000 years ago, still amazes visitors as they tour the 350-acre Mamshit National Park, located just east of Dimona on the main Negev road to Eilat.
Mamshit National Park
The Uvda Valley’s claim to fame is that despite its seeming bleakness, its soil is surprisingly rich, having flowed down from the surrounding mountains over countless millennia. That is what made it prime land for settlement going back to prehistoric times.
The Uvda Valley and Eilat Mountains
The Hai Bar is a nature reserve dedicated to reintroducing extinct species mentioned in the Bible to the wild. The animals can be seen in hourly guided tours in vehicle caravans. Near Hai Bar there is also a predator's center and a dark room for observing nocturnal species.
In the time of the Roman Empire, a fortress was built in Yotvata to guard the water Ein Radian, the largest spring in the area. The remains of this square fortress can still be seen.
Arad and its surroundings have been blessed with beautiful landscapes, desert tranquility, and many walking trails nestled amongst untouched desert nooks, which are suitable for any age or style.
Timna Park in southern Israel offers geological wonders such as Solomon’s Pillars, towering sandstone columns so perfectly formed that it is almost impossible to believe they were not man-made.
Tel Mareshah offers visitors a peek to man-made burial caves, caves that were used for raising pigeons or producing olive oil, and a network of underground caverns used as storerooms and water cisterns.
A high peak in the Eilat Mountains, about one kilometer east of the coral reef reserve off Eilat beach. The magnificent view from Mt. Tsefahot encompasses the Gulf of Eilat and the surrounding mountainous desert region.
Massada, one of the most exciting places in Israel, is situated on the top of a mountain with steep sides and a flat top overlooking the desert panorama to the west and the Dead Sea to the east.
The New Museum at Massada features archaeological artifacts dug at the site between 1963 and 1965. The artifacts are exhibited in illuminated showcases spread over nine theatrical scenes, focusing around three main themes: Herod, the Rebels, and the Roman Army.
New Museum at Massada
The people who lived at Beit Govrin thousands of years ago left behind plentiful testimony to their existence both above and below ground.
Visitors climb Tel Zor’a to see the white-washed, blue-domed traditional tomb of Samson and that of his father Manoah. They also get a wonderful view of the rolling, forested Judean Mountains, with a panoramic sign on hand naming all the sites.
Kibbutz Ein Gedi is the only botanical garden in the world that people live in. More than 1,000 varieties of flora from all over the world that have been acclimated to Israel and grow wild here, as well as 1,000 varieties of cactus.
A prosperous Jewish settlement at Ein Gedi was destroyed at the time of the rebellion against the Romans. The main finding at the Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park is the ruins of a synagogue from the Byzantine period. Next to it are remains of a settlement, including a pool, part of a street, and several houses.
The living landscape of David’s hideout from Saul is one of the many attractions of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve on the shore of the Dead Sea, an oasis made all the more entrancing by its contrast with the surrounding desert.
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth in any land mass (417 meters below sea level, to be exact). The quantity of water that evaporates from it is greater than that which flows into it, such that this body of water has the highest concentration of salt in the world (340 grams per liter of water).
Metsoke Deragot is a resort village at the edge of Matzuk Haha’atakim. The resort offers desert challenge sports, such as rappelling hikes, rappelling for beginners, bicycle tours, jeep tours, and hikes through the Judean Desert wadis and to the Dead Sea.
Standing among the 2,000 year-old ruins of Qumran, overlooking the Dead Sea on the edge of the Judean Wilderness, visitors gain deeper appreciation for the Dead Sea Scrolls, containing the oldest Bible ever found, and discovered right here.
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