The Negev Desert is the largest part of Israel, a wonderful region where you can feel and experience the atmosphere of the unique and beautiful, yet harsh, desert. Hiking, trekking, Bedouin experiences, ancient Nabatean cities, skies full of stars, amazing geological structures and sweet water in cisterns after the rain, are just part of the many attractions here.
- The Ramon Crater is 80 kilometers souh of Beer Sheva. The largest erosion-crater in the world, known as a ‘makhtesh’, this huge cliff-lined crater is 40 kilometers long and 11 kilometers wide. You can tour the Ramon Crater on foot, by bike, or by joining a jeep tour.
- Ride a camel. In the Negev, there are Camel ranches where you can take a camel and tour for anything from one hour to four days. Many ranches also offer accommodation.
- Taste local wine and cheese. Fifty years ago, the first modern vineyards were planted as agricultural experiments in the Negev and for the past 20 years, with the aid of modern agricultural developments, this area has started to produce great produce. Small farms are producing boutique agricultural products amid the tough desert conditions.
- Hike at Ein Akev. The ridges and canyons of the Negev offer many hiking opportunities. Each trail is unique, although there is one trail that never fails. Ein Akev is a spring that pours down into a hidden pool surrounded by solid cliffs of limestone. The hike to the spring crosses vast plateaus and descends into magnificent canyons. The trail is 14km long- round trip, and usually lasts a whole day, but the reward of diving into the cold water of the spring after a long hike through the desert cannot be easily matched.
- Star Gazing at Mitzpe Ramon. With little cloud cover, few sources of light pollution and high elevation, the town of Mitzpe Ramon, right on the edge of the Ramon Crater, is an ideal site for star gazing, so much so that a scientific observatory was built just outside of the town. Guided tours of the night sky are offered by several stars-lovers. If you’re really lucky you might arrive in town during a meteor shower or an important astronomical event. The city council shuts off the street lights and the residents keep their curtains closed and every tiny dot in the Milky Way can be seen bright and shiny.