The Negev Desert covers almost the entire southern part of Israel, from Be’er Sheva down to Eilat on the Red Sea. The yellow sands of the Negev Desert fill more than half of Israel, more than 4,700 square miles. Since the creation of modern day Israel, this part of the country has been somewhat of a sacred place. From the times of Ben-Gurion (the country’s founder and first prime minister), there has been a movement to settle the rugged desert. The early leader loved the Negev Desert so much he chose to make it his final resting place. Although often overlooked by tourists in favor of the North, there are plenty of things to do in the Negev Desert. We had an amazing time in the early part of our tour with Puzzle Israel exploring the Negev Desert.
Things To Do In The Negev Desert
Something you wouldn’t think possible in the climate of the Negev Desert would be growing grapes. However, there are now over a dozen wineries producing many varieties of quality wines from the soils of the Negev Desert. During our tour with Puzzle Israel we stayed at Carmey Advat vineyard in their unique guest houses in a narrow valley of the Negev.
There are numerous hiking trails throughout the Negev and parts of the 1000 km long Israel Trail run through also. Tighten the laces of your hiking boots and enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the desert.
The adventurous can strap themselves in and rappel down a vertical wall of the Ramon Crater. From one of the main viewpoints around the crater, you can make the 50-foot vertical journey down to a ledge in the rock wall. For those with a fear of heights, it may take some time to work up the courage, but the experience and the views of the Negev desert are worth it.
When in the Negev Desert one of the best things to do is jump on a 4×4 tour and really explore the desert. We took an offroad tour through the Ramon Crater, which is actually not a crater but a unique geological formation called a Makhtesh. Throughout the tour, our guides brought us to hard to reach places in the desert to show us the true beauty and explain the environment.
One of the best ways to explore the Negev desert is by mountain bike. During our Puzzle Israel tour, we rented bikes and cruised along trails that circled the Makhtesh Ramon (crater). We rode along the rim for some spectacular views of the desert.
Camping in the Desert
There is just something very peaceful about sleeping out in the desert. The Negev desert is very sparsely populated and has almost no light pollution so the stars shine brightly most nights. We cooked traditional Israeli dishes right in the middle of the desert and it was one of my favorite things we did in Israel.
The perfect way to finish a day in the desert is to find a lookout and just watch the sunset. With all the amazing things to do in the Negev Desert, the simple ones are some of the best.
We managed to take in all of these sights in the Negev in just two days on our tour with Puzzle Israel, it was a busy but great couple of days in the desert.
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Thanks to Puzzle Israel for inviting us to experience Israel with you. As always opinions are our own.