The Stark Beauty of the Israel Desert
Discover the unique landscapes and history of the Negev

Often overlooked, take a trip to see the awe-inspiring Israel desert ‎landscape in the Negev.‎

View from Makhtesh Ramon Crater in the Negev Israel Desert

You can drive down on your own using the Negev map below, or learn more about our one day, private Negev Desert Tour.

The largest desert in Israel, the Negev makes up more than half of ‎Israel's territory! It covers 16,000 square kilometers (6,200 square ‎miles) in the southern half of the country starting in Beer-Sheva ‎down to Eilat on the Red Sea.‎

Besides its majestic desert scenery, there are fascinating historical ‎remains in Hanegev Israel. ‎

Abraham the Patriarch made his permanent home in Beer Sheva. ‎The Jews, Canaanites, Philistines, Edomites, Nabataean traders, ‎Romans and Byzantine Christians all left their mark in the Negev ‎Israel. ‎

The other smaller Israeli desert that tourists usually visit is the Judean Desert near ‎Jerusalem, home of Masada, the Dead Sea and much more.  Learn more about the the Judean Desert here.

Map - Negev Desert

You can use the map of the Negev Desert below to find the location of each place of interest.

Hanegev Israel Desert
Tel Sheva near Beer Sheva

In the northern tip of the Negev Desert lies the modern town of Beer Sheva. Just nearby is Tel Sheva, thought to be the location of the Biblical  town of Beer Sheva, from the days of Abraham, King Saul and King David. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can visit the excavations and descend into the ancient, water supply system, built over 3,000 years ago!

ancient water supply system built 3,000 years ago at Tel Sheva, the Biblical site of Beer Sheva in the Negev

How they built it without modern technology is truly a miracle.‎

Hanegev Israel Desert
Tel Arad

tourists at Tel Arad archaelogical site in southern Israel

If you have time for a short detour take a 39 kilometer drive to Tel Arad on the border between the Negev Desert and the Judean Desert.

Tel Arad is one of the most important archaelogical sites in Israel where an ancient Jewish temple was found built along the lines of the great temple in Jerusalem. Its worth a visit if you like archaeology and ancient history.

Read more about Tel Arad here.

Hanegev Israel Desert
Sde Boker - Ben Gurion's Home and Memorial 

Kibbutz Sde Boker was the desert home of Israel's 'Founding Father' and its first and charismatic Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. 

Sde Boker was founded by pioneers as a horse and cattle ranch, hence its name which means cowboy field.

Ben Gurion loved the Negev and requested Kibbutz members to accept him. He eventually retired there with his wife Paula. You can learn a lot about this incredible man by visiting his modest home, certainly unlike that of most national leaders.

Modest desert home of Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister. At Sde Boker in the Negev Desert in Israel

The house is filled with his collection of 5,000 books!

Ben Gurion hung only three pictures in his house: depicting Moses, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi. They say so much about the man. You can read more about David Ben Gurion here.

From the Ben Gurion Memorial where he is buried, you can enjoy stunning desert views near Sde Boker.

Sde Boker desert view in the Negev Israel

Hanegev Israel Desert
Ein Avdat Oasis and Ancient Desert History 

Just south of Sde Boker is the strikingly beautiful Ein Avdat Canyon.

Ein Ovdat Canyon in the Negev

Ein Avdat, a UNESCO World Heritage site was one of the trading cities of the Nabateans, probably chosen because the oasis has water year round, fed by the Zin Stream (Nahal Zin).

The Nabateans peopled the Negev Desert around the year 300 B.C. and were famous for moving goods on camels along the Spice and Incense Route which originated in the Persian Gulf, through the Negev to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Romans settled in Ein Avdat. 

Roman Villa at Ein Avdat in the Negev, Israel

Hundreds of years laters, the Nabateans converted to Christianity and during the Byzantine era, Catholic monks lived there, before Ein Avdat was destroyed in an earthquake.

Ein Avdat is also  great place for hiking and camping with marked  trails. 

Ein Ovdat Oasis in Hanegev with great hiking trails

Hanegev Israel Desert
Makhtesh Ramon Crater near Mitzpe Ramon 

View from Makhtesh Ramon Crater near Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev Desert in Israel

The small city of Mitzpe Ramon sits atop the Ramon Crater, a unique ‎geological formation called "Makhtesh".The Ramon Makhtesh is the world’s largest erosion ‎canyon, created 220 million years ago when ancient oceans ‎covered this area. Makhtesh Ramon, or Ramon Crater in the Negev Desert is often called the Grand Canyon of Israel.

The crater is 500 meters deep. The views are breathtaking with moonlike landscapes and multi-colored slopes and rocks.

Ibex at Makhtesh Ramon Crater in Hanegev Israel Desert

As everywhere else in the Negev desert, there are ibex everywhere.

This is the largest park in Israel and is full of hiking, biking, and rappelling trails. 

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