The colder months are upon us, and while many choose to hide away in layers of sweaters at home, there are some things in Tel Aviv that are just better in the winter. Tel Aviv’s sweltering summers may be too much for some, but visitors can rejoice in knowing that the winter in Tel Aviv can be just as fun. Here are 8 cool things to do this winter in Tel Aviv:

1. Take a Surf Lesson

The Mediterranean isn’t know for it’s big waves like many other bodies of water. In the summer, the sea is calm with some pleasant waves. However, during the winter, they get bigger, enticing droves of Israeli surfers to strap on their wet suits and hit the waves. The winter in Tel Aviv is the best time to catch some waves, and if you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of lessons available to wannabe surfers of all ages.

2. Enjoy the Stormy Weather

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It’s a fact that some people just prefer the smell of rain to the feeling of sun on their faces (I know, we don’t understand it either). Winter in Tel Aviv can be quite wet, with regular rain, wind, and storms. While this forces most people indoors, wandering around the boardwalk can bring some beautiful sights of crashing waves and thick clouds. Make sure to bring a cover for your camera so it doesn’t get too wet!

3. Watch a Stunning Sunset

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Every Tel Avivian knows that the winter sunsets are far superior to the summer ones. When the storm clouds settle down and the rain clears, the sun sets and brings with it bright colors that are hard to miss from anywhere in the city. The beach is a popular place to watch the sun go down, but we recommend finding a spot closer to Old Jaffa. The sight of the setting sun and colorful sky behind the old Clock Tower of Jaffa is like a painting and is worth seeing if you’re here for the winter in Tel Aviv.

Want to get out of Tel Aviv? Here are 10 cool things to do around Israel during the winter.

4. Grab Some Seasonal Fruits in the Carmel Market

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Regardless of the season, Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market is always bustling. Most of the produce in Israel is local and not imported, which means we have the freshest fruits to choose from on a daily basis. However, you have to enjoy them while you can because the produce available in Israel really depends on the season! During the winter months, the local citrus fruits are king. Make sure to pick up some juicy oranges, grapefruits, clementines, and pomelos to snack on during the day.

5. Watch the Wind and Kite Surfers

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Unless you’re experienced, we don’t suggest taking up this hobby on your trip to Tel Aviv. However, on a windy day you’ll notice tons of people out on the boardwalk watching the brave wind and kite surfers fly over the surface of the water. On any windy day during the winter in Tel Aviv, you can look up and notice the different colored parachutes dotting the sky.

6. Warm Up With a Cup of Sachlav

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If you’re wandering around the city and looking to duck in to a coffee shop to warm up from the cold winter in Tel Aviv, be sure to ask for a sachlav. Sachlav is a Middle Eastern drink that hits the spot more than any hot chocolate can. Its base is made up of warm milk thickened with ground sahlab orchid bulbs. The base is typically scented with vanilla, orange, or rose water, and then sprinkled with cinnamon, dried fruit, or nuts. It’s the perfect thick drink to warm up with on a cold winter day.

What else should you eat on your trip to Israel? Find out our suggestions for the dishes you just can’t miss out on!

7. Visit Some of Tel Aviv’s Museums

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Tel Aviv has some great museums to visit on a rainy afternoon. Pop into the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to enjoy both local and international artists. The permanent collection includes Picasso, Klimt, Dali, and more. The Museum of the Jewish People is also a great museum with displays about the history of the Jewish diaspora over thousands of years. The smaller Bauhaus Museum is also worth checking out for those interested in Tel Aviv’s unique architecture.

Looking to escape from the rain? Here are our top ten things to do in Israel when it’s raining.

8. Go for a Pampering Spa Day

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Image from Sheva Spa.

Lastly, you deserve a day to relax and unwind. The winter in Tel Aviv can be dark and tiring. However, you can easily lift your spirits by enjoying a pampering spa day overlooking the stunning Mediterranean sea. Our personal favorites are the Sheva Spa at the Hilton Tel Aviv hotel, and The Setai Hotel Spa in Jaffa. Whichever spa day you choose, you definitely won’t be disappointed that you spent your day rejuvenating indoors and away from the rain and wind!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below how you’d spend your day during the winter in Tel Aviv!

While we say goodbye to 2018 and the record-breaking amount of tourism it brought to the Holy Land, we look forward to another incredible year before us. 2019 is exciting for so many reasons: new luxury hotels, international concerts, and festivals that are bigger and better than ever before. If you’ve been constantly planning & putting off your trip to Israel, an Israel tour in 2019 is a fantastic idea, and here are 19 reasons why:

1 – Eurovision

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Last year’s Eurovision got the whole nation together for two reasons: to rally behind winner Netta Barzilay, and to collectively get excited to host the world’s biggest song contest in 2019. Expect appearances from the infamous Dana International and other previous Eurovision winners. Additionally, it is rumoured that the event will be hosted by none-other than the stunning Israeli supermodel, Bar Rafaeli. Be sure to book your accommodation way ahead of time, since many people are planning their Israel tour in 2019 around this event!

2 – Jon Bon Jovi concert

Another huge musical event taking place in July 2019, is Jon Bon Jovi’s return to Tel Aviv. The rock legend will be playing in Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. As always, it’s expected to be a great show. His 2015 show saw 50,000 audience members singing along to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” We’re sure the 2019 show will be even bigger!

3 – Elections

While not quite a tourist attraction, the Israeli elections were called earlier than scheduled and will now be held in April of 2019. Anyone with an interest in Middle-Eastern politics will surely keep a close eye on the campaigning and lead-up to election day. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Israeli politics!

4 – Slash Concert

Israel always gets a few big acts that pass through each summer, and 2019 is no exception. If Eurovision and Bon Jovi weren’t enough to keep you satisfied, you also have the chance to see Slash in concert in July 2019. The legendary frontman of Guns N’ Roses will be playing with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in Tel Aviv. Get your tickets in advance!

5 – Virgin Atlantic Flights

Since Israeli Shai Weiss became the CEO of Virgin Atlantic, he’s been trying to compete for popular routes to Tel Aviv. Lookout for new Virgin Atlantic flights between London and Tel Aviv starting this year. In May, Virgin hopes to fly in 200 fans from London to Tel Aviv to enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest!

6 – Even More Tourism

2018 was a record-breaking year for tourism to Israel. Before that, 2017 was a record-breaking yea for Israeli tourism. (Notice a pattern here?) There’s no doubt that with new airlines coming in, beautiful new hotels, and Eurovision, there will be a huge influx of tourists visiting the Holy Land. With all the excitement, accommodation and entertainment are sure to get booked up quickly, so if you’re planning an Israel tour in 2019, get a move on and contact us so we can help you plan before it’s too late!

7 – Pride Parade

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Tel Aviv Pride is a yearly event that sees thousands of tourists coming each June to celebrate love and the LGBTQ community. Tel Aviv’s parade is known internationally as being one of the best. Last year, there were over 250,000 parade attendees! In 2019, the parade is expected to be even bigger, so if you’re planning your Israel tour in 2019 for June, be sure to pack some rainbow-colored clothes and join in on the fun!

8 – The Dead Sea

Fodor’s listed The Dead Sea as one of the top 50 places to visit in 2019, and we can see why. They describe it “like nowhere else on earth. This shimmering saltwater lake appears in the distance like a mirage in the desert. It’s somehow both otherworldly and right in the middle of it all, surrounded by Israel, Palestine, and Jordan in the heart of the Middle East. It’s undeniably special here and the kind of place that you’re not likely to forget.” Need more reasons to visit The Dead Sea during your Israel tour in 2019? Check out our list of cool facts you didn’t know about The Dead Sea.

Book your Dead Sea Tour

9 – Midburn

Another yearly even that happens in the Negev desert is Midburn. The event is modelled after Burning Man, which takes place in the deserts of Nevada. The Israel version features tons of incredible art installations, different types of wellness events, parties, and show-stopping costumes. Many people fly in from outside Israel just to attend this unforgettable week in the desert.

10 – Michael Jackson Tribute

Another one of the great concerts happening in 2019 in Israel. The Michael Jackson tribute concert will be touring around the country in February, so you can be sure to catch it during your Israel tour in 2019. The “I Am King” performance will include a Live Orchestra, broadway dancers, and classic hits in 20 shows around the country

11- Eilat Ramon Airport

In addition to the new Ovda Airport 60km north of Eilat, a new airport, Eilat Ramon, is set to open in 2019. The new airport will replaced Eilat’s current Eilat J. Hozman Airport. The opening of Ovda Airport saw tons of new low-cost international airlines flying directly into Israel’s south. We’re sure to see more exciting routes when the new airport opens in 2019!

12- Crusader Wall Tour in Caesarea

A new tourist attraction will open in 2019 in the ancient Roman city of Caesarea. Tourists will now be able to walk on the ancient walls with the new Crusader Wall Promenade. This is part of a project to increase tourism to the city. Caesarea has always been a magical place to visit with it’s 2,000 year-old history and archeology, this is sure to be an exciting addition!

Book your Caesarea Tour

13- Eilat Jazz Fest

The Red Sea Jazz Festival takes place in February, and features both local Israeli acts and international artists. Definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in live Jazz music!

14 – Six Senses Shaharut Hotel Resort

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Six Senses Shaharut photo courtesy of Six Senses

A luxurious hotel resort by the Six Senses chain is slated to open in 2019. The hotel will be in Israel’s Negev desert in the Arava Valley. It will include 58 suites and villas with private pools, and a private high-end spa for guests. The hotel is focused on sustainability and wellness. It will also include a Camel ranch and an open amphitheater, and Bedouin-style tents for an authentic Middle-Eastern experience.

15 – Jerusalem Marathon

Run 5k, 10k, a half-marathon, or the full 42.2KM in the annual Jerusalem Marathon! (We also won’t blame you if you just want to stand on the sidelines and cheer). Due to its hilly terrain, the Jerusalem Marathon is known to be a tough one. Runners from around the world come to participate in this challenging event. Is 2019 your year?

16 – Tel Aviv White Night

Tel Aviv’s annual White Night falls at the end of June. It typically includes a night of fun live musical shows, art installations, street parties, food stands, and more. The event is popular with locals and internationals, and has fun events for the whole family.

17 – Christmas in Bethlehem

If you didn’t get to spend your 2018 Christmas holiday in the Holy Land, then let’s help you get here for 2019. There’s no better way to spend Christmas in the Holy Land than visiting Bethlehem for an unforgettable midnight mass. See what else you can do for Christmas in Israel here!

18 – Purim

Another annual holiday and event that takes place around the country is Purim. Typically, children dress up, bake triangular shaped cookies, and enjoy a fun day to celebrate this holiday. However, leave it to Tel Aviv to turn this children’s day into a massive party! Every year, thousands of people get decked out in incredible DIY costumes and attend any of the hundreds of street parties and events happening around the city. Jerusalem is also known for having huge Purim events. Iff you’re here for an Israel tour in 2019 in the month of March, be sure not to miss out!

19 – White City Center

Known for it’s unique Bahaus architecture, Tel Aviv is known as the White City due to all the white buildings that dot the Mediterranean Sea. A new center, set to open in a historic building in 2019, will preserve this historic architecture and tell its story. It will also be a place for events, and it will offer tours related to the beautiful architecture.

As you can see, there are no shortage of things going in in Israel this upcoming year. Contact us today to help you plan your Israel tour in 2019!

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Like Christmas and New Year, Valentine’s Day in Israel isn’t as commonly celebrated as it is in much of the Western world. While this may be comforting for many singles who cringe at the sight of anything red and pink, hopeless romantics of the Holy Land won’t find the usual array of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or googly-eyed stuffed animals anywhere on February 14th. For those wishing to inject a little more romance into an otherwise average day in Israel, we have some easy suggestions for you this Valentine’s Day.

Sunset Bike Ride on the Beach

shutterstock_528282457No bike? No problem. With Tel-O-Fun bikes readily available at multiple stands around the city, you’ll be able to rent bikes by the hour to enjoy the 14 kilometres of Tel Aviv’s beaches. When you get tired, hop off your bikes to enjoy a stroll by the water and enjoy a spectacular Mediterranean sunset.

Stroll Through Old Jaffa

shutterstock_554627308The Old City of Jaffa is a unique city full of charm and surprises, making it the perfect place for a romantic evening. The ancient stone buildings, meandering alleyways, and chic galleries make this a perfect dreamy date destination. Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants by the harbour to the sound of gently lapping waves and the sight of the sun setting behind rows of sailboats.

Picnic & Boat Ride in Hayarkon Park

shutterstock_698891233In the north of the city, you’ll find one of Tel Aviv’s best kept secrets: Hayarkon Park. Pack a light lunch of fresh local breads and pastries (don’t forget the amazing Israeli wine!) and picnic in the park by the lake. Rent a boat or paddleboat and venture out into the waters to get a panoramic view of the peaceful park and its gardens.

Spend a Romantic Evening Indoors

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Looking to slow things down a bit after a hectic week? We get that. While Netflix & PJs may be you & your partner’s go-to easy evening inside, why not opt for a change of scenery with a getaway in one of Tel Aviv’s most luxurious boutique hotels? The Norman is located right next to the thrilling Rothschild boulevard, but with the gorgeously decorated rooms, a world-class bar, a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, and mouth-watering fine dining, why would you even want to leave the hotel?

Nothing Says “Be My Valentine Like Roses

shutterstock_692854465Why get your lover a dozen red roses when you can enjoy 19 acres of 400 varieties of roses from around the world? The Wohl Rose Park in Jerusalem a public garden located across from the Knesset. The park won awards as one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world, so we’re sure it will be the perfect place to impress your honey.

Visit a Winery

shutterstock_145599823Israel’s north has no shortage of wineries to visit. You can easily spend a day touring the different wineries in the Carmel region with your loved one. Many wineries also offer tours of their facilities and tastings of the different varieties of wine they produce. Imagine yourself taking in beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea with a glass of wine in one hand and your loved one’s hand in the other while Cupid shoots an arrow overhead. (Okay, we can’t promise you Cupid, but the rest we can definitely take care of!)

Helicopter Tour for Two

shutterstock_1015577404Wine sounds nice, but you’re the kind of couple that wants to add some excitement to each outing. Why not take a helicopter tour of the Carmel and Galilee regions? Get a bird’s eye view of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, and land next to Château Golan Winery where you can enjoy dinner together. Professional tip: this is a great place to pop the question, and after an unforgettably romantic day together, we can almost guarantee that she’ll say yes!

Relax by the Dead Sea

shutterstock_145798055So maybe slathering mud all over your body isn’t the romantic getaway you were thinking of, but we promise you won’t regret a Dead Sea spa experience! Pamper yourselves at the lowest point on earth with a couple’s massage. You’ll both end the day feeling rejuvenated and thoroughly relaxed, and you can even take the experience home with a visit to a Dead Sea cosmetics shop where you’ll be able to purchase all the mineral-rich skin care products that this area is famous for.

See Flowers Bloom in the Desert

shutterstock_405520864Every year in the month of February, the Negev desert hosts the Darom Adom festival, where the landscape of the northern Negev blooms with thousands of red anemones, Israel’s national flower. This is truly a remarkable sight to see, and with only four weekends a year where you can witness this spectacle, you won’t want to miss it! The festival also features poetry readings and concerts to appease those creative romantics.

Stargaze in Mitzpe Ramon

milky-way-stars-night-skyA tried-and-true classic, stargazing in Mitzpe Ramon is an unforgettable activity that can be done at any time of the year, but isn’t Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse to take a short roadtrip out to the desert? Grab your partner in crime and a thermos full of something warm, and enjoy the silence of the desert under a blanket of stars at the first international night-sky park in the Middle East.

 

Need some help planning a perfect getaway with your loved one? You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day – contact our travel experts today!

No trip to Israel is complete without a visit to the Dead Sea, a true wonder of nature! Before you go, there are a few interesting things you should know about this incredible place.

Essential Facts

  • The Dead Sea sits at 1,388 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on earth!
  • The high salt concentration means that people can easily float on the sea’s surface. Just lean back and relax on the sea with a book or newspaper, no effort required.

The Dead Sea of Israel - Mazada Tours

  • Due to the high salt content, there are no animals or sea life to be found in sea, and that is why it is called the “Dead” Sea.
  • Even though it’s called a sea, it’s actually a hypersaline lake.
  • The water is almost 10 times saltier than ocean water, so don’t get it in your mouth or eyes!
  • Water flows into the Dead Sea from the Jordan River, but no water ever flows out of the sea.
  • The Dead Sea is disappearing at an alarming rate. In 1930, the sea’s surface was 1050 km2 and now it is around 600km2. Some experts say that unless drastic measures are taken to preserve what is left of this natural wonder, the sea could disappear in our lifetime.

Health Benefits

  • The water of is very high in minerals, and therefore it has become a major centre for health research and treatment.
  • The salt from the sea is very bitter, but it has a variety of skincare benefits. The salt and minerals from the sea can treat psoriasis, cellulite, acne, hives, and many other skin ailments.

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  • The mud that comes from the seabed surrounding the Dead Sea is also great for your skin. For an amazing natural spa experience, spread the mud all over your body and bathe in the sea. You’ll walk out feeling like a baby!
  • The air around the Dead Sea is healthy too! It is low in pollen and allergens, making it the perfect location for those with asthma.

The Dead Sea in History

  • Asphalt naturally rises to the surface of the water, and this asphalt used to be used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification process.

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  • It was one of the world’s first health resorts, built for King Herod the Great.
  • Historically, the Dead Sea was one of Cleopatra’s favorite places. She even ordered resorts and cosmetic factories be built along the shores.
  • The Dead Sea is over 3 million years old!

About the Area

  • The Dead Sea is at the lowest point of the Great Rift Valley, which passes through 20 countries and extends almost 4000 miles.
  • Hungry? On the way to the Dead Sea, you’ll be surrounded by date palms, 618 acres to be exact.

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  • The weather there remains warm all year round, and annual rainfall in the region is less than 50 millimeters.
  • Highway 90 is the world’s lowest road and it runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the sea.
  • Since the Dead Sea is located at such a low point, the sun’s UV rays are weaker in this region, making it harder to burn. So float on without worrying too much about those harmful UVs!

You’ve got the facts, now are you ready for the experience? Book our Relaxation day tour, or if you’re pressed for time combine your Dead Sea tour with a visit to Jerusalem or Masada.

Thanks to a mild winter, Israel doesn’t experience the holiday season like other countries. Christmas is never white and you won’t find massive lighting decorating the main streets. However, this doesn’t mean that the holiday season in Israel is any less exciting. With Hanukkah and Christmas usually falling within the same couple of weeks in December, there are multiple events around the country to please even the most hardened Grinch.

Unlike Christmas, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days to commemorate the miraculous burning of oil on the ancient temple’s menorah for eight days when there was only enough oil for one. Therefore, you will find exciting events happening on all nights of the holiday.

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The Old City of Jerusalem is always spectacular to visit, but the festival of lights makes it an even more special experience with all the lit Menorahs around the city. Visit the Western Wall on any night of Hanukkah to take part in the lighting of the 2-meter-high bronzed Menorah. Lighting takes place every night of the holiday at 4:30pm, except for Friday at 3:30pm and Saturday at 7:00pm.

If you’re in the north, make sure to stop by Haifa for any of the Holiday of Holidays events taking place throughout the month of December. Go to discover different cultural events surrounding the major holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan. There are different concerts, exhibits, shows, and antique fairs to keep you busy for even longer than eight days! Even farther north in the scenic city of Safed, you will find events for the whole family during Hanukkah, many of them focusing on artistic, historical, and religious activities. Check out their calendar of events for more details.

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Make sure to stop by any of the bakeries around the country to sample some mouth-watering sufganiot (donuts). Get the classic jelly-stuffed donut or opt for a fancier version topped with chocolates, nuts, candy, or anything else the master bakers have come up with this season! If you’re in Tel Aviv and want to get into the spirit of the holiday, you don’t need to trek all the way to the capital; celebrate Hanukkah like a local and light the menorah in Gan Ha’atzmaut (Independence Park).

For those wishing to experience Christmas in Israel, there are still many unique options for you too! Head over to Bethlehem for the famous Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity. Get the full experience of the birthplace of Jesus by joining our Christmas Eve tour, which includes an unforgettable Christmas Feast!

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If you’re in Nazareth, there will be special events all month in preparation for Christmas. Stop by the Christmas Market for a street fair and the lighting of the Christmas tree between December 17th – 22nd. You can also go and watch the Christmas Parade on December 23rd, starting at 3:00pm. Take part in a special Christmas Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation on December 24th, or visit any of the Catholic churches during the evening of December 25th.

While Jaffa is magical year round, it is even more of a special visit around Christmas time. Since Jaffa is home to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike, the meandering alleyways of this old city are decked out with lights, menorahs, and Christmas trees. The official lighting of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Christmas tree is on December 17th and 6:00pm at the Clock Tower.

Interested in celebrating Christmas in the Holy Land? Don’t miss out on our exclusive Christmas Eve tour!

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has recently named Mitzpe Ramon the first international night sky park in the Middle East. The IDA works towards the prevention of light pollution and the conservation of night skies around the world. The distinction recognizes the Mitzpe Ramon nature reserve as a hub for the preservation of the environment.

Shaul Goldstein, the General Director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority acknowledged that “the recognition will enable the preservation of the important values represented by the Ramon Crater in ecological, scientific, cultural and experimental terms for the general public.”

Mitzpe Ramon is the perfect destination for a unique desert experience. Located in Israel’s Negev desert, the Ramon Crater is a geological wonder that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. The crater itself allows for a range of exciting activities, such as hiking the many trails, jeep tours, and wildlife discovery. Of course, the Ramon crater is only the beginning; the desert of the Negev offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration!

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As wondrous as Mitzpe Ramon is during the day, there is nothing that can be compared with experiencing the stillness and absolute silence of the desert at night. Only a short drive away from the centre of Israel, you can trade in the 24/7 hustle and bustle of city life for a tranquil stay in the desert. Grab a blanket, bring your family and friends, and lay back and appreciate the unforgettable phenomenon that is the uninterrupted night sky of the desert.

There are accommodations to suit every type of traveler around Mitzpe Ramon. You can opt for full luxury and comfortably enjoy all that the desert has to offer, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can choose to sleep beneath a canopy of stars and pitch a tent in the desert, Bedouin-style.

Whichever way you choose to explore the Mitzpe Ramon crater, Mazada tours is there to help guide you through the planning stages. We’re happy to create a personalized itinerary that suits your tastes, level of adventure, and travel style. Take the stress out of planning your peaceful desert getaway and contact us to begin building your perfect escape.