Israel’s Negev Desert offers a ton of fun travel opportunities. Visitors love spending time in the Negev for its stunning landscapes, magical oases, and unique Middle-Eastern wildlife. Whether you’re looking to relax by the Dead Sea or embark on a thrilling desert hike, there is something to suit all tastes in the Negev. So, if you’re planning a Negev Desert tour, let our experts guide you in the right direction and have a look at our top recommendations.
See the Sunrise from Masada
As one of the most visited places in Israel, Masada is an essential stop on your Negev Desert tour. Originally built by King Herod the Great, Masada is famous for its story. At this site, an entire Jewish community committed mass suicide in favour of surrendering to their enemy, The Romans. It is very common for tourists to hike up Masada for the sunrise as the view from the top is spectacular. There is also a cable car that can bring you to the top if an early-morning hike isn’t for you. Masada is rich in history and sweeping desert scenery, making it a favorite site for visitors of all ages.
Have an Adventurous Jeep Ride
If you want to get up close and personal with the Negev Desert, then one of the best ways to do this is by heading off on a Jeep ride. For those looking for a little more adventure on their Negev Desert tour, a Jeep ride offers the opportunity to enjoy amazing views and even a light breeze. Visit the different desert canyons, or stop for a short hike. Either way, you’ll be sure to fully immerse yourself in the desert landscape with a Negev Jeep tour.
Ride a Camel
If Jeeps are too quick for you and you want to travel at a slower pace, then we definitely recommend riding a camel. As part of your Negev Desert tour, you simply can’t avoid encountering some Israeli camels! While you may often see them standing or sitting by the side of the roads in the Negev, there are plenty of places that offer you the unique experience of riding one through the desert. Let us know if you’d like to ride a camel on your Negev Desert tour and we’d be happy to arrange this for you!
Float in the Dead Sea
You can’t come to Israel without visiting the Dead Sea. Like Masada, it is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the country. Therefore, it should definitely be included in your Negev Desert tour. When visiting, it is customary to cover yourself in the mineral-rich Dead Sea mud and then float in the waters. The mixture of the mud and the minerals from the water will make your skin feel baby-soft when you come out! Since it’s in the desert, the weather is good year-round, making this the perfect spot to visit at any time of the year.
Discover Mitzpe Ramon
No Negev desert tour is complete without a visit to Mitzpe Ramon, one of the most recognizable sites in the desert. The crater is a perfect stop for those interested in geology. Discover more about the crater’s interesting history and origins at the welcome center and learn all ab0ut your surroundings. In the crater itself, you can enjoy a variety of activities. Mitzpe Ramon is perfect for those who want to check out some of the hiking trails or discover local wildlife.
Learn About Sde Boker Museum & Desert Oasis
Sde Boker is the kibbutz and desert home of the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion. After his passing, Ben Gurion was buried here and the site was transformed into a museum as well as a desert oasis. Sde Boker is still an active kibbutz, so visitors can opt to stay there overnight. This site offers fantastic insight into Kibbutz life, as well as the opportunity to learn more about Ben Gurion himself and his vision for Israel’s Negev Desert.
Experience Bedouin Hospitality
Who better to explore the desert with than its nomadic inhabitants? The local Bedouins in the Negev Desert are extremely hospitable and always keen on sharing their culture and way of life with visitors. Learn about how these nomadic tribes live in the harsh desert climate, enjoy a traditional Bedouin meal, and learn about how they sustain themselves and their communities. This is a unique opportunity to have a peek into a culture and tradition that has existed for centuries. We strongly recommend booking a tour with us for visiting a Bedouin village, as it needs advanced planning and you can’t usually just drop in for a visit.
Explore Timna Park
Located north of Eilat, Timna Park is a fantastic spot to stop at on your Negev Desert tour. Aside from some great hiking trails, the jaw-dropping scenery will surely impress everyone who visits. There are many geological and archeological sites in the park that will delight all ages. Additionally, there are hikes to suit all levels and some desert wildlife to spot along the way.
Visit a Negev Winery
Growing food in the desert is not easy. However, producing wine in the desert is even harder, but some wineries have gotten it down to an art. Due to the climate, the wine-making process in the Negev Desert is unique. Therefore, wine aficionados will love visiting Negev wineries to learn about the wine-making, from the growing process, to how the vines are harvested, and the different grape varieties. Visiting a winery on your Negev Desert tour is sure to be an enjoyable experience!
Cool Down at Ein Gedi
The Negev Desert can be scorching hot, especially during the summer. If you still want to do a hike but worry about the high temperatures, then Ein Gedi is definitely the place for you. This desert oasis is home to seven waterfalls and small pools. It’s the perfect trail to hike as you can stop every so often for a refreshing dip in the water. This area is also home to some classic Israeli wildlife, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for animals like the desert ibex!
Admire the Night Sky
Lastly, if you haven’t had enough of seeing the Negev Desert during the day, then perhaps seeing it at night will satiate your desert desire! During the day, the desert is vast, hot, and extraordinary. However, at night it is a completely different atmosphere. Experience the absolute stillness and silence of the desert at night. You can even set up a star-gazing tour where you can get a completely clear and unfiltered view of the night stars hanging over the Negev mountains.
With so many fantastic choices, you can spend a week alone exploring Israel’s Negev Desert. If you’re crunched for time and not sure how you might fit it all in, have no fear! That’s what our travel experts are here for. Simply contact us and let us know what you’d like to see and do, and we’ll be glad to create a personalized Negev Desert tour just for you.