The Negev desert is located in Southern Israel and covers over 13,000 square km. (4700 sq. miles); over half of the country’s total land area. The region is bordered in the northern end by its administrative capital Beersheba, in the south by Eilat, the Dead Sea, Masada and Jordan to the East and the Sinai desert and Egypt to the West.
Things to See and Do in the Negev Desert
For me, it is truly a magical place. So much history, so many exciting things to see and do; If you like history, I recommend taking a tour of Sde Boker (Ben Gurion’s desert residence) or Timna National Park, the site of the worlds oldest copper mines. The Negev contains several development towns such as Arad by the Dead Sea and Dimona the site of Israel’s nuclear development center and disputed nuclear reactor. Also kibbutz Revivim and its historical significance pre-dating the State of Israel.
I have been to the Negev Valley Israel many times and one of my favorite stops along the way is the Mitzpe Ramon observatory. It offers a breathtaking view of the Mitzpe Ramon crater Ramon Crater) along with an explanation of how it was actually formed. At first glance, It looks like it was struck by a huge asteroid but that is not the case. Wait until you hear what actually created this massive crater and other craters (Makhteshim in Hebrew) like it in the desert valley.
Driving Tip: If you are planning to drive all the way to Eilat, this is a great stopping point along the way as there is just barren desert most of the rest of the way.
If panoramic views of desert landscapes, wildlife in their natural habitat, and beautiful hiking trails are for you, don’t miss Ein Avdat, a stream in the Zin Valley that runs from the southern end of Sde Boker towards Eilat. There is also the Qumran caves where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This is located in the Eastern part of the Negev near the Dead Sea. See most amazing places in the desert for more.
Exciting things to do in the Negev Desert: How about an amazing Negev Jeep tour, camel ride or sand surfing? We took a jeep tour with my friend and professional guide Atar. It was amazing and a great way to see the more remote locations unreachable by car or on foot with a narrated explanation of the areas and their history.
Highly recommended. See Jeep or Hiking tours with Atar.
For the best places to stay from very luxurious hotels to Zimmers and more economical Hostels, see my accommodations in the Negev.
For more amazing photos of the desert landscapes.
The landscape of the desert is truly unique and beautiful. Unlike the stereotypical desert scene in movies, it is not filled with many mountain sized sand dunes but rather a rocky landscape with many canyons, waterfalls, caves, craters, and archaeological sites rich with history.
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Le’Hitraot BaNegev (See you soon in Negev)