2/2 Nahal Sirpad Street
Mitzpe Ramon, 80600  |  08-653 2319

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10 Reasons why you MUST visit the Negev desert when traveling to Israel:

September 2, 2015

 

The Negev desert has been this hidden Gem for many many years, that only the locals knew of,  but now, more and more travelers from around the world are discovering this magical unique destination. 

 

It is no wonder that the Negev was named as one of Lonely Planet’s top world regions to visit!

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should make sure to make the Negev a destination of it's own. 

 

1.Many hiking trails and multiple day treks - There are MANY accessible hiking trails in the Negev. Many! You will not believe the amount and variety of  trails that can be found in the Negev region. They are all marked tremendously well, and are very safe to hike on your own. All accessible with either bus or Car. You can check out the many options on the NegevTrails website, or you can join a guided tour through NegevTrek

 

 

2. Good weather ALL YEAR LONG! Due to the elevation of the Negev Highlands - it is possible to hike here even in the summer time. You will actually need a warm jacket after dark. Yes, even in August. 

 

3. Amazing Skies - Mitzpe Ramon which is situated right in the middle of the Negev Desert, is the most isolated town in Israel. So yes... it is very hard to get good cheap products all the way down here, but once we go out at night and look up - we forget about it all.... You have never seen a more stunning                                                                                              night sky than ours...

 

4. It is cheap - Since hiking is so safe and accessible here - you do not need a tourguide, and so you can spend a whole week of traveling without spending almost any money on expensive activities as you would in other places. 

 

 

5. Cultural experience - From the ancient Nabateans who roamed this desert, to the Bedouins today... Amazing how much couture you can encounter in such a place of extremes...  

 

6. Accessible public transportation - you could rent a car for your Negev experience, but you don't need to, as there are frequent buses running at least twice an hour all day long from Beer Sheva to Mitzpe Ramon. The other good thing about the bus is that it is subsidized, so it is a lot cheaper to travel by bus here than it is in the rest of the country. And the big news is that now you can fly directly to these amazing region. Direct international flights are stating to land in Ovda, an airport just 1 hour away from Mitzpe Ramon. So comming here from London, Paris, Budapest and Krakow is easy and affordable.

 

 

7. Many Biking trails - The Israeli government has been putting a lot of time and money into turning the Negev desert into the Mecca for cyclists. There is an abundance of biking trails and routs, and a lot of maps and info are easy to find. 

 

8. Makhtesh Ramon - A Makhtesh is something like a crater - but it is really not a Crater. Maktesh is a geological phenomenon that was not created by a volcano nor was it created by a Meteorite. It is something unique (there are only 7 of them in the whole wide world) and in Mitzpe Ramon you can easily visit and hike in the biggest one of them all. There is nothing like standing on the Camel hill lookout point in Mitzpe Ramon - overlooking the Makhtesh and witnessing millions of years of geology beneath your feet.  

 

 

9. Spiritual  - There is something about looking at the barren landscape - without anything covering it... no trees... not plants.... nothing. It is just you, the earth and the wind... some people say that this is the best place to hear god, and some people say that this is the only place they can really hear themselves... Some come here with a lot of questions and life problems but once they see these mountains that have been here long before us, and will probably be long after us, and they can't stop feeling that these problems, as big as they may seem - are actually pretty small compared to all of this.... 

 

 

10. This desert looks different every time you look at it - When I was a tour guide, and I took groups of high school Israeli kids to the desert, I kept hearing the same question over and over again - "Why did you bring us here?" "there is nothing to see" "it is all just sand and rocks" "all I see is the color Brown". I never understood them. I really didn't. It took me some time to understand that it isn't possible that so many kids are color blind. I now understand that in order to truly experience this special place - you need patience and time. You can not just drive through the Makhtesh and look at it for one sunset and say that you experience it. You could say that you saw it, but not more than that... 

 

The Negev is rewarding though - the more you stay in it, the more sunsets and sunrises you see.. the deeper you go into it - the more you will see, experience and feel.. It will never look the same I promise you that. Since I will never be able to truly capture this in words, I will post a few pictures, but as you know - the pictures are never as good as the real thing, Try and imagine it 100 times more pretty in real life, and a million times more powerful in feel...

 

 

 

 "The multicolored rock formations of the Negev Highlands go on for as far as the eye can see and you can't stop wondering how such a small country can be home to such a vast secret". I actually stole this line from the Lonely planet book.. this is what they wrote about the Negev desert in 2012 and I thought is was so lovely and true that I had to quote them... 

 

 

 

In any case - Time is running out, the Negev desert will not stay a secret for long, so make sure you experience this desert as nature intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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