Experience The South

Heading south in Israel can clear your head, both figuratively, and if you have allergies – literally. The wide open desert spaces create a wonderful backdrop for collecting your thoughts and rejuvenating your spirit.

Although the south has it’s fair share of biblically famous sites, it’s flavor is also shaped by the Bedouin shanty towns and local goat herders, who seem to belong to the theater of the desert expanse. If we keep our eyes open we can spot numerous types of wildlife, which will further enhance our experience.

Browse below for some of the stops a trip down south may include.

Fun in the Desert Sun

A sleepy little town 1 kilometer from the Gaza strip, Sderot rose to fame as the target of 100s of missiles fired from Gaza, several of which sadly proved to be fatal.  Our visit here lends solidarity to the Israelis who have made Sderot their home.

We can learn so much from how Israelis make an art of maintaining normal life under the most strained conditions. The concrete bunkers at the bus stops and a playground made of concrete tubes for children to hide in in the event of an attack, are reminders of what life is like this close to a hostile border.

Israelis 4th largest city and capital of the Negev, Be’er Sheva is growing rapidly and becoming a major tech center.  This modern emerging desert metropolis stands alongside the ancient Be’er Sheva of the bible, from which the well and the walls are still standing.

Let’s explore!

We’ve arrived at Sde Boker – home and grave site of David Ben Gurion, founder of the state of Israel.  Here we’ll visit the kibbutz where he was a member to learn about his life, and the modern desert research facility that helps promote his vision to make the desert bloom.

Ready for some exercise? Let’s hike down into the canyon and see the eyalim (rams) grazing in the oasis. Once back up on top we’ll visit the ruins of the ancient Nabateans that traveled the spice route connecting Asia with Europe through these desert passages.

Now we’re standing on the lip of the Ramon crater, and we’re contemplating how the vastness seems in contrast with our knowledge of how small Israel really is.

Here we can see the movie in the visitors center dedicated to Israeli astronaut Chaim Ramon (no relation), ride jeeps through the less accessible reaches of the desert and then drive into the Crater and see vistas and rock formations like nowhere else on earth.

Hover for Fun Fact: Mitzpe Ramon is often called a crater, but it isn’t a crater.

By now your probably wondering, hey where are all the cows? Okay, maybe you aren’t wondering where all the cows are because you usually don’t find cows in the desert. But your nose may be telling you otherwise.

We’ll just follow the olfactory clues to a kibbutz in the Arava valley where, despite being one of the driest spots in Israel, the dairy has the most productive cows in the country.  After we get a better understanding of why Israel produces such great dairy products, we’ll visit the Hai Bar nature preserve to get a first hand look at many different types of native wild animals.

A little bit of driving, a little bit of hiking, next we find ourselves exploring Solomon’s pillars, ancient copper mines and all sorts of geologic formations along the various trails. The sights will keep you in wonder and amazement. Keep you camera on hand!

Israel knows how to do beaches and Eilat is no exception. This Red Sea resort town is loaded with beautiful beaches, 5 star hotels, corral reefs, scuba diving and all the amenities a tourist could want. Our time spent here can be filled with water sports, swimming with the dolphins, mountain hikes, shopping, jeeping and gav betin (sun