Southern Israel may be mostly desert but boring it is certainly not! Visitors to southern Israel will find a plethora of attractions awaiting them. One can choose to explore the desert dunes by bike, donkey or camel by renting one's preferred form of travel for the day. There is a winery and dairy farm for those who enjoy explore new places through the food and drink. For the adventurous there is the desert archery park, for the musical the jazz club in Mitzpe Ramon and for those looking for something different there is the Alpaca Farm in Mitzpe Ramon. Whatever kind of experience you’re looking for in the south you can find it in the attractions offered down here.
The Mamshit Camel Ranch is a camel farm located on the edge of a desert cliff in the Negev. It sits nestled in the golden sands, near the ruins of the ancient Nabatean city Kurnub-Mamshit (thirty minutes from Be'er Sheva, two hours from Tel aviv and forty-five minutes from the Dead Sea hotels). On site are two authentic Bedouin tents made of sheep wool and goat hair that are specially designed for receiving guests and groups of visitors and a camel yard that is home to thirty-five trained camels. The ranch offers a variety of camel riding tours, trips and safaris across the desert. Among the experiences that are on offer; • Camel rides inside the Manege for a short, memorable experience and photo opportunity. • Hour-long camel rides along the Incense Route with a view of the Nabatean city and the Yamin Plain • Two-hour camel rides along the northern Incense Route, a view of the Nabatean city as well as of Hitann Wadi, Yamin Plain and the Machlik Wadi. • Four-hour camel rides with views of the Mamshit Wadi, Nabatean terraces, Be'er Ratav, Yamin Plain and the Machlik Wadi. Light refreshments are also served. • Two Day Camel Safari-Passing by the Hittan Wadi, Um Botna, Nakev Hatira, the Big Crater, Ein Yorkam, the Mamshit Wadi, Be'er Ratav and the Machlik Wadi. The safari includes full board from lunch on the first day to lunch on the second day and outdoor accommodation in sleeping bags. All necessary equipment such as towels, sleeping bags and mattresses is provided. The Safari is suitable only for those above the age of ten. How to get there: off route 25, about 6km from Dimona (coming from Be'er Sheva), turn right at the road sign to Mamshit and immediately left to the Camel Farm.
The Philip Carriage Farm in the northern Negev offers donkey rides in the Negev desert. Tours last between a half hour and two hours and include a light Bedouin meal. Each trip finishes on the farm and groups can then hear a lecture about the history of the area, from the time of the Canaanites until Israel's War of Independence. Fresh farm produce is sold at the entrance to the farm- such as Pitta breads with labane, olive oil produced on the farm, jams and natural oils. The farm is also a good place to stop off on a trip down south. Where is the farm: On road 40, 14km south of the Plugot Junction, north of the Kama Junction. About a half-hour drive from Be'er Sheva and an hour drive from Tel aviv.
The Ze'elim Turkish Spa is located on the Kibbutz of Ze'elim. Visitors to the Kibbutz can enjoy accommodation in the middle of the beautiful Negev desert and as a part of their visit can enjoy a truly unique spa experience, styled after a Turkish hamam. Massages and treatments are available by prior arrangement. The spa is based on mineral waters that come from deep within the earth and the guesthouse also includes a dry sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool. Where: From Be'er Sheva drive until you reach Gilat Junction, road 25, turn left towards Ofakim, road 241, at the Urim Junction turn left towards Ze'elim, road 234.
La Medavesh Store and Bicycle Center offers a unique biking experience in Southern Israel. One can depart from La Medavesh on bicycle trips, be they challenging routes or more comfortable, family-friendly routes. Groups can set out with or without a guide. Advice and guidance is provided, helping you find the perfect group for your needs. Children, families, youth, religious people, companies and others can all be catered to. La Medavesh is situated in the Negev, at the entrance to Kibbutz Be'eri and offers bicycle rental, a professional bicycle store, a workshop, a cafeteria and road services.
The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Visitor Center in Ramat Hovav is situated in the Negev and opened in 2011. The Center provides answers to fascinating questions relating to medicine, treatments, how medicines are produced and much more. The tour at the Center is experiential, including 3D films, interactive games, scientific tasks and even a structure that simulates a reactor where chemical processes are being performed. The tour in the center lasts about an hour and takes place at the Teva-Tech plant.
(visits must be pre-arranged)
Chai Negev is an educational activity center located in Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev. The goal of Chai Negev is to expose children to the natural world and heighten their sensitivity to what goes on in the natural environment around them, while creating a connection to the Negev. Chai Negev is an ecological village built of mud bricks and wood and includes a zoological park that is home to a variety of desert animals. There is also accommodation offered on site, from group tents and mud brick guesthouses to the more conventional guesthouses.
In 1983, on the fortieth anniversary of Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev, the hilltop was turned into a museum. Original buildings were restored and visitors to the museum can relive the experience of the first settlers who lived there and fought there during the War of Independence. Visitors learn about the beginning of Zionist settlement in the Negev.