The Six Jewels of the Israeli Desert
When people think of the desert, they usually think of barren, arid and dry land. Miles and miles of nothingness, scorching heat and blazing sun. Although, some of it is true, I think mostly, the desert had gotten really bad PR…. Because, in the desert, there are hidden jewels of rare beauty and inspiration. If you know where to look….
Well, this post is going to make sure that next time you are in Israel, you will know exactly where to find all the beautiful jams hidden in our Israeli deserts. And if you have been to Israel, I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few.
I’d love to know which ones you loved and enjoyed the most. Do share, by return e-mail or posting on one of our social media accounts.
So, here are our choice for the best 6 hidden jewels of the Israeli desert
- The Dead Sea,known in Hebrew as Yam Ha-Melach (the Sea of Salt) is the lowest point on earth, surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Negev Desert.
The shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest point on the surface of the earth, and the saline water of the lake give lead to the name because no fish can survive in the salty waters. The other result of the salty water is their renowned health and healing properties and the unique feature that one can float naturally in them.
The Dead Sea is a wonder of nature that has all the man made facilities to enjoy a great and healthy vacation.
2. Masada is not only important because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site or an ancient fortress occupying a breathtaking, strategic location high on a flat plateau above the Dead Sea, but because of its symbolic importance of determination and heroism which continues to this day with many Israeli soldiers sworn in here.
This mountain is one of the greatest archaeological sites in Israel and, perhaps, across the world. Its dramatic ascent can now be made by cable-car, but the drama and imagery that this site portrays is no less powerful than it ever was. Many people opt to join a tour, enjoying a guide who will bring the site to life.
3. Ein Gedi, just aside the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, not too far from Jerusalem, is one of Israel’s premier hiking spots, featuring spectacular beauty, varied landscapes, and botanical gardens. There’s no doubt that Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful places in Israel. While it is located close to Jerusalem, it feels worlds away, Ein Gedi is, of course, one of the most popular escape spots for locals and tourists who take advantage of the reserve, botanical gardens, and the Dead Sea.
4. The Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev Desert is the world’s largest erosion crater or makhtesh. A landform unique to Israel’s Negev and Egypt’s Sinai deserts’, a makhtesh is a large erosion cirque, created 220 million years ago when oceans covered the area (the word crater is therefore a misleading translation of Hebrew to English.) The Ramon Crater measures 40km in length and between 2 and 10km in width, shaped like a long heart, and forms Israel’s largest national park, the Ramon Nature Reserve. Visiting the Ramon Crater can vary from a stop off on a journey through the Negev to witness the crater from above, or a longer visit to take in the history and science of the area, hike, drive or cycle through the makhtesh, and appreciate the unique geology that is on offer.
5. Timna Park is located about 25 km (about 17 miles) north of Eilat in Israel’s Negev Desert. One of the largest attractions in the south of Israel, the park, set in a beautifully majestic desert setting, has amazing history and geology, and a number of unexpected activities including those on the lake (yes, a lake in the desert!). Timna Park covers about 15,000 acres in a horseshoe-shaped valley surrounded by steep cliffs, with Mount Timna, the world’s first ever copper mine, standing tall in the center. Daily tours to Timna Park are available from Eilat.
6. The Eilat Mountains, offer some of the most breathtaking views and spectacular desert routes in all of Israel. This large mountain range is located just miles north of Israel’s most southern city, Eilat.Known for its stunning beauty, hikers and adventurers marvel at the rich yellow, red and brown colors of the mountain’s rocky landscape. Erosion overtime has resulted in narrow canyon areas as well, where visitors walk through spaces only one or two meters wide, but hundreds of meters high. The area is home to animals such as the Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal, and Dorcas Gazelle, and can be explored on foot or with 4×4 jeep tours.
The Israeli desert is a wonderful place to travel, hike, and enjoy in winter as in summer. (Summers are hot, you are right, but with a good hat, sun screen and an early start at sunrise, one can enjoy a visit to the desert even in the middle of summer.
We hope you loved & enjoyed our choices and if you visited one of these amazing places yourself,
do share with us which one is your personal favorite. 😃
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