Negev Desert

Why you should visit the Negev Desert

As well as the well renowned Dead Sea and ancient fortress of Masada in the east of the Negev, the Negev Desert has another unique geological formation – the makhteshim, unique crater-like land formations which are only found in the Negev and its extension into Egypt’s Sinai. The Israeli Negev is home to the largest erosion crater in the world, the Ramon Crater, which is a stunning site to behold. Camp at the Ramon crater and sleep beneath the stars or alternatively stay in the luxurious Six Senses Shaharout Resort.

The desert is not as barren as it may at first appear, inhabited by many different civilisations over the millennia, many of whom have left impressive remains. Buried in the desert lie several UNESCO world heritage sites, including Shivta and Avdat which form part of the Nabatean spice route which continues down to Petra. 

  • Visit the Ramon Crater either from the air or hike with an expert geologist.
  • Take a jeep tour over the challenging terrain to reach some otherwise inaccessible places.
  • Rappel down a 500 metre-deep crater for an unforgettable experience.
  • Dive into natural desert waterholes.
  • Visit Avdat and Shivta, impressive UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • Witness the amazing migration of birds during the Spring.

Our travel experts "must do" in the Negev Desert

Learn about the desert people from ancient civilisations to today’s Bedouin, with whom you can experience their hospitality. An evening desert tour is incredible when hyenas, wolves, lizards, scorpions and snakes come active, and the stars fill the dark sky.

A little more about the Negev Desert

From a birder and naturalist point of view, The Negev Desert is rich and diverse with flora and fauna. A huge variety of birds, plants and animals combined with incredible scenery and diverse habitats are all within easy reach. The Negev highlands are home to birdwatching centres. Their main goal is scientific and conservation orientated. With prior notice, they offer excellent birding tours for visitors. A visit in March will reward you with a memorable migration spectacle, although excellent birding can be found year round. Overall March is considered by many as the best month for birding as at this time resident birds are courting and singing, migration is in full swing and many winterers are still around. 

When to go to the Negev Desert

The best time to visit is November through to May.

How do I reach the Negev Desert?

The Negev can be reached by road from Tel Aviv, a journey of approximately fours hours drive. Alternatively, take a short flight from Tel Aviv to Eilat in Southern Israel and drive two hours north. Helicopter flights from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert are available and must be booked in advance. The Negev can be combined with Jordan and is only a three hour drive from Petra.

A visit to Israel is easily combined with neighbouring Jordan, and we are pleased to offer Israel to Jordan twin centre holiday ideas.

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