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Exploring the Negev and Sde Boker in Israel
inisrael.com travel guide

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Enjoy Israel

Exploring the Negev and Sde Boker in Israel

Exploring the Negev and Sde Boker in Israel

Attractions travel guide

If you’re looking for a unique, off-the-beaten-path adventure in Israel, look no further than Sde Boker and the surrounding Negev Desert. With its stunning landscapes and rich history, this hidden gem is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s why you should plan a trip to the Negev today.

What You’ll Find at Sde Boker

Sde Boker is located in southern Israel, about an hour and a half from Be’er Sheva. It was founded in 1952 by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion who wanted to make the desert bloom. As such, it is home to a kibbutz as well as an archaeological dig site, where visitors can explore ancient stone structures and artifacts dating back centuries. The area also features several trails for hiking and biking, including one which follows the Zin Valley. And if you’re looking for something more relaxing, there are also plenty of nearby nature reserves to explore.
History at Sde Boker

The area around Sde Boker has been inhabited since prehistoric times and many ancient artifacts have been discovered here. In addition, the area was an important location during biblical times—it was here that Moses and his people passed through on their way from Egypt to Canaan—and this makes it an ideal destination for those interested in religious history. There are even ruins of an old synagogue located near Sde Boker that date back to the Second Temple period (530 BCE–70 CE).

The Kedma Hotel Sde Boker

There are a variety of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered in the enchanting Negev Desert, thanks to its stunning natural beauty, pollution-free arid climate, and stunning natural beauty.
With 163 warm, welcoming rooms and suites in an expansive open-air courtyard surrounded by lush fruit trees and beautiful plants, Kedna is a beautiful awe-inspiring hotel. In the many quiet corners of the grounds, this layout, which evokes days gone by, blends seamlessly with the surrounding scenery and offers a great deal of rest and relaxation.
Enjoy the water and shaded areas of this glorious oasis and feel refreshed and rejuvenated when you leave.

Additionally, the hotel offers an authentic desert-style restaurant, a luxurious spa with Turkish bath, a peaceful heated pool, a well-equipped fitness room, and plenty of relaxed areas for unwinding after a fun-packed day.

Activities Nearby

In addition to exploring Sde Boker itself, visitors can take part in all sorts of activities close by. For example, just south of Sde Boker lies Ein Avdat National Park which features beautiful canyons and waterfalls, perfect for swimming or just taking time out to enjoy some peace and quiet away from civilization. Alternatively, those looking for some excitement can head east towards Mitzpe Ramon Crater National Park where they will find numerous caves as well as panoramic views of the desert landscape below them. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous why not try skydiving over Eilat? No matter what your interests may be there’s something nearby that’s sure to pique your interest!

Visiting Sde Boker is a fantastic way to get off the beaten path and explore some of Israel’s most breathtaking scenery while learning more about its rich history along the way. Whether you choose to spend your days relaxing among nature or exploring ancient ruins and medieval sites, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience when visiting Sde Boker and the Negev Desert! So pack your bags now; this is one journey not worth missing!

Nimrod Fortress: A Historic Castle with Stunning Views in the Golan Heights

Nimrod Fortress: A Historic Castle with Stunning Views in the Golan Heights

Nimrod Fortress, also known as Nimrod Castle, is a castle built by the Ayyubids and expanded by the Mamluks to guard a major access route to Damascus against armies from the west. It is located on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, overlooking the Golan Heights. The fortress was first built in the Hellenistic or Byzantine period and was rebuilt around 1228 by Al-Aziz Uthman. It was further expanded by Sultan Baibars and given to his second-in-command, Bilik. After the Muslim conquest of Acre, the fortress lost its strategic value and fell into disrepair. The Ottoman Turks later used it as a luxury prison for Ottoman nobles. The fortress is currently managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the excavated and restored portions of the fortress, including secret corridors, loopholes, and the remains of a keep surrounded by large rectangular towers. One day tour idea for the region could be visiting Nimrod Fortress and exploring the surrounding area. The tour could start with a visit to the fortress, where visitors can learn about its history and architecture and enjoy panoramic views of the Golan Heights. After exploring the fortress, the tour could continue to nearby Banias Nature Reserve, which offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and natural pools. Visitors can hike along the river, explore the ancient ruins of Banias, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful surroundings. The tour could also include a visit to the nearby Druze village of Majdal Shams, where visitors can learn about Druze culture and enjoy traditional Druze cuisine. Overall, this day tour offers a combination of history, nature, and culture, making it a great way to experience the region.

Kharbat Karta Nature Reserve - Discover the Wonders of Horvat Karta Nature Reserve: A Family-Friendly Adventure in Israel's North

Kharbat Karta Nature Reserve - Discover the Wonders of Horvat Karta Nature Reserve: A Family-Friendly Adventure in Israel's North

Trip Duration: 1-2 hours Trip Type: Observation, flower trail, and historical sites Difficulty Level: Easy, suitable for all family members Accessibility: Not stroller-friendly Cost: Free of charge Location: Northern Israel - Atlit At the entrance to Atlit, you will find a short and easy trail that leads up the Kurkar ridge, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, carved stables, and, during the blooming season, a variety of beautiful blossoming flowers. After the rains, anemones and hollyhocks bloom, while in the fall, hollyhocks create a stunning sea view. There are two starting points for the trail: Limor parking lot: This starting point features numerous picnic tables and a small ninja track-style playground for children. The trail is marked with blue and white, leading from the parking lot to the Karta ruins. You can choose to complete the full circular route, approximately 1 kilometer long, or park another vehicle at the second entry point. The trail markings will then change from blue to black for a 600-meter stretch. End of road 7110 in Afar Square: Continue straight at the square (with the climbing museum to your right) and follow the road as it curves left. After crossing the Nahal Oren estuary bridge, the trailhead will be on your left. This starting point offers a large dirt square and prominent signage from the Nature and Parks Authority. The trail is marked with black and later turns blue. You can park here and finish at the Limor parking lot, or vice versa if you have two vehicles. Kharbat Karta was declared a nature reserve in 1996 and spans 137 dunams. The reserve contains typical habitats and an archaeological site, the Detroa Fort, which is a Crusader fortress built by the Templars. The fort's strategic location connected northern coastal cities, like Acre, with southern cities, such as Caesarea. The fortress, which measured 21 x 18 meters, was surrounded by walls and featured a lower section carved out of the kurkar rock, with mines reaching up to four meters. Inside the reserve, you will find: Panoramic views from the water pool: A large concrete structure houses a former water pool, and an impressive view of the entire area can be seen from atop the structure's stairs. The view includes the Carmel Ridge and the city of Haifa to the north, the Yaakov memorial and surrounding settlements to the south, and the coastline, Atlit fortress, salt ponds, and Jessar al-Zarqa area to the south. La Detroit Fortress: This archaeological site is located within the Karta Ruins Nature Reserve and can be accessed via a short climb using pegs. Rock-engraved letters: On the ridge's eastern side, you will find the letters A and U in Phoenician script. Some believe these letters represent the first letters of the city's name, "Atlit," although this cannot be confirmed. Carved stables: On the southern side of the Kurkar ridge, you can view the stable rooms resembling large tunnels or sheds. Blooming season: From January to March, visitors can enjoy a wide array of colorful blossoms along the short trail, including cyclamen, anemones, and poppies. In autumn, the sedge blooms are especially impressive. Salt pools and flamingo observation: While in the area, don't miss the Atlit salt pools, where flamingos come to rest. To reach the reserve, use Waze app or other navigation apps: For the Limor Parking Lot, enter "Horvat Karta - Horesh Limor, Atlit." For the second entry point at the end of Road 7110, enter "Horvat Karta Nature Reserve - Atlit, North District." From Road 2, exit at the Atlit interchange and turn left or continue straight at the first square, depending on your chosen starting point.

The Carmel market

The Carmel market

The Carmel Market is the largest open market in Tel Aviv and the best place to buy fresh food and wonder around. Next to the market lies the Yemenite Vineyard, a small neighborhood with charming little streets and typical Yemenite restaurants. The Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) is the biggest marketplace in Tel Aviv and a fun place to visit. In the Carmel market you can find just about anything for the lowest prices in town, including different kinds of bread, olives, dried fruits, spices and so on. It is also the best place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and poultry. The clothing section is located next to Allenby Street, and you can surely find there a bargain or two. Just off the Carmel Market lies one of the most special neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. It is called Yemenite Vineyard (Kerem Hateymanim), originally formed in the beginning of the 20th century by the Jewish immigrants from Yemen. The municipality started renovating this area some 15 years ago, and walking through its narrow alleys and small houses is pretty inspiring. Accept for a walk in these charming little streets, you can make a stop in one of the small neighborhood restaurants. All of them serve traditional Yemenite cuisine, spiced with Hawhyedge, the most characteristic spice in the Yemenite kitchen. The neighborhood is located very close to the sea, so it can be a good stop on your way to or from the beach. Hotel Metropolitan at 11 Trumpeldor St. is just few minutes walk from the Carmel Market to the north. It is an affordable yet elegant lodging option next to the beach and the city center. Another nice hotel in this area is Sun City hotel at 9 Trumpeldor St., which is very well kept and quite intimate. It has a great location - next to the city's lively markets and shopping areas, and only 500 meters from the Mediterranean. Galileo Hotel, located in the heart of the Yemenite Quarter, one of Tel Aviv's first neighborhoods, is a picturesque hotel which will provide you with all the facilities of a budget accommodation in the best location. It is easy to find your way around the Carmel Market area using public transportation, because most buses have stops in the central Allenby Street. It is also located right off Shenkin St., which is another landmark you mustn't miss on your Tel Aviv visit.

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