This one day tour will lead us through the Northern and Central Negev. There are two different routes, depending on where we start the tour (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv vicinity):
We head to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, then south to the Makhtesh HaKatan (the small crater) to the “Devils Gate”. Like the other craters in the Negev, the Small Makhtesh is an erosion crater, one of only 7 worldwide, five of which are located here in Israel. Next stop is Mamshit, the antique Nabatean town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively we can visit the nearby Negev Camel Ranch for a one-hour camel ride. From there we drive through the Large Makhtesh via Yeroham to Sde Boker, where Ben Gurion spent his last years and where he and his wife Paula chose to have their last resting place. We visit his house and continue our way to Mitzpe Ramon for a spectacular view of the Ramon crater below, the largest of the Makhteshim. After lunch we descend by car into the crater and drive to the Saharonim Khan, the ruins of an ancient Nabatean caravansary on the frankincense route from Petra to Gaza.
Option 1: Friends of nature and hiking tours will enjoy the 3 hour hike (round trip) through the Nahal Nekarot gorge and Parsat Nekarot – but only in the autumn, winter, and spring when temperatures are moderate.
Option 2: We explore some dirt tracks in the crater, then we visit the Minsara or “carpentry” to see some rare forms of sandstone prisms.
If time permits, or as an alternative to the options above, we visit Avdat. The return route to Jerusalem is via Beersheba and Latrun.
From Tel Aviv
We drive to Beersheba and then to Sde Boker, where we visit Ben Gurions home in the desert. From there we continue to nearby Avdat, the antique Nabatean town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Next stop is Mitzpe Ramon for a spectacular view of the Ramon crater below, the largest of the Makhteshim. After lunch we descend by car into the crater and drive to the Saharonim Khan, ruins of an ancient Nabatean caravansary on the frankincense route from Petra to Gaza.
We continue then with option 1 or 2 above.
If you chose option 2, and if it’s not too late in the afternoon, we can drive back via Yeroham and through the Large Makhtesh to the edge of the Small Makhtesh for a beautiful panorama view. From there we return via Dimona and Beersheba to Tel Aviv.
Note: The tour itinerary above can be adopted to your preferences. Also note that parks like Mamshit and Avdat have different opening hours depending on summer and winter.
- Sun hat or cap
- Sunscreen or sunblock with sufficient UV protection
From Jerusalem: $430*
From Tel Aviv: $490*
Additional quotes – for different locations, group or VIP tours – upon request!
* All prices are daily fees that cover planning and guiding.
Not included are transportation, entry fees (where required), meals, and any other personal expenses. I will be happy to organize a car or minibus with driver.