Going down south: Everything you need to enjoy a desert experience

Although we are only in June, but are already beginning to feel the high humidity in the air and rising temperatures. And when it’s hot we hurry to stick to the air conditioners and hang out between four walls. But after the last year, who has more desire to spend time at home? That is why I want to offer you to join a night experience in the beautiful Negev region.

In recent years, it seems that the Negev is coming to life in terms of tourism and more and more attractions are opening up in it. And if in the past the desert tourism season was limited to a few months of autumn or spring, now travelers understand the potential inherent in the open spaces and tourists in the Negev and the Arava all months of the year.

To cope with the high temperatures during the summer, local tourists realized that the attractions had to be adapted to the afternoon and darkness. And the truth is, it’s just genius. Families or couples traveling in the area can indulge in the mornings in the pools of the B & Bs, and in the afternoon go out and enjoy the wonders of nature.

These days, until August 28, the Negev Mountains Tourism hosts the “Cool Summer Nights in the Negev” events, which include a variety of activities and experiences at subsidized prices, designed for the whole family. Skip with me between some of the attractions.
Bird drowning instruction

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Israel, sitting on the Syrian-African rift, has long been a recommended place for birdwatchers. The migratory birds, which cross the sky on the way to the warm countries, like to shop here for a few hours or days, for food and rest. Some varieties even give up the rest of the journey and stay for an entire season.

Not much is known, but in 2012 a research station was opened in Yeruham that monitors migratory birds. As part of the surveillance methods, the birds undergo a drowning that allows researchers to know if they have visited the country in the past, and other details that are important for monitoring. During the drowning activity, the birds are captured for a few minutes, their body measurements are checked, each bird is marked with a unique ring and released.

Hikers and birding enthusiasts are welcome to come to the research station, learn about the birds, see how coins are and even help release them back into the wild. It is a fascinating experience, which allows visitors to somewhat understand the unique talent of migratory birds to embark on the long journey.
The training starts at 8:30 and lasts about an hour. Must register in advance.

where: Kindergarten Grove – Hashahar 295, Yeruham.
When: 6.8, 13.8, 20.8, 27.8, from 8:30 to 9:30.
price: NIS 50 per participant.
for further details: Yoram – 054-4761761.

Following the story of the Bedouin

Every Thursday during July-August, starting at 19:30, there will be a lantern tour in Agam Yeruham Park under the guidance of the JNF Wings Center. Families are welcome to enter the park, collect lanterns and climb a guided tour of the peaks surrounding the lake. Of the Bedouin, learn a little about the desert nature and enjoy the unique view of the area.The tour ends with a star gazing alongside hot tea.
where: KKL-JNF Wings Center, Lake Yeruham Park.
When: 15.7, 22.7, 29.7, 5.8, 12.8, 19.8. 19:30 – 20:30
price: 10 – 25 shekels.
for further details: 051-2367497.

Save the oasis

If you are already in Lake Yeruham, you should embark on a family adventure in a challenging escape space, where you will have to be able to decipher the secret formula and save Lake Yeruham. If you have not been to Yeruham in recent years, you must have missed the oasis and the spectacular water pool that overlooks the desert landscape. The game allows you to explore the area, walk independently in the magical corners, and on the way decipher the secrets of the lake and save it.
where: At the entrance to Lake Yeruham.
When: Thursdays – 15.7, 22.7, 29.7, 5.8, 12.8, 19.8, 26.8 at 8:30 – 13:00, 16:00 – 19:00. Fridays, 16.7, 23.7, 30.7, 6.8, 13.8, 20.8, 27.8, from 8:30 to 13:30.
price: NIS 240 for a group ticket (up to eight participants).
for further details: 054-7959237.

Lake Yeruham (Photo: Simon Ben Yishai)

Desert Troy – Host Wineries

The desert is a perfect place to make wine, and is as unique and exciting as the desert itself. Many vineyards are spread throughout the Negev and the Arava, enjoying optimal climatic and soil conditions, which make it possible to produce good and intriguing wines. The “Troy in the Desert” festival offers a new meeting point for wine, culinary and cultural enthusiasts.
The desert wineries will host wine lovers for tasting and a variety of experiences that combine art, spirituality, entertainment and culinary. During the festival, the wineries will host shows, artisan workshops, chef meals, star gazing, mind and spirit encounters and parties that cater to a variety of audience segments.
where: In several wineries in the area, including Ramat Negev Winery, Jujube Winery, Nana Winery, Carmi Ovedat.
When: 15 – 16, 22 – 23, 29 – 30 July.
Prices: NIS 150-300, depending on the activity.
for further details: hashomer.org.il

Grape vineyard (Photo: Daniel Bar)Grape vineyard (Photo: Daniel Bar)

Sand surfing

If you have not yet heard of sand surfing, you probably have not spent your childhood near dunes. Sand surfing, the game that many fondly remember from childhood, took on a professional dimension somewhere in 2012 when “Sparrow in the Desert” brought sand surfing on board to the endless dunes of the Negev. This is a unique attraction, which allows everyone to challenge themselves for a moment and become a surfer. No previous experience is required, and the experience is suitable for everyone.
The surfing is done on sand surfboards while standing, sitting or lying on your stomach. In addition to surfing, the “Dror in the Desert” complex also offers desert accommodation that includes: mats, mattresses and pillows, a table with coffee / herbal tea and music. Duration of the activity: about an hour and a half, by prior arrangement.
where: Ramat Hanegev, 10 minutes from Tlalim Junction.
Price of accommodation and surfing sand: NIS 85 per person (from the age of two).
for further details: 08-6753636, Dror – 053-7892251

Abseiling on the cliffs of Ramon Crater

Mitzpe Ramon, one of the most beautiful areas in the country, hosts travelers from Israel and abroad throughout the year. While most hikers take the familiar routes between the craters, some will choose to enjoy the wonders of nature in the challenging way – by abseiling on the cliffs.
If you are traveling with children over the age of 4, it is an amazing experience that will accompany you for years. The descent abseils takes place on the famous cliff of Mitzpe Ramon, from which you descend by ropes, with the amazing view from every corner. The abseiling position is comfortable and accessible, and it overlooks from a height of 350 meters at the bottom of the crater. The site offers two options: surfing from a height of 14 meters, or for the braver 30 meters surfing.
Surfing is suitable for the whole family, and no prior experience is required.
where: Visitor Center – Mitzpe Ramon.
price: NIS 75 per person.
for further details: 050-9988144 [email protected]

Abseiling in Ramon Crater (Photo: Tali Brill)Abseiling in Ramon Crater (Photo: Tali Brill)

Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.

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