The south of Israel covers more than 50 percent of the country’s land. Even though sparsely populated, it still offers a wide range of activities, adventures and fascinating sites to its visitors. The Dead Sea, Negev Desert, and Eilat with its exit onto the Red Sea brim with natural beauties and wonders, adventure playgrounds, rich culture and history, outdoor activities and finally, unforgettable memories for all those who visit the area.
The Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon)
The Ramon Crater, located in the Negev Desert, is the largest erosion crater in the world. It is 24 miles long, 1,640 feet deep and its width varies from 1.25 to 6.2 miles. What makes this crater unusual is its shape of an elongated heart. It is the place where the largest national park in Israel, the Ramon Nature Reserve, is situated. Visitors can watch the crater from above during their stop off while on a tour through the Negev Desert, or book a longer visit to check the science and history of the area. Its unique environment makes the makhtesh a habitat of various kinds of wildlife. There are around 40 species of small desert animals, including rodents, lizards, snakes, turtles, and porcupines. Asian wild donkey, Nubian ibexes, striped hyenas, Dorcas gazelles, and Arabian leopards are some of the larger mammals that can be spotted here.
Masada, an ancient fortress in the south of Israel, is located on the top of an isolated rock plateau, overlooking the Dead Sea. In 2001, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a symbol of heroism and determination and many Israeli soldiers sworn there over the years. During a revolution against Rome in 68 CE, Jewish zealots conquered the site and made it their stronghold. After Romans attacked and won over the fortress, Jewish zealots living there ended their lives rather than surrender and fall under the Roman rule. Ever since then, the site is a symbol of martyrdom, courage, and heroism. Well-preserved and reconstructed, Masada became one of the greatest archeological sites, not only in Israel but also in the world. The most important structure here is the northern palace, which belonged to the founder of the city, King Herod. Built on three rock terraces, it overlooks the gorge below. Visitors can also find a Roman style bath house near the palace, whose walls are decorated with murals and a floor with a colorful mosaic. Many other buildings can be found near the site, such as the mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), a synagogue, storerooms, and luxurious western palace. Being an extremely high site, Masada can be reached on foot or by a cable car. At the tourist centers, visitors can watch a history movie about the city and see an archeological findings exhibit.
Carasso Science Park
Carasso Science Park, the largest science and technology museum in Israel, has a lot to offer. Families, groups of friends or loners can find their adventure time here. Open every day, even on holidays, it holds the innovative exhibitions, performances, great science demonstrations, science fairs, big screen 3D movies, creative arts activities and many more. Both adults and children can not only enjoy their stay here but also learn about science. There is a gorgeous water-jet fountain and a scientific children’s playground as well. Structures from the three periods can be found here: the Ottoman period, the British Mandate and a modern underground facility, thus creating a perfect architectural harmony. The park is located in the old city of Be’er Sheva.
Located in the south of Israel, Timna Valley is the copper ore rich area. It dates back to the 10th century BC, the reign of King Solomon. From copper production district with dozens of smelting sites and thousands of mines, Timna Valley grew into a beautiful national park with the possibility of hiking and cycling. What tourists find the most fascinating are the valley’s red and yellow rocks that make the amazing landscape. Apart from the mines, there are also small geological formations, cave dwellings, and some petroglyphs. Timna Valley offers an amazing insight into the ancient world, and its visitor center streams a movie that explains the history of the area.
The southernmost city in Israel, located on the shores of the Red Sea, grew into a brimming tourist site. Visitors mostly choose this city as their destination due to diverse offers, from the underwater observatories, breathtaking beaches, coral reefs, to amusement parks and plenty of restaurants and luxurious hotels. Once in Eilat, people have a chance to try scuba diving and snorkeling, watching the mesmerizing corals and rich water fauna, from dolphins and sharks to walruses and sea bats.
Originally posted at Gil Travel.