Between Menucha Junction in the north and the first roundabout entering Eilat, hugged by Har haNegev and the Eilat Mountains to the west and the Edom Mountains to the east is…the Aravá: a narrow yet stunning stretch where you’ll feel the desert, with all that it offers, whether you’re a couple, family, or group. Visitors have many ways to see the Arava, whether on foot, by bike, or by car or bus. Accommodations range from luxury to “glamping” to sleeping under the stars. Here are just a few “sees” and “dos” on offer:
Timna National Park
Our newly-opened visitor center at the park entrance welcomes you to an informative introduction to Timna’s amazing scenery, which combines red sandstone sculpted by nature juxtaposed with black and white boulders to create a dramatic backdrop. The U-shaped Timna uncovers treasures from various periods, telling the story of ancient Egyptian copper mines that still yield ore, by means of actual relics and other findings.
Timna features over 25 hiking, cycling (including single track), and motoring trails, among them the Mushroom, the Arches, Solomon’s Pillars, the Pink Canyon, the Corkscrew, and the Faces. And there’s more: the Tabernacle, an exact replica of the Biblical one borne by the Israelites while wandering through Sinai; a lake with pedal boats; colored sand bottle making and other arts and crafts; bike rental; a regulated campsite; and King Solomon’s Inn, where you can enjoy desert refreshment and purchase souvenirs.
Hai-Bar Wildlife Sanctuary
Hai-Bar’s objective is to reintroduce animals mentioned in the Bible to nature. Meanwhile, the animals are protected and cared for in their habitats, which are open to visitors. These include circuits for motorized vehicles where you can enjoy a safari that includes oryxes, screw horn antelopes, and…ostriches!...interspersed with desert flora, including the Biblical acacia. CDs in various languages to guide you are sold in our shop. Guided tours are given on Saturdays at 11 a.m…the animals’ “brunch” hour! Camping with amenities is available.
Spice Farm Eilat
The farm, which engages in mariculture research, is located at an ancient crossroads between the Spice Route and the Sea Route, facing the Edom Mountains. Seaweed, clams, artemia shrimps, and orchid dottybacks (called “Friedman fish” in Hebrew, named for the farm owner, who discovered them) are all cultivated here.
The farm’s visitor center is a celebration for the senses, where upon entering, you’re engulfed by the fragrances of dozens of spices, blends, and infusions for both cooking and healing; as well as an array of specialty cookware and utensils, the uses of which our staff will be pleased to explain.
Go organic at Neót Smadár
Take a self-guided walking tour through our community, which features our breathtaking arts center that took 13 years to build, through our grounds that reflect our attention to detail combined with our rustic character, to our organic vineyard and Israel’s southernmost winery!
Our arts center houses our artisans’ workshops as well as a gallery exhibiting and selling their work. The center of the structure, known by its signature tower, is a hydrant shaft that cools the entire building in lieu of conventional air conditioning. The entire center, inside and out, features ornamental woodwork, all crafted by our own community members.
Arava after Nightfall
The scenery shifts at sunset, from the Edom Mountains changing to steadily darker hues of red and purple, into the star-studded, moonlight-bathed night. It’s time to turn in…we’ll help you choose the most suitable and comfortable accommodations. Give us a call at landline +972 (8) 661.6976!