Getting Oriented

Three basic areas in the inverted triangle of the Negev, Israel's southern desert, make up the southern part of the country. The first, and farthest south, is carefree Eilat, with the Underwater Observatory Marine Park at Coral Beach, and Timna Park. Next is the Negev's heart, with sites such as Ben-Gurion's desert home and grave, the ancient Nabatean-Roman-Byzantine ruins at Avdat, and the amazing Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater). The third, in the north, includes the regional capital city of Beersheva.

  • Eilat and Southern Israel. Sun-drenched Eilat, a resort town on the shores of the Red Sea, brims with hotels, restaurants, duty-free shopping, and the lion’s share of the Negev's nightlife. It's just south of Timna Park, which isn’t to be missed.
  • The Heart of the Negev. In the very center of the upside-down triangle that makes up the Negev, you'll find several of the region's top sites, including the Ramon Crater and Ben-Gurion's desert home and grave, as well as the remains of the ancient Nabatean city of Avdat.
  • Beersheva. Israel's fourth-largest city, Beersheva makes a great jumping-off point for trips around the Negev. Tel Beersheva, with the remains of a biblical-era city, is a World Heritage Site.

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