Negev Tour offers you the opportunity to visit the glorious desert region of the Negev.
This desert of southern Israel was the home of the ancient Nabataean Civilization.
During this tour, we will visit the ancient ruins of Mamshite, Nitzana, and Shivta.
Additionally, during this private day tour, you will visit the famous Ramon crater – the world’s largest Steephead valley.
Like all of our tours, this tour is also led by our certified Christian guide, thus providing his professional guidance and Christian perspective.
Highlights of the tour
- Visit Mamshit – a once important station on the Incense Road.
- Discover Shivta – a classic Nabataean town on the historical spice route.
- Explore Nitzana – an ancient Nabatean town which has served as a camel caravan station.
- Finish the day at the Ramon Crater – one of the world’s largest box Canyons.
For those who are interested more in the history of the Nabateans, we recommend visiting Petra in nearby Jordan.
Negev Tour – The Nabateans and the Holy Land
We begin our desert tour with a drive from your accommodated hotel to the yellow desert of the Negev.
Our first stop will be at the ancient ruins of Mamshit.
Founded in the 1st century BC as a trade city between Petra and Gaza, Mamshit was an important station on the Incense Road.
In the beginning, the city was based on agriculture, but over time the city developed a trade of bred horses.
During the Byzantine period, Mamshit received support from the authorities as a frontier city until the era of Saint Justinian when fundings ceased and the city declined.
We will enjoy the excavations, learning about the history of the place and the life of the Nabateans who once inhabited this town.
After that, we will proceed our tour to the next destination – the excavations of Shivta and Nitzana.
In addition to the Nabateans, those ancient towns were also inhabited by Byzantine Christians.
Therefore, in addition to Nabateans structures, you will find the excavations of old Churches which served the local Christian population.
Unfortunately, in Nitzana we will find much fewer excavations than in Shivta.
This is because most of the structures were demolished and recycled into buildings in Gaza in the early 20th century.
We will visit the excavations, learn about the history and enjoy lunch before embarking to our last destination – the Ramon Crater.
The Ramon Crater – on the worlds biggest craters
The story of the formation of the crater is very unique.
This crater began to form Hundreds of millions of years ago, in a very unique manner.
Although it may sound odd and impossible to some of you, the Negev desert was once a big ocean.
Over time, this started to recede northwards leaving behind a hump-shaped hill.
Water and Climatic forces slowly flattened the hill, eventually forming the Arava Rift Valley five million years ago.
During this time, rivers changed their courses, carving out the inside of the crater.
Today, the crater is almost 1700 ft deep with the deepest point being “Ein Saharonim”.
When we will visit this place, you will discover that it is the only natural water source, which sustains much of the wildlife.
If time allows, we will also be able to enjoy a magnificent sunset from Mitzpe Ramon, a town and a great vantage point overlooking the crater.
After taking some pictures, we will begin our drive back to the hotel.