Timna Park - Just 20 north of Eliat, this is the site of King Solomon's copper mines (probably the world's oldest). The Pillars of Timna were created by water streaming through a crack in the rock face, but Egyptians built Hathor's temple 3,400 years ago and made the drawings of chariots. Thousands of artifacts have been found here, such as workrooms, galleries, and a copper-smelting furnace. Timna Park is a great place for kids, with an open air museum with rock carvings, a multimedia exhibit about the copper mines, and demonstrations of smelting copper, hiking trails, camping in tents, pedal boats, and camel rides
Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve - The nature reserve is 3,000 acres, stocked with onager, Arabian oryx, gazelles, ibex, addax, wild ass, leopards, hyenas, wolves and more. Take the bus tours that leave every hour.
Mitzpe Ramon - Stop at the Visitor Centre to get oriented, and see exhibits about the desert geology and animals.
Ramon Crater (Mahktesh Ramon)
- Hard to believe this is a crater, it seems more like a canyon at first glance. Tour the site in your rental car, or join one of the walking tours, either way you'll be fascinated by the swirling colors.
Lotz Cisterns -
At certain times of the year there's a walking tour
that includes a refreshment break in a Bedouin tent
where you'll sip herb tea, coffee and munch on dried fruits - plan for about two hours. There are also over-night tours available that feature spending the night in a Bedouin tent
- but most expect you to supply your own sleeping bag.
Desert Archery -
This is restricted to adults and kids over age 9 - but if you love archery, don't miss this stop. You can do anything from a one to a four kilometer circuit designed to mimic a round of golf, with convenient resting spots along the way. Modern archery equipment is available for rental.
Eshkol National Park - A huge oasis where the Kibbutz Tze'elim features Besor Brook, Israel's largest swimming pool as well as an artificial lake where the kids can fish. Once a year it's also the site of a competitive sports festival featuring obstacle courses, climbing, and archery. But no matter when you go, the suspension bridge, pool and paths make for a fun day.
Desert Tours - The Negev desert is the place to take a camel ride and relax in Bedouin tents. Can it get more Biblical than this?