Negev Desert

Deserts can be surprising places, with scorching days under a hot sun and freezing nights on the cold sand. The, a world-renowned geologic site with gorgeous multihued rocks and sand, and , an oasis formed by a freshwater spring that meanders between vertical walls of soft chalk. Check out the imposing flat-topped mountain fortress of , a monolith rising out of a seemingly endless stretch of desert (it’s the site of both King Herod’s fortress and the ill-fated last stand of Jewish rebels fighting the Romans two-plus millennia ago). There are other unesco World Heritage Sites in nearby Avdat, Mamshit, and Shivta, and , another oasis (complete with a waterfall), is popular with visitors and makes an ideal midday retreat from the desert’s sun and heat. For those seeking a respite from the elements, the five-star , overlooking the (Israel’s Grand Canyon), and the Dead Sea resort town of are the perfect places to wash off the dust and sand of the desert and enjoy some pampering at the area’s most luxurious spas.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Maxim

Maxim4 min read
Buried Treasure
One of the most significant geological finds in recent exploration—the discovery of Vietnam’s Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave—almost never happened. Circa 1990 farmer Ho Khanh stumbled across an entrance and a limestone overhang in the thick
Maxim4 min read
Mission Impossible
Impossible is a term that is overused, often to describe the unlikely or the improbable. In the world of big wave surfing, elite athletes tend to use the word “unrideable” to describe a wave that cannot be tamed, even by the best surfers in the world
Maxim4 min read
Hasta La Vista Baby
Colombian actress Natalia Reyes is already a household name in Latin America, thanks to her incredible performances in film and on television in her native country. But with her sights set on an even bigger stage she managed to land a role in one of