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"Nabatean Ruins, Canyons and Sand Storm in Avdat." Top 5 Page for this destination Mizpe Ramon by Beach_dog

Mizpe Ramon Travel Guide: 63 reviews and 281 photos

Our day here.

Avdat is located in the center of the Negev highlands, a desert region in the southern district of Israel. VT member Martin_S. took us on a daytrip to this place, firstly to visit the remains of the Nabatean city located on a mountaintop, secondly to walk up the spectacular canyon of Ein Avdat. I was very impressed with both places, and will remember the day for a long time to come.

The Nabatean city.

The city was founded in the first century BC, at the meeting point of the trading routes from Petra (another famous Nabatean settlement in Jordan) and Eilat and continues to the Mediterranean at Gaza. It served as a resting point in the middle of this inhospitable desert terrain, for the caravans bringing spices and perfumes for export to the Mediterranean area. Located on a very visible hilltop to assist the caravaneers, it had many inovations which helped it survive the climate. Wadis were damned to collect water and cisterns were built to store it. The complex consisted of a temple, military and residential quarters.

After its conquest by the Romans in the first century AD the city fell into decline, and much was destroyed by an earthquake in 363 AD.

The Byzantines occupied the site in the sixth century and built a monastery and two churches here, as well as residential quarters in caves on the slopes. This too appears to have been destroyed in the seventh century probably as a result of another earthquake.

Today many of the remains of all periods can be seen, some of the walls carefully reconstructed. It is well worth visiting and gives a real insight as to life here in the past.

Ein Avdat Canyon and the Sandstorm.

Many of the pictures on this page are misty and orange, not a photographic error, but as a result of the sandstorm we experienced. It started while we were on the Acropolis at Avdat, with a strong wind, later in the day the sky turned yellow in fact everything we looked at had turned a yellow hue. It was an unusual experience for me, and certainly made for some interesting accidental sepia photos.

The Ein Avdat canyon has many springs which form into pools and waterfalls, it is the start of the Nahal Tzin stream.

Its a great walk up the canyon, spectacular rock formations have been moulded over the millenia, as well as great views of its waterfalls. During our visit we were so lucky to encounter a herd of Ibex, many of my photos feature them.

  • Last visit to Mizpe Ramon: May 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (12)

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2005 at 2:29 PM

    After scrolling through endless Spanish find a good one!;) Happy travels, Blu

  • grets's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2004 at 4:07 AM

    Amazing. I have learned something new today, about a really interesting place. Thanks. Love the photos in the sandstorm :-) I thought the camels on the HP pic were real - am I getting paranoid? :-)

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2004 at 2:54 AM

    Stacey that sandstorm looks VERY familiar and glad to know that you enjoyed it as much as I did ^O^

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2004 at 12:42 AM

    Wild capers grow all over the place in Israel, including every crack in the sidewalk near my house!

  • Apr 4, 2004 at 1:35 AM

    Surrealistic... I am siting in the sun in front of the Bosphorus, I have the extreme sports channel on TV, big waves in Hawaii, at the same time I am walking with you, Martin and the Nabateans in a desert storm. Crazy!

  • Pangea's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2004 at 7:10 AM

    I dream to visit Mizpe Ramon if I can travel to Israel next Summer... hope another sandstorm don't wish join with me :) Interesting info about the nabatean cities. Really nice page!!!

  • Hosell's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2003 at 2:31 PM

    Very interesting page Stace,and sorry bout the sandstorm,but you pictures are great!!!

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2003 at 1:22 PM

    Great place, reminds me somehow Petra, including the landscape... beautiful sandstorm pics!

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2003 at 11:36 AM

    Wow, what a great page! Beautiful photos! Even in the sandstorm the canyon looks impressive! I hope to visit Martin some day and see all this for myself. Hahaha, he even promised me a sandstorm, and looking at your pictures, he's not joking, LOL :-)

  • Lalique's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2003 at 11:17 PM

    Great narrative of your trip! I like the places, where one can see the traces of different cultures coming and going.... plus the very unusual environment and great companions! :)))


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