"Dimona - a great stop for desert tourism" Dimona by dshachar

Dimona Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 14 photos

What to see in Dimona

Dimona has been chosen as the prettiest city in Israel. For instance, each roundabout has its own special style - one features a harp, one features a stone camel, one features sports, one features the tail of a helicopter, etc. The city has spent a lot of money renovating the outsides of many of the residential buildings, on parks, on the green strips inside the boulevards, and on the main park between downtown and the police station.

At the north end of the city, next to the football stadium lies the David and Paula Ben Gurion forest, which has just been completely renovated with new trees planted and bike paths galore. People love to visit the forest for family picnics, and every year on Independence Day, there are picnics, barbeques, and a large area where the Israeli army shows off some of its newest equipment, including tanks (always a favorite with the kids), guns, night-vision goggles, and some of the equipment they've captured from the enemy.

At the other side of the stadium there's a very nice municipal swimming pool with a fairly decent water slide.

Many people come to Dimona to visit the Black Hebrews, a group of former American Blacks who practice their own unique way of life and live mostly in a neighborhood at the eastern edge of town.

Some people just stop in Dimona to shop and eat in the new mall, or to eat in one of the downtown restaurants, as a pleasant break from the long drive to and from Eilat.

Some people like to sleep over in Dimona and visit the Dead Sea every day, because Dimona is much cooler and therefore more pleasant to say in than the Dead Sea area.

What to see near Dimona

The ancient Nabattean city of Mamshit is around five kilometers from Dimona. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Brochures and maps are available for free at the entrance. You can walk, bike, drive, or get a taxi from Dimona. There are also several buses a day - just get on a bus going to Eilat and the driver will let you off about 1 kilometer from Mamshit (also called Kurnub on some maps).

The entire Spice Route is now a UNESCO Heritage Site. Other than Mamshit, other ancient sites you can easily visit on a day trip from Dimona are Shivta and Avdat (sometimes spelled Ovdat).

From Dimona you can enter the UNESCO Heritage Site of Massada by either driving to the Dead Sea and taking the cable car to the top, or walking up via the snake path (about one hour). Another way to reach Massada is by driving to Arad and then on to Massada at the western entrance, which means a 15-minute walk up the Roman ramp, but saves paying for the cable car.

There are three unique geological formations in Israel called Makhteshim, which, loosely translated, means "craters". These are quite rare, as they are caused by erosion rather than by meteors. The two nearest Dimona are the Makhtesh HaKatan and the Makhtesh HaGadol. The Makhtesh HaGadol is a popular site for families, as the children love to fill bottles with the naturally-colored sand there, and seem to enjoy running up to the top of the large hill across the road from the sand. Unfortunately, the only way to visit either of the Makhteshim is by car or bicycle.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and the saltiest sea in the world, is a 45-minute drive from Dimona. You can float in the sea, enjoy the Ein Bokek Hot Springs spa or one of the spas in the luxury hotels there, visit Massada, and enjoy the waterfalls at Nahal David, inside the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Much cooler than Beersheva.
  • Cons:There's more to see in the vicinity than within the city itself.
  • In a nutshell:It's halfway to Eilat.
  • Intro Updated May 30, 2007
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Reviews (7)

Comments (2)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Yes, this does sound like a great stop for desert tourism, especially since Mamshit and other ancient sites are nearby.

  • hekate's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2007 at 4:25 AM

    The ancient city of Mamshit sounds like a place I would like to visit some day. Hm, Israeli trains look much better than Bulgarian ones...

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