Around and About

Earth Workshops

Did you know that half of the world’s population is living in earth homes?
Most of the world is still using the traditional construction glue...
In a 90-minute workshop we will feel, smell and create with earth, Learn and experiment with several earth building methods.
We will come to the villa with all that is needed to connect to mother earth.
Suits all ages, up to 15 people.

Food

Even though the villa has a fully equipped kitchen you might want to eat out.
A variety of options is available:
In the village itself you have a small center that holds a nice cafe’ and bar, grocery store, pizza and falafel, in addition to local catering possibilities that may be ordered in advance.
Nearby you can find nice restaurants in some of the farms, and in the nearby villages and cities.
The Bedouins in the area also offer a meal to remember.

The Story of the Villa

Cuddled by the rammed earth walls, we will meet face to face to hear the story of the villa:
how we came across rammed earth and built everything you see in the villa with our own hands.
Modern pioneering mixed with our love to nature and respect for traditional crafts.
About an hour long.
Suits families and groups up to 35 people.

Guiding and Stories

Tom Alkalay is a certified tour guide and a talented story teller, and would love to take you on a half day or a full day guided tour in the area.
To be exposed to the charming spots and get better acquainted with the desert and its secrets.
The tour will fit your wishes and ability.
Suits families and groups up to 35 people.

About the Negev

The Negev desert is the northern part of the Sinai peninsula. It holds more than half of the territory of Israel but only 10% of its population.
‘Villa Adama’ is overlooking the desert, located in the village of ‘Midreshet Ben Gurion’, right in the middle of the Negev desert.
This desert is rich in natural attractions such as springs, mountains and valleys, cliffs, craters and more. It is also rich in human history, sites dating all the way back to the cradle of civilization, via the biblical days to modern history.
You can visit archaeological cities, ancient rock drawings, old cisterns and modern sites.
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are only an hour and a half away.
The city of Eilat and the Red Sea are only two and a half hours away in the southern tip of Israel.

If you have reached this far, we recommend you to go out there and explore.

Most places can be visited on your own or with a guide. The Negev Desert is a friendly desert and very convenient to travel in. The roads reach most of the impressive places, and they are very well signed.
Walking, biking and jeep trails are also very well signed.
It is important to know that all of the sites and attractions are relatively close to the villa.
Cellular reception is available everywhere, and modern health services, including first aid, are all just there.
Locals are welcoming and in most cases speak reasonable English.

So, what is there to see?

Overlooking the Desert

A few good spots to enjoy the view from the mountain peeks around to which you can easily get with a car.
Hagay Overlook coming to the wilderness of the Zin Desert there is a nice overlook to the south. Most of the Zin valley will be at you feet. Off road 40, 5 minutes north to Halukim junction.
Lipa Gal Overlook On the edge of the Ovda plateau. Overlooking the Zin valley from the west.
You can also search for some rock drawings nearby. Off road 40, 5 minutes south to the villa.
And more...

Natural Sites

The wilderness of the Zin desert is right outside the Villa. Full of breathtaking trails, you can travel to some springs shaded by cliffs or enjoy spectacular desert mountain trails which allow you to see across great open distances. Here are a few recommendations:
Ovdat spring is the biggest spring nearby. Five minutes by car will bring you to the parking lot of the national park. Ten minuets walking you will get you to the water. Keep on going to reach the best part....
Aqev spring can be reached only if you are a serious hiker/biker or driving a 4×4. It is the only spring in the area that you can dip in, and has a nice cool pool, shaded most of the day by the cliffs. .
Machtesh is the Hebrew word for a crater, used in English to describe a phenomenon that is endemic to the Negev desert.
A crater which was not created by a meteor but by a slow, long and unique erosion process. Five out of seven known craters are in Israel, and three of them are easily accessed and are popular tourist attractions.
Machtesh Yeruham the second largest machtesh, about a 20 minute drive from the villa, right outside of the city of Yeruham. A beautiful overlook gives you a full view of the machtesh, and natural colorful sands will welcome you at the bottom of the crater which can be collected into a bottle, in layers.
Machtesh Ramon the biggest and most intriguing machtesh. It is a 40 minute drive from the villa further south. Shaped as a big heart, you can see it from the tourist center and also easily visit some of its sites touring inside it.

Animals

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Wild life is all around. Most of it is nocturnal, due the heat of the days. But either way, you can enjoy the thrill of seeing a wolf, a vulture, a fox, a scorpion or something else.
The Villa is in a prime spot for bird watching. The largest bird migration passes through the Israeli sky.
In an attempt to sustain wild life and bring back some species home, great efforts are invested in the national parks around.
The vulture program, for example, has been a great success. As many are nesting in the cliffs around, you can see them quite often.
Night Life SafariNight Life Safari A tour guide can pick you up right from the Villa. It is one of the only places in the world in which wild wolfs can bee seen in their natural habitat. You will also have a chance to see hyenas, porcupines, various desert mice, desert rabbits, foxes, and other animals... if you get lucky.
If you are brave enough, you can also go on a scorpion hunt at night. The yellow kind looks glamorous in ultra violet lighting... Please put your shoes on for this activity.
Ibex is a wild mountain goat. As hunting is forbidden, this endemic herbivore flourishes tremendously. They travel in packs, and quite a few of them are regular visitors in the village. You can see them everywhere around the village during the day.

the Bedouins

As this unique ethnic semi-nomadic group goes through the process of modernization, they still hold a lot of their traditions and customs.
A few touristic attractions are available for you to taste Bedouin life, such as a camel rides, Bedouin hospitality, Bedouin meals, crafts and more.

The Nabatians

The Bedouin of the far past. This part of local history will take you on a 2,000 year old journey. Back then, The Nabatians ruled the desert. You can walk right into their story in several amazing sites around the Villa. Places like the old city of Ovda, various water pits, agricultural remains and more, are all around and very close to the Villa. Shivta, an astonishing Nabatian archaeological site, is a 40 minute drive away from the villa.

Modern History

The modern history of the Negev desert was shaped by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. He saw the opportunities and the potential of the Negev and its wilderness. As he retired from public life, he moved nearby to Kibbutz ‘Sde Boker’. His house remains well taken care of and open for visitors. When he was still alive, Ben Gurion liked walking along the cliffs between the Kibbutz and the village. His favorite spot, 300m away from the villa, became his garden tomb, a corner stone for the village that evolved around it.

Vineyards

The Negev desert has been well known for the quality of its wines. Back in the days, high quality ‘holy land’ desert wine was massively produced in the Negev, embedding Nabatian technologies in the process. Today, one can enjoy visiting various isolated vineyard farms. Most are producing their own boutique wines. One of the farms holds a wide selection of wines produced in the area, and buying is recommended.

This is only the beginning… there is a lot more to see. We will be happy to assist with additional information.

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