The true beauty of the Israeli desert can only be experienced far from the roads and towns that criss-cross it. The hidden canyons and wadis, beautiful flowers, amazing animals, and fascinating tales from throughout history, as well as many of the most amazing landscapes and viewpoints are far from the beaten track, and can only be truly explored by hiking, biking, camel, or… off road vehicle.
There are three main options when it comes to off road driving in Israel’s desert south. Of course, as well as being the most practical way to explore the region, it is also immensely fun and exhilarating in itself. Whether you want to be driven in an air conditioned jeep, push your own driving to the limit in a quad bike, or take a more moderate self-driving experience in an ATV, it’s all possible, and all immensely fun!
Jeep Tours in the Desert
A jeep tour in the desert is unforgettable!
Jeep tours can be found pretty well all over the Negev and Judean Deserts in southern Israel. Some of the hot-spots are the Judean Desert area between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea where highlights include the magnificent monasteries of St George and Mar Saba, the natural beauty of Wadi Qelt and Nahal Og, the rich history and tales that can be told of the countless empires who passed this route, and the breathtaking views across the Dead Sea, Jordanian Mountains, desert surroundings, and lowest city in the world, Jericho.
Jeep tours are also fun further south in the Judean Desert, in the land famous in the Bible for Sodom and Gomorrah, and throughout the Negev, particularly at Ein Avdat and the Zin Valley, Mount Karkom, and the Ramon Crater.
A half day jeep tour in Israel costs $375 and a full eight hour day $590. Prices are for up to eight passengers. More here
ATV in Israel
Self driven ATV’s offer a fun self-drive experience
Self-driven ATV’s are three seater vehicles which allow you to experience the thrill of desert driving relatively easily and comfortably. Whilst tours can be taken across the desert, group tours (possibly the only group off road driving tours in Israel) are run in the Judean Desert region two or three times a week and incorporate some of the highlights of the region – Wadi Rum, Nahal Og, ruins dating from throughout history, and of course, the view of the desert, Dead Sea, Jordanian Mountains, and Jericho.
Quad Bike in Israel
Ride in a quad bike for a challenging drive and exhilarating ride.
For a more exhilarating driving experience in Israel’s desert south, quad bikes are perhaps the best option. Seating one of two people (one behind the other), they offer a more challenging self-driving experience than ATV’s and are incredibly fun if driving is fun for you.