A day following Har HaNegev’s golden age, a time when Nabateans, Byzantines, Arabs and nomads built cities and roads, developed agriculture and trade and left their mark on the landscape.

First we’ll visit the the impressive ruins of Ovdat (wikipedia), once a glorious city on the incense route. From Ovdat we’ll hike to Ramalia waterholes, an antique water system that served the residents of this part of the Negev for thousands of years. A little steep incline will take us to the top of the Arkov Mt. where new landscapes will reveal to us, notably those of Ovdat valley. Arkov Mt. is strewn with ancient ritual monuments and petroglyphs and we will examine and speculate over some of the more intriguing and peculiar ones. After descending the Arkov Mt. we’ll cross the Ovdat river and make our way to the old Byzantine farm. Here we will find the remains of a huge agrarian complex comprising terraces, walls and ruined buildings. Our day will end in a man-made grove by road No. 40 where we’re most likely to meet goats and sheep on their way home from the graze. We’ll follow them into the small Bedouin village on the other side of the road where an accommodation tent will be ready to host us.

stage 3  : ABDEH TO HAVA

Distance:11.8 km

Time: 4 hours

Physical Challenge: Easy

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Waymarked: yes

Trail Map



buses from Beer sheva to Mizpa Ramon

stops at  Ovdat and at the road near Hava Village

bus no. 64, 65, 60, 160

StageLocationNameDescriptionPriceBreakfast and DinnerContact Information
1Merhav AmKhan Merhav AmDesert Inn with both tents and roomsWeekdays: 80 PP
weekends:100 pp

Order in advance+972 (0)8-657-1963
1Midreshet Ben GurionSde Boker Field SchoolDouble Rooms and Family Roomssingle - 320
couple - 420
extra adult - 150
Order in advance+972 (0)8-653-2016
2AbdehEid’s Bedouin TentTraditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board+972-53-7762166
2AbdehYa Halla CampTraditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board+972-543510824
3HavaSalaam Abu Bliya’s TentTraditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board +972 (0)50-542-3523
*Arabic and Hebrew only
4Arikha Farhan TentTraditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board050-5338381
*Arabic and Hebrew only
4Arikha Salman Sadan’s Tent Traditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board+972 (0)54-600-1357
4Arikha Muhammad Hareinik’s TentTraditional Shared Accommodation Tent200NIS/person, half-board +972 (0)54-533-8381
*Arabic and Hebrew only
5Mitzpe RamonSilent ArrowComunal Dormitory Tent
Communal tent (mattress provided): 80NIS
Single hut: 150NIS
Double hut: 250NIS
Cooking facilities+972 (0)52-661-1561
5Mitzpe RamonGreen Backpackers HostelHostel Dorm: 88NIS
Double: 285NIS

Double Economy: 275NIS
Twin/Triple/Quad: 300-500NIS
Cooking facilities+972 (0)8-653-2319
5Mitzpe RamonDesert ShadeEco Mud HutsSingle: 200NIS
Double: 300NIS
Available+972 (0)8-658-6229
6Makhtesh RamonBe’erot Night CampcampgroundCamping in private tent/under basic shelter: 16NIS
Bedouin-style tent with mattress: 75 NIS
n/a+972 (0)8-628-0404
LocationNameDescriptionOpening Hours  
Ovdat Village
Grocery Store
Small Store with a Basic Selection
Ovdat Service Station
AromaCafe, Serving Sandwiches, Salads and Pastries07:00-22:00
Ovdat Service Station
McDonaldsyou know what it is 09:30-21:0010:00-16:0011:00-22:00
Ovdat Service StationYellowConvenience Store24/7
Things to See

1. Kfar Ovdat – The biggest Bedouin village in the area. Offers tent accommodation, has a small grocery store and a school.

2. Ancient Ovdat – The impressive ruins of Ovdat, once a glorious city on the incense route. A true archaeological gem, declared a world heritage site in 2005.

3. Ramalia Waterholes – An antique water system that served the residents of this part of the Negev for thousands of years.

4. Arkov Mt. – A flint capped mountain with stunning views, strewn with ancient ritual monuments and petroglyphs.

5. Byzantine Farm – dating back to around 500 CE, this vast farmland has conserved much of its terraces, waterholes and many other installations. It stands as evidence to the area’s past prosperous agriculture.

6. Mashlush Nahal Chava – A small traditional Bedouin village. Has a few tents for accommodation and plenty goats and sheep.


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