There are indeed numerous famous and breathtaking sites in Israel – so many that it becomes very difficult to pick just a few to fit into an itinerary. We’re talking about both nature-made and man-made wonders in Israel, which are the sites of an immensely long and rich history, and which welcome all of its visitors who want to learn their stories. If you decide to visit the beautiful Eilat Mountains within the southern Negev, you will soon realize that there’s an abundance of reasons to do so, each guaranteeing an exciting, educational, enriching and entertaining experience. Here are just three of absolute must-visit, exceptional and unique sites in this part of the country.
Get ready to experience an explosion of colors. Just a fifteen-minute drive from the beautiful Eilat, you’ll find one of the most phenomenal natural sites in the country, called Amram’s Pillars. They are easy to find, and its track is easy and fun for all ages. Given that they are close to the Sinai Desert, they could’ve been named after Moses’s father Amram, but the name actually comes from the riverbed in which they are located, called ‘amrani’ in Arabic. There is so much to admire here, the magnificent multicolored flowers that will lead your way to the pillars, the vibrant colors of the nature all around you, green copper deposits on the rocks, and the mountains bathed in green, black and pink.
Soon enough, you’ll lay your eyes upon the amazing, all-natural forms of the Amram Pillars that were carved out of sandstone by water that dripped through the cracks in the rock. Some people call the massive, temple-looking pillars ‘Israel’s Petra’. These are fantastic painted arched rocks, as Amram Pillars are made of red sandstone with a red hue to it. It’s simply mesmerizing. Make sure to explore the canyon further. There are many tunnels and shafts in the Amrani riverbed. As a matter of fact, there copper mines were used by miners at the same time as those in the Timna Valley. Winter is the perfect time to visit, but regardless of the season, make sure to take water with you as this is a generally hot area.
Next stop is a historic site and an ancient attraction, located just half an hour drive north of Eilat. This beauty will, due to its rich color, likely remind you of the Amram Pillars, but they also share some major episodes in the country’s history. This is, without a doubt, one of the most remarkable attractions in the Middle East, famous for its stunning multicolored sand. Created by humidity, water and wind, through a slow and gradual process of erosion, various interesting shapes have been formed, such as the Mushroom and the Arches. You’ll find here the magnificent sandstone columns called Solomon’s Pillars, with a small Egyptian temple dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of mining, at its base.
Furthermore, you can explore the copper mines located beneath the surface, where the miners worked at the same time as their colleagues in the Amrani riverbed – some 6,000 years ago. Given that the area is rich in copper ore, it has been mined since the 5th millennium BCE. There are many rock drawings throughout the valley, left for us to see by various ruling empires over the centuries. Additionally, the oldest findings of domesticated camels were discovered here recently. When the night comes, it’s time to enjoy some stargazing on top of the ancient copper mines, while overnight camping is also available. Finally, in October, you can enjoy the exciting Timna Park Balloon Festival.
We end this journey with one more colorful feast for the eyes. Just twenty minutes north of Eilat, you’ll find yourself on the easily accessible and uninterrupted hike through the natural canyons. This is undoubtedly one of the country’s most beautiful hiking trails, which takes some hour-hour and a half to complete, and which offers the most remarkable desert scenery. The walls of the beautiful canyon are formed by the red sandstone, which have been formed by the wind and water over a period of thousands of years. When the sunlight hits the reddish rock, you’ll see the full reddish glory of the Red Canyon.
It’s far from monotonous though, as you’ll see the rock in various colors, including shades of white and yellow. There are different trails here to enjoy. You can take the easier green trail, which is relatively short – go down into the river bed and you’ll find a trail leading to the second creek. The other trial is called the black trail, and it offers a more difficult way to the second creek. Once you reach the second creek though, take a nice walk to a large rock which you can climb for some amazing views and photos. A bit further down the trail, you’ll enter a place called the Red Canyon and see the walls of the canyon narrowing as you go.
Topics: Israel Travel