Gems of Israel Archives - Yoni Tours

Meteor Shower in the Negev Desert

Posted by | current events, Gems of Israel, Hikes, Nature | No Comments

With its dark skies, wide open spaces and deep valleys the Negev Desert is known as the place to go for stargazing. The desert brings two major factors to the table when it comes to dark skies;

The first factor is light pollution. The few and far between built up areas bring light pollution to a minimum.

The second and possibly the more important factor is the small amount of humidity in the air. The lack of humidity provides clearer skies. these two aspects make the Negev the optimum location for star gazing.

Over the years, hundreds of youth groups have hiked through the valleys of the Negev at night in order to spend time stargazing.

In and around the Ramon crater there are dozens of locations which are beckoning for stargazers and photographers alike.

At Khan HaShayarot and the Ramon Crater there are guided star gazing activities and they can be organized year round.

In the clarity and darkness of the night skies in the Negev, The naked eye can see a number of planets, the milky way, and a plethora of constellations.

In order to make the star gazing experience complete I suggest looking at a moon calendar, plan to be out on a night when the moon sets early and or is not a full moon.

All of this is true on a regular night. from time to time there are meteor showers!

Every year the Perseids Meteor Shower happens over the skies of Israel.

During the shower myriads of people head to the desert in order to see the meteors in all their glory!

This year the meteor shower will be on the dates of 11,12 and 13 of august. The shower will be at its strongest on the night of the 12th.

There are going to be organized star gazing events throughout the desert. But nothing beats going out to the desert as a family or with a guide!

Enjoy!!

Climbing down one of the rock faces in Nahal Dargot

The Hike of Hikes- Nahal Dargot

Posted by | Gems of Israel, Hikes, Nature | One Comment

Even though Israel is such a small country, it has a wide variety of landscapes, regions and hikes. Between the deserts, forests, tropics and other areas, there is one hike which sets itself apart from the rest.

Among the many beautiful and challenging hikes in Israel, Nahal Dragot, or Nahal Daraje in Arabic, is widely recognized as the most extreme hike of all.

Nahal Dargot is a stream which has carved a canyon through the majestic cliffs of the Judean Desert. It is called “Dargot”: (steps, or levels in Hebrew) because of ‘steps’ that it has carved while making its way through the mountains. It covers a relatively short distance of only about 6 km, but the hike can take as a long as 7-8 hours to complete. The stream takes you down almost 380 vertical meters from the Judean Mountains to the Dead Sea!

The hike requires climbing down dried waterfalls, swimming across pools of water, sliding through chutes and climbing ladders. If you decide to embark on this journey, you should take a rope which is at least 10 metres long, as at some points the use of a rope is required.

Nahal Dargot is best to do a couple of days after rain – the pools in this desert canyon will be full of fresh water which allows a much better swimming experience. Entrance to the hike is dangerous on days with a possibility of rain anywhere in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem-Hebron area as there is a danger of flash floods!
Inside the canyon there is no cell phone coverage and no fresh drinking water. You should head out with at least 3 liters of water per person.

Driving on highway 90 from Jerusalem towards Ein Gedi, here is a brown sign pointing to ‘Metzukai Dargot’ ‘מצוקי דרגות’ on the right. Following that road up the cliff you will pass a desert hostel. Approx. 2 Km after the hostel is the beginning of the hike. It is marked by the green trail.

Due to the cliffs, the hike is one way only and isn’t circular. It is best to go with two cars and leave one at the end point. If you have access to only one car you can hitchhike.

You should start the hike no later than 9 in the summer and 8 in the winter.

Enjoy!

Gems Of Israel- Land of Pursuits Monument

Posted by | Gems of Israel, Memorials, Sites | No Comments

The ‘Land of Pursuits Monument’ (אנדרטת ארץ המרדפים ), also known as the Jordan Valley Monument, is a magnificent memorial which is hidden in the Jordan valley off of highway 90, beside the village of Petzael.

In the years following the 1967 Six Day War, frequent terrorist attacks were perpetrated against Israeli towns and villages by terrorists entering from Jordan. The IDF regularly intercepted terrorists in the Jordan Valley (the valley along the Jordan river which is the border between Israel and Jordan ), and it became an area in which many firefights and hot pursuits occurred.

As a result of the infiltrations, the IDF created a new brigade stationed in the Jordan Valley, whose task was specifically to combat the terrorists from Jordan.

The IDF developed new combat strategies to accommodate the difficult terrain of the Jordan Valley.
In the years following 1970, Jordan took steps to stop infiltrations into Israel.

The monument was created in 1972 by the Israeli sculptor Yigal Tumarkin. It is built out of cement and steel. Tumarkin took various types of guns, heated them and shaped them into the form of an anit-aircraft cannon which rises to the height of 21 meters.

The names of nearly 400 soldiers who fell in the Jordan Valley are engraved on the memorial.

The memorial makes a great stop when traveling between Jerusalem and Beit Shean on highway 90.

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