Beersheba is located on an ancient route that is mentioned in many Bible passages. This was the route that connected the Fertile Crescent, from Egypt to the south and to Mesopotamia (current-day Syria) in the north. In the Beersheba area we can learn about the lifestyles of the Bedouin and see ancient remains from the time of our forefathers as well as the traces left by visits by leaders of other peoples.
Start your day with a visit Lakiya, at the Huriah Palace of the Abu Karen Family, which is a traditional roadside inn, built from mud. This inn has always been a spectacular meeting point and offers an authentic and unique experience of Bedouin hospitality. Within the walls of the palace there is a magical Middle Eastern market where you can find embroidery, traditional jewelry, carpets, cosmetics and traditional Bedouin pharmaceuticals, coffee, olive oil, labaneh (soft white goat cheese) and more, and you can also participate in a traditional henna painting workshop.
To arrange a visit contact Amal – 052-2936401
Take Routes 31 and 6 to get to Lakiya (50 minutes from Kfar Hanokdim). You will receive instructions on how to reach the Huriah Palace from Amal.
From the Huriah Palace continue on the agricultural implements route through the Yatir Forest.
On this route you will be able to enjoy the splendor of Yatir Forest with its diverse variety of beautiful trees and shrubs, as well as the ancient gems scattered along the route. The agricultural implements include a winepress with a treading floor, a pit for collecting sediment and a collection pool for the juice; an ancient well; a trough for watering flocks; a crushing stone that was used to grind olives and cereals using a donkey or other beast of burden; a wringer device; sheep fencing; ancient cave dwellings and the ruins of the Anim synagogue. There are benches along the route, for picnicking and enjoying nature.
Take Routes 316 and 31 to get to the agricultural implements route from Kfar Hanokdim (about a 45 minute drive), or via Route 80 (a 35 minute drive). From Lakiya take Routes 316 and 31 (a 30 minute drive).
Continue on to the covered market in Beersheva, where you can have lunch at one of the many food stalls or small restaurants at the market. Wander around and enjoy the colorful stalls heaped with fruit and vegetables, meat, toys, clothing and house wares. On Thursday mornings, across the road from the covered market, there is a Bedouin market, which is one of the oldest markets in the country. At the Bedouin market, which was formerly used mainly for bartering animals and goods between the Bedouin tribes, you will find a world unto itself and experience a genuine Mediterranean market.
Take Route 60 to Beersheba (55 minutes from Kfar Hanokdim, 40 minutes from Yatir Forest).
From the market continue to Beersheba’s Old City, and if you didn’t dine at the market, then you can enjoy lunch in the restored Old City. Our recommendation – savor a delicious Yemenite meal in an original Yemenite home on Herzl St.: 08-6288858. The restaurant is kosher, although without certification, and opens Sunday-Friday from 12.00 noon until the food runs out.
After lunch tour the Old City of Beersheba and visit some of its sites: the Avraham’s Well Visitors’ Center, the historic Turkish railway station, the Trumpeldor Gallery, the Negev Artists House, the Negev Museum of Art, and the Great Mosque from the Ottoman period, which has a permanent exhibition that displays the history of Beersheba from its inception to the present. We recommend that you visit at least two exhibits and stop for coffee at the Turkish railway station in an authentic British Mandate period carriage, from the time that the railroad connected Beersheba with Cairo.
You can tour any or all of the sites on your own, or you can arrange a guided tour with Rotem:
Take Route 60 to Beersheba (20 minutes from Tel Sheva, and about an hour from Kfar Hanokdim).