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Avdat National Park

Touring Israel

Take a journey back thousands of years to visit a historic city that was once a vital part of the Incense Trade Route, right along with Petra. Let’s take a drive to southern Israel; and there in the Negev Desert; is this ruined Nabataean city of Avdat that holds a plethora of secrets; history, and culture. As it sits in the heart of the desert, Avdat National Park may appear to be a plain, sandy ruin.

Still, this city holds unbelievable treasures from its unique geology to its advanced water systems; to its fascinating inscriptions. Due to this, in 2005, Avdat National Park was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site; and now thousands of visitors come each year to revel in its ancient glory. Are you ready to journey back in time? Taking a private tour with me will provide you with a detailed history of the area and how this city helped form the Negev Desert as we know it today.

A Little Bit of History About Avdat National Park

Avdat was initially founded in the 4th century BCE. The original inhabitants were the Nabataeans as well as the Romans and Byzantines. Moreover, Avdat was a waystation for the camel caravans that carried spices and incense along the ancient trade routes that crossed the Arabian Peninsula to Gaza and onto the Mediterranean Sea.

In This Photo: The Byzantine Church at Avdat

Even though Avdat was founded in the 4th century BCE and was a part of the Incense Route, it became a central city thanks to the development under King Obodas II; which the city was subsequently named after. It started as just a temple, an army camp, and a couple of other small buildings. By the 1st century CE, agriculture took over the city after the Roman empire laid waste to the Nabatean economy. When visiting Avdat National Park, you will see how important agriculture was to this city. 

Avdat – A City With Advanced Agriculture Methods 

Agriculture and animal husbandry in Avdat were central pillars of their society. After Avdat was annexed from the Roman empire; it continued to prosper all on its own and achieved peak prosperity during the Byzantine era from the 4th-7th centuries CE. The city created intensive agriculture systems with impressive water storage technology, and even caves dug into the hillside as a location for storing and processing produce.

Avdat’s entire agriculture system was highly advanced; sadly, all magnificent eras must come to an end at some point. In 630 CE, Avdat was struck by a massive earthquake that weakened its defensive forces. Just six years later, it was conquered by Arab tribes and later abandoned. It wasn’t until 1870 that a researcher identified the site as Avdat and the ancient city’s excavations began. 

So I think an ideal private tour of the Negev could be visiting Avdat National Park; with a nice lunch stop in one of the local restaurants like the one in Beresheet hotel. Then I think touring Ramon Crater Nature Reserve could be a great option. Or exploring Ein Avadat National Park. Although when planning such a trip take into account the heat. In July-August don’t forget to bring lots of water and sunscreen. But if you are with me private touring the Negev, well don’t worry since I got you covered! I take care of my guests I even bring them a nice solar umbrella against the scorching sun. All included in the price, so don’t think about it too much and give me a call! 

Avdat National Park Opening Hours:

Last entry to the site: half an hour before cited closing time

Summer Hours: 

Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 08:00-17:00 

Friday and holiday eves: 08:00-16:00

Winter Hours: 

Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 08:00-16:00 

Friday and holiday eves: 08:00-15:00 

Holiday eves: 08:00-13:00 

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Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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