Sde Boker Travel Guide

Discover off-the-beaten-path Sde Boker, its ancient history, lush oases, stunning views, and exciting adventures. Plan your trip with our ultimate Sde Boker travel guide.

Introduction to Sde Boker

Nestled in the heart of the Negev desert in southern Israel, Sde Boker is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Not only is it recognized as the final resting place of the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, it is also renowned for its breathtaking views, hiking trails, and cultural attractions. Although it’s not as popular as other destinations in Israel, Sde Boker is a perfect getaway for those looking for a unique experience, offering something for every traveler.

List of Places to Visit in Sde Boker

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Ben-Gurion’s Grave and Desert Home

David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, chose Sde Boker to spend his final years, living in a small house in the desert, which is now a museum open to the public. Visitors can learn about his life and contributions to the country, and also visit his final resting place in the nearby cemetery.

Zin Wilderness Reserve

Covering over 600 square kilometers, this reserve is a protected area with a history dating back to ancient times. The reserve is home to unique flora and fauna, including the Dorcas Gazelle, Nubian Ibex, and Egyptian Vulture. Stop at a visitor center to learn more about the reserve and its inhabitants.

Nabatean Avdat Acropolis

Once a thriving city in the Nabatean Kingdom, the ruins of Avdat have been preserved and offer a glimpse into ancient life. Visitors can explore the many structures that remain, including a temple and a Roman theater.

Natural Attractions of Sde Boker: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Ein Avdat National Park

A lush oasis in the middle of the desert, Ein Avdat offers stunning views of the canyon, waterfalls, and natural pools. Hike along trails following the stream, or climb the stairs to the top of the canyon for panoramic views.

Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon)

One of the world’s largest erosion craters, Makhtesh Ramon is a geological wonder that offers amazing views and hiking trails. Visitors can also go on a jeep tour or stargazing at night, enjoying the quiet and peaceful desert scenery.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sde Boker

Sde Boker has numerous hiking and biking routes to explore, varying from easy to challenging. Some of the best include:

  • Nahal Zin Trail: a moderate trail that follows a stream with waterfalls and pools
  • Ma’ale Akrabim Trail: a 90 minutes moderate hike with spectacular desert landscapes
  • Sde Boker to Ein Akev Trail: a challenging hike that takes you through Makhtesh Ramon deep into the canyon

Best Things to Do in Sde Boker: Activities and Tours

Camel Rides

Experience the lifestyle of the Bedouins, taking a camel ride through the vastness of the desert. Visit a Bedouin encampment and learn about their traditions and daily life.


Appreciate the breathtaking desert sky, one of the darkest and clearest skies in the world. Join a stargazing tour or stay in a desert lodge to fully experience the splendor of the night sky.

Week-Long Itinerary for Sde Boker

Day 1-2: Explore the cultural attractions of Sde Boker, including the desert home of David Ben-Gurion, the Nabatean Avdat Acropolis, and the historical sites of the Zin Wilderness Reserve.

Day 3-4: Discover the natural wonders of Sde Boker, with hikes to Ein Avdat National Park and the Ramon Crater. Enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife.

Day 5-6: Participate in exciting activities and tours, with a camel ride around the desert or a stargazing experience, while staying in a rustic desert lodge.

Day 7: Depart from Sde Boker, with unforgettable memories and life-changing experiences.

Food and Drink Scene of Sde Boker

Must-Try Dishes


A popular Yemenite pastry that is traditionally served on Shabbat mornings, Jachnun is made from dough that’s rolled up and baked overnight, resulting in a flaky and slightly sweet delicacy.


A dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce flavored with cumin, paprika, and chili peppers. Shakshuka is typically served for breakfast or brunch.

Local Beverages

Negev Wine

Producing some of the best wine in Israel, the Negev region is known for its dry and crisp wines. Stop at a winery to sample some wines and learn about the production process.

Where to Stay in Sde Boker: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several accommodations to choose from in Sde Boker, from camping grounds to luxury lodges. Some of the best places to stay include:

  • Sde Boker Lodge: A family-friendly lodge with air-conditioned rooms, outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving Israeli and international cuisine.
  • Sde Boker Field School: An eco-friendly guesthouse with simple, yet comfortable rooms, and a dining hall serving freshly cooked meals.
  • Alpaca Farm: A unique accommodation with rooms overlooking a farm filled with cute alpacas. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast made with locally grown ingredients.

What to Buy in Sde Boker: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Visitors can buy a variety of souvenirs and local products in Sde Boker, including handmade pottery, traditional jewelry, and unique desert crafts. Don’t forget to purchase some local wine, dates, and honey.

Local Culture and Customs of Sde Boker

The local Bedouin community plays an important part in the culture of Sde Boker. Visitors are encouraged to respect their customs and traditions, including modest dress, polite behavior, and social manners.

Best Time to Visit Sde Boker

The best time to visit Sde Boker is in the winter, between November and March, when temperatures are mild and pleasant. However, visitors can still enjoy Sde Boker year-round, with a range of indoor and outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sde Boker


  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for desert weather.
  • Respect the local culture and customs, including modest dress and polite behavior.
  • Bring enough water and food when hiking or on outdoor adventures.


  • Ignore the importance of nature conservation.
  • Litter, disturb wildlife or remove any natural souvenirs.
  • Ignore safety guidelines when engaging in outdoor activities.

Safety and Health

Safety in Sde Boker

Sde Boker is a safe destination, with little to no crime against tourists. However, visitors should still take precautions and be aware of their surroundings, particularly when hiking or participating in outdoor activities.

Health in Sde Boker

Visitors should bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect from the strong desert sun. Also, bring bug spray and plan to stay hydrated at all times. Visitors with pre-existing medical conditions should consult a physician before traveling.

Getting to Sde Boker: Transportation Options and Logistics

Sde Boker is easily accessible with several transportation options, including:

Airports Near Sde Boker

The nearest airport to Sde Boker is Ben Gurion International Airport, located in Tel Aviv, approximately a 2-hour drive away.

Bus Stations Near Sde Boker

Buses run regularly between Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva and stop at various locations in Sde Boker.

Other Options

Visitors can rent a car for convenience or join a guided tour to explore the region.

How to Get Around in Sde Boker

The best way to get around Sde Boker is by car or organized tours. Some attractions in the area are remote, and public transportation is limited.

Where to Go Next from Sde Boker: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some nearby destinations and excursions include:

  • Mitzpe Ramon: Pilgrims to Makhtesh Ramon should visit the nearby town of Mitzpe Ramon, a hub for outdoor activities, particularly hiking and rappelling.
  • Eilat: A popular resort city located on the Red Sea, just south of Sde Boker, Eilat is a perfect beach getaway, offering water sports, shopping, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Jerusalem: Israel’s capital and holy city, Jerusalem is a short drive from Sde Boker, and it is a must-see destination for travelers to the country.


Sde Boker is a unique destination offering a mix of culture, nature, and adventure. From historical sites to hiking trails and outdoor adventures, there’s something for every type of traveler. Prepare yourselves for an amazing experience, exploring the hidden gems of Sde Boker!