Visitors to the Negev and farm guests are welcome to take an illustrated map and tour the area.
· Take a self-guided tour of the rock engravings and ancient burial sites.
· Enjoy the view and the beautiful sunsets from the lookout points.
· Visit the fruit orchard on the farm.
· Conclude your tour with wine tasting at the winery.
Individuals can tour the farm free of charge without previous arrangement.
There is a charge for wine tasting.
Guided gvroup tours are available for a fee and must be arranged in advance.
Carmey Avdat Farm
We, Hannah and Eyal Izrael, founded Carmey Avdat Farm in 1998. Our dreams of building a farm in the Negev, cultivating grapes, and making wine became a reality thanks to the Wine Route Project. During our search for a site to establish our farm we discovered a hidden riverbed with the remains of an ancient farm and vineyard, and immediately fell in love with the site. We planted our vineyards on the ancient terraces and they are irrigated by the desert floodwaters – exactly as they were in ancient times. We planned and built the buildings on the farm while ensuring that they did not disrupt the natural surroundings. The guest cabins blend into the panorama, enabling guests to enjoy the majestic desert view. The cabins are surrounded by trees that are indigenous to Israel, and the water from the natural rock bathing pools is used to irrigate the orchards. The ground was carefully restored and all infrastructures are buried underground. The farm employs ecological practices such as recycling water and waste materials, and produces its electricity by means of solar energy. Our wines are produced in a family-run boutique winery, and the farm is open to visitors for tours and wine-tasting. Our shop sells the farm's products as well as produce and crafts from artists living in the surrounding area. Our farm workers are young Israelis who have completed their military service, together with members of the neighboring Bedouin communities, with whom we have friendly relations. Our children play an active role in making decisions and performing chores on the farm.
Archeological Remains on the Farm
By Yigal Granot
Terraces are stone walls that extend across the riverbeds. The terraces act as a water saving mechanism by slowing down the flow of water during flash floods, enabling it to penetrate into the soil and to be utilized by plants during the dry season. Terraces also protect the soil by preventing erosion by the floodwaters, and creating fields for raising grain, vineyards, olives, and other crops.
Diversion Canals are stone walls that are built from a single layer of stones extending along the entire length of the slopes. These walls usually begin under steps or rock surfaces and continue along the length of the slope to the cultivated fields. These walls function as diversion canals or ancient water pipes that increase the amount of water that reaches the fields. There are two such canals on the farm – one on the slope and another that begins outside the farm that leads to the saddle near the rock drawings.
Tumulus (plural Tumuli) Tumuli are mountain or pyramid-shaped mounds of stones commonly found on the tops of mountains and hilltops in the Negev. According to research, the tumuli were temporary graves in which nomads were buried during their journeys in the desert as part of the rituals for honoring the dead. Nomads would return to the spot several years later to retrieve the bones and transferred them to a permanent burial place in a cemetery close to a ritual center. Some of the tumuli are monuments that were built to commemorate pacts between different tribes or to mark important events. The tumuli are approximately 4,200 years old.
Rock Drawings are carvings that were carved over the years in ironized limestone rock. Exposure to the air has caused the large deposits of iron oxides in the limestone rocks to rust and blacken over time. These drawing are typical of nomads in desert regions of the Middle East. Most have a religious context and constitute a symbolic language in which the artists appealed to the heavenly forces to aid them in their troubles. Other drawings were made to communicate with other shepherds – similar to today's communications on a friend's wall on Facebook. The rock drawings on the farm are from 4,200 years ago and extend through the Nabbatean, Byzantine, and ancient Arab periods
Carmey Avdat Winery
Eyal learned the secrets of winemaking from Yuval Ben-Shoshan from Kibbutz Bror Chayil, and our first wines were produced there. We realized that the wine had to be produced in the same place that the grapes are grown. Making wine in a boutique winery allows the winemaker to experiment and try different flavors and processes. The fascinating process combines cultivating grapes together with researching possibilities of producing various wines using different processes. Our grapes have a unique flavor and aroma that are characteristic of the Negev and differ greatly from grapes grown in other areas. We attempt to preserve these unique flavors during the winemaking process.
Carmey Avdat is currently adding new varieties of grapes in order to assess additional types of wines that are suitable to the Negev. We produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlo from the classic varieties of grapes that grow on the farm as well as a young, refreshing rosé suitable for summer desert evenings and a light, red wine called Somek. Our sweet dessert wine is produced by utilizing the extreme desert conditions.
Carmey Avdat's newest wine – Tishrei - is a kosher L'mahadrin wine that is also kosher for Passover.
Rock Engraving Park Trail
Hiking Route from Carmey Avdat Farm to the Rock Engraving Park and Salam El Wadj's Bedouin Tent
This 2 to 3 - hour hike takes a circular 4.5-kilometer route from the farm to the Rock Engraving Park, continues to Salem Al Wadj's Bedouin tent, and returns to the farm.
The route begins next to the winery on the farm and is marked with pictograms of ancient rock drawings that we engraved on local rocks.
The road leads up to a group of rock engravings on the farm and reaches a gate in the fence. (Please close the gate with the chain after you go out.)
Cross the dirt road towards the Lippa Gal Lookout and enter the Rock Engraving Park.
There are two routes in the park that are marked in red and green that appear on the attached map. We recommend taking the longer route that leads to several groups of rock engravings.
The end of the route joins a dirt road that continues to Salem Al Wadj's Tent, where you can stop to enjoy a cup of Bedouin tea, pita bread with goat cheese, or a light meal.
After you leave the tent walk back a short distance along the dirt road. Continue on the road alongside the electric poles until you reach the dirt road that you crossed when you left the farm.
Turn right and continue to the main entrance gate of the farm. Turn left at the gate and return to the farm.
If you wish to take a shorter hike, walk along the trail that leads out of the farm to the Lippa Gal Lookout, take the shorter route through the park, and return to the farm. This shorter hike is about 1.5 kilometers long and takes about an hour.