“The Negev is the true test of the Israeli people”, said David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and one of the pioneers of settlement in the Negev. Farms, kibbutzim, schools and fields cover vast areas today that were bare desert less than 60 years ago. Follow the story of the Zionist Movement, and discover a desert that blossoms.
There are several forms of settlements in the Negev: Development towns, which were founded by the government to absorb immigration in the 50‘s and 60’s; kibbutzim, which are communal farms founded by Zionist Movements and live off of agriculture and light industry; moshavim, which are government founded communities where every family received a plot of land to farm; and desert farms, new in the Israeli landscape, which are farms in secluded areas, built by families that live off the land and offer services from lodging to boutique wine and olive oil . The original dwellers of the area, the Bedouins, are divided between small nomadic villages and some government founded towns. Every house in the desert has a story, no better way to hear them than on your bike.