UPDATED for 2019!
Every spring, the Negev desert wows and amazes with a bloom of anemones (known as kalanyot in Hebrew) that truly will take your breath away.
To celebrate this amazing natural wonder, in which much of the desert landscape is covered in a sea of red, the annual Darom Adom festival takes place during the month of January/February, with each weekend dedicated to highlighting the very best of the region.
There are some really great things to see, especially if the weather holds out (it typically does, but it is still wintry, so there is a reasonable chance of rain). Some of the regular highlights we’d recommend include heading down to Re’im , a popular picnic area, and the nearby Be’eri Dairy, plus many of the kibbutzim in the area, including Kibbutz Kissufim and Kibbutz Ruhama.
The 2019 Darom Adom Festival takes place over the following weekends, with each weekend taking on a different theme:
- January 31 – February 2
- February 7-9
- February 14-16
- February 21-23
- February 28 – March 2
Some of the events that we think might catch your eye include (there are also PLENTY of other things to see and do in the area, for all the family, such as markets, fruit picking, and walks throughout this amazing area!):
- HaDag Nahash with Tuna – two of Israel’s finest bands over the last few years (23 February, at the Eshkol Municipality Hall, call 08-9479225 for details).
- The Kalanyot Walk – 9 February from 08:30-15:00 – choose one of three family friendly walks through the stunning fields of the kalanyot (anemones) at the Nature Park at Kibbutz Ruhama. Call 072-2510271 for details – 35 shekels per person (there’s a family ticket for 5 that costs 150 shekels), with lots of events and things to do along the way.
- Mountain Biking Marathon – at Kibbutz Be’eri on February 9. Open to all, choose from one of 3 routes, all taking place in one of Israel’s most beautiful bike tracks. For more details, call 077-7295716.
- The Kalanyot Run – February 15, at Shukda Forest (to be confirmed). Enjoy 5 or 10km runs through some amazing scenery; call 050-6865808 for details.
- Check out the official site for even more events and details (mostly in Hebrew). You can also try calling 08-9949374 for details.