World's Greatest Places 2021
A suite at the Six Senses Shaharut in the Negev Desert in Israel.
Courtesy Assaf Pinchuk—Six Senses Shaharut
July 20, 2021 6:37 AM EDT

This arid stretch of southern Israel brings the past alive: it’s home to the bohemian, Bedouin-influenced city of Be’er Sheva, a peak rumored to be the real Mount Sinai, and amber canyons and concealed valleys that make for amazing hikes. Sinai or not, Mount Karkom’s 7,000-year-old rock carvings will tempt the amateur historian; farther south, agriculturalist Elaine Solowey is cultivating dozens of threatened or endangered plants, such as ancient date palms and frankincense, in a special garden, due to open to the public in 2022. Nearby, vintners have revived a long-dead Nabataean wine region by using more innovative approaches to grape growing, like grafting them onto vines that can withstand higher levels of saline. And the Six Senses Shaharut, opening in August, will offer luxurious villas that blend into the cliffside, providing boundless desert views. There is also a tented Bedouin-style restaurant, camel stables and a full-service spa. —Lucy Thackray

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