The Southern District is one of the six administrative districts in Israel, on the Negev desert, covering the Arava valley. Its capital Beersheba is the centre of a large metropolitan area, and the largest city in the Negev desert, whose modern history began with a settlement of the Ottoman Turks. The city of Ashdod has the largest port in Israel on the Mediterranean coast, and is among the oldest cities in the world. Eilat is a popular resort town on the Red Sea, near the Jordan, famous for its beaches on calm waters, nature and hiking routes such as to ancient copper mines and the Solomon’s Pillars sandstone formation.
Population: over 1.244 million
Other major cities: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Sderot,
Main attractions: Masada (national park with ancient ruins), Timna Valley, Beit Guvrin National Park, Ashkelon National Park, Avda, Ein Avdat, Maresha, Shlomo columns, Mount Sodom, Red Canyon, Eilat's Coral Beach, Coral World Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Makhtesh Ramon (Negev desert), Tel Be'er Sheva, Israeli Air Force Museum, Port of Ashdod, Ashdod-Yam Park, Plage de Palmachim.
Nearest Airports: Eilat Airport, also known as J. Hozman Airport (ETH - שְׂדֵה הַתְּעוּפָה אֵילַת, ; مطار إيلات) ; Ovda Airport (VDA - נְמַל הַתְּעוּפָה עֻבְדָּה, ; مطار عوفدا)
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