The southern region is Israel’s largest area and the least populated; it consists mainly of the Negev Desert and Arava Valley. The major cities in the south are Ashkelon, an important sea port city; Be’er Sheva, known for its large colorful and exotic market and Eilat, Israel’s top beach resort on the shores of the Red Sea. Perhaps the south’s top attraction is the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth and the place where you can float on the highly saline water as you read a newspaper! The shores of the Dead Sea are lined with luxury spa resorts which use the Dead Sea minerals and salts in their pampering treatments. The desert landscape of the south is also the site of Masada, a rock plateau where Herod the Great built him palace complex. Adventurous travelers can take a desert safari in a 4X4 jeep across the sands and rocks of the desert, and perhaps even stop for coffee in a traditional Bedouin camp.