The magic of Mitzpe Ramon: a complete guide to the desert town

Relax, reflect, and recharge at this awe-inspiring landmark and town in the Negev

Mitzpe Ramon © Shutterstock
By Time Out Israel Writers |
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While the White City has its own charm, there’s something magical about slipping away from the hustle and bustle to a quieter, more peaceful environment that Israel has to offer. With its gargantuan erosion crater offering kilometer upon kilometer of arid land just waiting to be explored at the wake of dawn, to the crystal clear night skies free from urban pollution at dusk, Mitzpe Ramon offers just the nature-infused cure to relax, reflect, and recharge before returning to the nonstop city.

The ultimate guide to Mitzpe Ramon

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Visitors Center
© Shuttetstock
Attractions

Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center

Mitzpe Ramon

The Mizpe Ramon Visitors Center is located on the edge of the Ramon Crater and is a gateway to the surrounding nature reserves, in addition to being a museum dedicated to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. The tour begins with the life story of Ilan Ramon, from his army service to his flight on the space shuttle Columbia. Guests then learn about the unique environment of the crater, from its geological formation to information about the desert wildlife found in the area, and all that you need to know about nearby hiking trails. A spectacular view of Ramon Crater is also available from the center’s rooftop.

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Be’erot Campground
© Zigi
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Be’erot Campground

Negev

Be’erot Campground is the only accommodation located inside the Ramon Crater - the “Grand Canyon” of Israel. The breathtaking views of the crater are complemented by the quiet of the campground, and lack of light pollution. Spend the daytime hiking in the desert, and at night, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and lay back beneath a canopy of stars safe from the chilly desert air. Located just a short drive from Mitzpe Ramon, Be’erot Campground is close to attractions such as camel tours, rappelling, and jeep tours.

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Ramon Crater
© Shutterstock
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Ramon Crater

Mitzpe Ramon

The Ramon Crater (“Makhtesh Ramon”) in the Negev desert is the world’s largest erosion crater. The crater’s ancient history dates back 220 million years to when an ocean once filled the massive hole, which measures 500 meters deep, 40 km long and between 2 and 10 km wide. With a network of hikes ranging from easy loops to advanced mountain scales with extreme passageways (“Shen Ramon”), this worldwide landmark is the perfect place for thrill seekers to get their adrenaline fix. Be sure to catch the unbeatable sunset at the camel lookout or camp out under the stars.

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Makhtesh Ramon with Camel Mount lookout © Shutterstock
Attractions, Wildlife centers

Camel Lookout / Har Gamal

Negev

Har Gamal, otherwise known as Camel Lookout, is a small hill resembling a sitting camel that overlooks the Ramon Crater. This beautiful desert site offers a stunning view of the crater, and the observation deck located there is one of the best places to watch the sun rise or set. Great for those who love a hike, it is just a short walk away from descending ibex trails that lead to the bottom of the crater. Located a short walk or drive from the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor’s Center, it’s accessible for those unable to take the hike. Those with a love for adventure, nature, and beauty won’t want to miss Har Gamal.

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Khan Hashayarot
© PR
Things to do, Camps

Khan Hashayarot

Negev

Khan Hashayarot offers a Bedouin-esque desert experience. Here you will find all the activities associated with a Bedouin stay, including camel rides, dinner eaten on cushions, bonfires, an introduction to the Bedouin life, storytelling, and tent sleeping. In addition, modern luxuries such as bathrooms with showers, outlets to charge phones, and breakfast is provided. For those looking for a more luxurious stay, guest rooms are also available instead of tent lodging. Located between Sde Boker and Mizpe Ramon, it is located far enough away from town to provide a magnificent view of the stars in the desert sky.

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The Albert Promenade
© Shutterstock
Attractions, Public spaces

The Albert Promenade

Mitzpe Ramon

The Albert Promenade is a trail decorated with impressive environmental sculptures, starting from the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor’s Center and continuing along the edge of Ramon Crater. From here the best view of the crater can be seen, and the paved trail is fairly accessible for those with physical disabilities. The Albert Promenade connects to a dirt path leading to Har Gamal observation outlook. In the middle of the path sits a “bird balcony” hanging over the crater, where birds will fly below your feet and your breath will be stolen by the surrounding natural beauty.

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Alpaca Farm - the Ramon Crater
© PR
Attractions, Farms

Alpaca Farm - the Ramon Crater

Negev

Ramon Crater, known also as Mitzpe Ramon, is arguably Israel’s most dazzling site, located in the heart of the Negev Desert. Near the crater and the tiny Mitzpe Ramon village is the Alpaca Farm, an ideal starting point for desert rides. Most rides require neither riding skills nor special fitness, and the farm’s horses are known for their calm temper. All tours are led by experienced guides and advanced booking is needed.

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Hadasaar Natural Living
© Oliver Van Hammee
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Hadasaar Natural Living

Mitzpe Ramon

Hadasaar Natural Living is a one of a kind hosting center for group retreats. With lodging, high quality cuisine, workshops, lectures, and entertainment, it is the ultimate multi-functional space in Mitzpe Ramon. Aiming to connect Negev residents with its many visitors, Hadasaar Natural Living is built by members of the community, offering products from local artists. Originally a restaurant and store, the site now hosts guests and offers all the luxuries travelers require. A truly unique experience for anyone looking to experience the desert through the eyes of those living there, Hadasaar Natural Living remains committed to mutual existence and partnership.

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Lasha Bakery
© Hadas Meir
Restaurants, Bakeries

Lasha Bakery

Mitzpe Ramon

Lasha Bakery is a boutique bakery specializing in healthy breads crafted from the finest, local materials using traditional techniques such as stone baking stoves. Lasha Bakery believes in the technical, spiritual, historical, feminine, and Jewish aspects of baking bread, and aims to bring the soul into their creations. Taste heavenly breads, moist cakes, delicious cookies, quiches, and cheeses, all lovingly crafted, or purchase raw whole flour to create your own baked goods. For those looking to connect to the art, courses are offered in this beautiful desert bakery.

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Mitzpe Ramon Jazz Club
© Gadi Lybrock
Music, Jazz

Mitzpe Ramon Jazz Club

Mitzpe Ramon

A hidden gem located in the Negev, Mitzpe Ramon Jazz Club serves as a hangout for locals and tourists staying in the village. Away from the noise and bustle of the city, the club provides a warm home for musicians and music lovers alike. Enjoy the breath-taking landscape of the desert while relaxing with a drink, soothed by the warm sounds of jazz. Run entirely by volunteers, all income generated at the club goes to support music education, the musicians of Mitzpe Ramon, and cooperative projects among Negev residents. Mitzpe Ramon Jazz Club hosts musicians from around Israel, as well as local performers. 

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