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Established in the 1950s as a military outpost, Mitzpe Ramon has evolved into an ecotourism destination with spectacular landscapes.
Often described as Israel's Grand Canyon, Mitzpe Ramon is home to the largest protected reserve in the country, offering numerous opportunities for hiking, cycling, rappelling, and horseback riding.
Ramon Crater is Mitzpe Ramon's main attraction. 1,641 feet deep, 25 miles long and 6 miles wide, the crater exhibits geological formations unseen in the rest of the world.
The Albert Promenade features environmental sculptures leading to the Ramon Crater. A bird balcony provides the best vantage point of the crater, allowing bird watchers to photograph the native species from above.
The Spice Route Quarter includes shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries, including Faran, an organic soap and cosmetics factory outlet, and the Avital wood works shop.
The Deep Desert of Israel provides activities in the Negev desert such as camping trips, 4x4 Jeep tours, rappelling, and outdoor yoga classes.
Groups can enjoy a tasting menu at InnSense Bistro and Suites, sampling dishes such as focaccia, slow-cooked beef stew, vegan cottage pie, and espresso mousse.
Mitzpe Ramon is 2,950 feet above sea level and very cold in the winter. The best time to visit is from May to September.
The closest international airport to Mitzpe Ramon is Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). Buses and trains leave from Tel Aviv and take approximately 3.5 hours with an hour transfer. Fares average ₪54 to ₪112.
Trains take 2.5 hours to Mitzpe Ramon from Tel Aviv's HaHagana Station. Train fares are ₪43.
Tel Aviv to Mitzpe Ramon is 2.25 hours via Yitzhak Rabin Highway/Route 6 and Route 40. Car rentals are approximately ₪61 per day.
Buses from Tel Aviv to Mitzpe Ramon average ₪112 and take nearly 3.5 hours with an hour transfer.
The Beresheet Hotel includes traditional stonewalls, upscale rooms, balconies, and panoramic views. Lodge The Oreng Zimmer, a guesthouse, features units with outdoor seating areas or balconies, as well as a sun terrace, free WiFi, and parking.
Mount Karkom - Har Karkom, a mountain in the Negev desert, contains more than 300 archaeological sites, including 120 altars, temples, and tombs, dating back 5,000 years.
Negev Vineyards - the Negev Desert Wine Route specializes in red wines made from zinfandel and carignan grapes, and offers tastings at various wineries along Route 40, between Beer Sheva and Mitzpe Ramon.
Avdat - Avdat, an archaeological site in the Negev desert, is a national park with breathtaking Nabataean ruins and is renowned as the filming location of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Metropoline Public Transportation offers daily routes throughout Mitzpe Ramon. Fares are ₪37.50 for a day pass.
Taxis in Mitzpe Ramon are somewhat limited. Fares start at ₪25 with ₪6.28 per additional mile.
Car rentals start at ₪29 per day in Mitzpe Ramon.
The Spice Route Quarter on the northern edge of town features small boutiques, and Faran on Har Ardon retails natural cosmetics.
Lasha Bakery specializes in baked goods. Shufersal Sheli sells organic products and take out meals. Mitzpe Ramon is a relatively expensive city with a gallon of milk averaging ₪20.76 and a loaf of bread ₪5.44.
Hadasaar specializes in organic dishes, including gazpacho, baked bread layered with local cheese, and tahini cookies. Entrees average ₪69. Hahavit features sandwiches, barbecue, pizza, and pasta dishes. Entrees start at ₪48.