Mitzpe Ramon Crater
The Ramon Crater is an impressive geological formation, created by millennia of erosion in the desert. The vast crater and its picturesque surroundings are perfect for some tranquil relaxation during a whirlwind tour of Israel.
If you're a hiker, you'll love the many hiking trails that traverse the crater, from moderate difficulty and length, to more challenging and longer hikes. Enjoy the abundance of the majestic ibex, who are largely indifferent to human presence and come quite close to hikers. Hiking is preferably done relatively early in the mornings, especially during the summer months, since it can get oppressively hot in the crater in the midday hours and afternoons.
For those who don't like to hike, many of the crater's sites can be reached by car, or with a jeep or camel tour. A guide can take you rappelling from the top of the cliffs into the crater.
A highlight of a trip to the crater is a visit to the new Ilan Ramon Center. Dedicated to the Israeli astronaut who was killed in 2003 when the Columbia exploded, the center tells the story of his life as well as that of the crater. Watch two films about Ilan Ramon and see an interactive exhibit about the formation of the Ramon Crater. Then watch a film about the animals that live in the crater, the majority of whom only come out at night are never seen by tourists.
The Ramon Crater is surrounded by beautiful hotels perched on the edge of the cliff and offering breathtaking views of the rocks, riverbeds and colorful clay. You can also camp in a Bedouin-style tent in the middle of the crater for an authentic back-to-nature experience.