Mitzpe Ramon and Makhtesh Ramon
The raison d'être of Mitzpe Ramon, a town of 5,500 people on the northern edge of the crater, founded in 1951 by workers building the road to Eilat, is to serve as an access point to the magnificent giant crater, and as a center of ecotourism and hiking. Visitors love the area because of its pure air and natural beauty, and slowly but surely, commerce and culture are beginning to catch up with the area’s unparalleled scenic and adventure offerings The local main road runs through the crater on its way to Eilat, a promenade winds along its edge, and a huge sculpture park sits on its rim. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the geology, nature (note the metal fences around the trees to keep the ibex from eating the leaves), and stunning scenery by foot, mountain bike, or Jeep. The winter weather here is cool and pleasant.
Israel's most spectacular natural sight, and one of the largest craters in the world, the Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) in the heart of the Negev is a place of unparalleled serenity and breathtaking views. The crater's walls are made from layers of different-color rock beds containing fossils of shells, plants, and trees. Under the sea, the makhtesh floor is today covered with heaps of black basalt, the peaks of ancient volcanoes, jagged chunks of quartzite, natural prism rock, and beds of multicolor clays.