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. Once 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.
Mitzpe Ramon, a town of 5,500 people on the northern edge of the crater, makes a great base for exploring the area. Slowly but surely, commerce and culture are beginning to catch up with the area’s unparalleled scenic and adventure offerings. A promenade winds along the edge of the crater, and a huge sculpture park sits on its rim. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the stunning scenery by foot, mountain bike, or four-wheel-drive vehicle. The winter weather here is cool and pleasant.