Perched on a rugged canyon, Mitzpe Ramon is a lively town in the heart of the Israeli desert. The name translates to "lookout" in Hebrew, and Mitzpe Ramon lives up to its reputation with knockout views have lured in artists and creatives who give the town a free-spirited ambience.
Things to do
The town's biggest draw is its proximity to the sun-baked Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve. It's known as Israel's "Grand Canyon" and measures in at 40 kilometres long, nine kilometres wide and 300 metres deep. Scenic trails wind through the multicoloured sandstone canyon and are popular with hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
Mitzpe Ramon is made up of a patchwork of districts, each with its own unique charm. The Spice Route Quarter has a treasure trove of art studios and galleries, along with cafes serving homemade hummus, labneh, falafels and other Israeli delicacies.
Thanks to its desert setting, Mitzpe Ramon boasts some of the best stargazing spots in the Middle East. It's surrounded by vast open spaces with almost zero light pollution. Guided tours whisk travellers out into the desert for a surreal experience complete with telescopes and fascinating commentary.
Bio-Ramon is a pint-sized wildlife park filled with native desert animals. Most of them are nocturnal or endangered so they're hard to spot in the wild. Keep an eye out for venomous snakes, scorpions, tortoises, spiny-tail lizards and porcupines.
Mitzpe Ramon is easy to get around on foot. You can arrive by bus from Eilat, which takes around two to three hours. Local buses also travel between Mitzpe and Be’er Sheva. The various 4WD tours are a popular way to explore Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve.