Things to do in Eilat, Dead Sea & the South

Rami’s Guide to Mizpe Ramon

Mitzpe Ramon (or interchangeably Mizpe Ramon) is a small town with a world class view over some unique natural phenomena.

In the early 1950’s the young (and poor) state of Israel had to accept over a million immigrants from all over the world. Small towns were built all over the country without the proper infrastructure to supply jobs and means of leaving for the inhabitants that arrived with no property, common language and in many cases modern skills.  The most remote town was Mizpe Ramon located 80 Km south of Beer Sheva (Beersheba). Luckily for you this town has not changed a lot and with only 4,000 habitants it has succeeded in surviving without disturbing the splendor of nature. Mitzpe Ramon is situated just on the slope of the Makhtesh Ramon (or erroneously the Ramon Crater) – a unique form of a valley created by natural forces that looks like a huge crater. The Negev desert has 3 such Makhatesh forms; “Small” “Big” and the largest called the “Ramon.”

There are some fine viewpoints and a visitors’ centre along the edge of Makhtesh Ramon. See our guide for details of touring the Makhtesh Ramon and some photos of Makhtesh Ramon.

Mizpe Ramon Accomodation

Mizpe Ramon has only two hotels that are marketed as “cyclist” hotels. One of them is brand new – Bike Inn and the other – Pundak Ramon or Ramon Inn, which used to be the only one in the town adapted to accommodate the needs of cyclists. Cycling has become an extremely popular sport in Israel in recent years.

There are a lot of very affordable B&B options in the town, in all levels. On my last visit I stayed at a small place run by an English speaking couple who provide archery activities as well.

Mizpe Ramon Nightlife

The cultural center of Mitzpe Ramon is called “Adama” (earth) is run by two of Israel’s top dancers:  Nir Ben Gal and Liat Dror. They manage a dancing school and a dancing group that is a run like a commune; and is by far the most interesting place in Mizpe Ramon (apart from the natural treasures surrounding it).  Night life scene in Mizpe Ramon includes one jazz club operating only on Thursdays. But do not underestimate the quality of the performers. The NYC jazz scene is full of Israelis, many of whom are glad to spend their vacation in this beautiful place and if you are lucky you might find fine musicians playing in Mitzpe Ramon.

There is one brand new gourmet restaurant “Chez Hugene” and one with food local food called “Hakatze” – meaning “The end (of the road)”. The only pub in the town is “Hachavit” (The barrel), but it was closed on the Saturday evening that I was there!

Of course you could always head into the Makhtesh for some star gazing.

Near to Mitzpe Ramon

Near to Mitzpe Ramon is Ein Avdat and David Ben Gurion’s Kibbutz, home and grave at Sede Boker.

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