Endless blue skies. Rocky barren desert. Vast and limitless. The Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev Desert is a natural phenomenon which is unique to this part of the world. The beautiful and impressive desert scenery is unforgettable. We have visited this area multiple times and from our journeys here are the 8 most unique places that you can’t miss!
1. Visit the Alpaca Farm
The Alpaca farm is a five minute ride from the center of the town of Mitzpe Ramon (named because of its close vicinity to the crater)…meaning there is no excuse…you must go. There are alpacas, llamas, goats, horses, peacocks and dogs, in other words… so many fluffy animals! Llama rides are available for children and you can get a good explanation on the difference between alpacas and llamas…which I already forgot 🙃
You can also go horseback riding (which of course we did)! They have several different trails depending if you’re a beginner or a more advanced rider, but the one thing that all trails have in common is the incredible scenery. The rides will take you overlooking the stunning Negev Desert, Ramon crater, and lush green vineyards.
Don’t forget to check out their gift shop! They sell handmade alpaca wool, hats, and scarves.
2. Stay Overnight in “Succah in the Desert”
All I can say is WOW! You must go here. This amazing, off the grid experience is a must. The entire compound is 100% eco friendly – meaning they aren’t connected to electricity, they have eco-friendly toilets, and the added plus THERE IS NO WIFI (and no cellular service in the area for the matter). Everything is run on solar power and you’ll see solar panels scattered around the area. The whole story behind this Bed and Breakfast is really amazing and you can learn the whole amazing story from the hosts when you get there.
Succah in the Desert also offers dinner and breakfast. The food is AMAZING! Everything is homemade, vegetarian and sourced from their organic garden. Be sure to come hungry because the portions are generous!
Some other fun things to do here are stargazing, walking to the sunrise/sunset lookout atop a mini-mountain adjacent to the compound, or walking to the Ramon Crater’s edge. I highly recommend staying for at least one night.
View the full post on Succah in the Desert: Coming soon!
3. Star Gazing in the Ramon Crater
The Ramon Crater is actually a “Starlight Reserve” or the official name – International Dark Sky Park. The combination of constantly clear skies and very little light pollution makes it a magical place to star gaze.
4. Visit Nana Winery
Nana winery is an incredible winery located in the middle of the desert. When you drive up its pretty amazing to see a flourishing green vineyard in the middle of endless dessert hills. The winery is very close to “Succah in the Desert” and if you’re staying there they can help you arrange a tour of the winery or you can reach out to the winery directly here.
5. Ramon Crater Visitors Center
The Visitor’s Center is situated on the rim of the crater so if you’re looking for a stunning birds-eye view of the crater and some perfect photo-ops, look no further. But watch your step as you can literally stand on the very edge of the crater (there are no fences). It’s pretty exhilarating but a little scary too.
Not only is there a beautiful view, but you can also learn about the history of the this amazing “crater”. This crater is actually called a “makhtesh” and it is a geological phenomenon. It wasn’t formed like a regular crater, but rather by the force of water over the course of millions of years….and because of the unique way it was formed you can find colorful sands, ammonites (the ancient creatures), basalt hills, and so many other amazing geological phenomena.
Oh and keep an eye out for the countless, cute Ibex that live in the area!
6. Drive through Ramon Colors Route
I have lived in Israel for over three years now and I just learned out this absolute gem- the Ramon Colors Route. The moment you enter the reserve, the overwhelming beauty of the crater overtakes you. The endlessly blue skies contrast with the colorful rocks and sand for an incredible effect. You will feel like your in another world or even on Mars.
From the comfort of your car, you can drive through the nooks and crannies of this amazing area and see humongous exposed rocks, incredibly colored sands, rehabilitated excavation sites and even hidden lakes.
7. Hike the Nekarot Horsehoe Loop
And if you already went to the Ramon Colors Route…. you are super close to this amazing hike. There are a ton of hikes in the area, but so far this one is my favorite. Its 2-3 hours and will take you through a beautiful, vast canyon that narrows in the middle of the hike. If you go in the rainy winter season (and you’re lucky) the narrow part of the canyon might even be filled with some water.
The rest of the hike you’ll feel like you are in the land of giants surrounded my enormous rock structures and incredible scenery. For part of the hike you will be walking on soft pebbly sands so come prepared for a bit of a challenge.
As you finish the hike you will come across a small river and some beautiful reeds. This will be when you know you have reached the ancient Nabatean camp site that dates back almost 2000 years. You’re in Israel (a land filled with endless history) so there will of course be some amazing archeological finds!
8. Explore the Spice Route Quarter
Want some lunch or to visit some cute art galleries or maybe even stop at a thrift shop? The Spice Route Quarter in Mitzpe Ramon is filled with adorable art galleries and cute cafes. Make sure to check it out!
Looking for more interesting thing to do on your visit to Israel ? Check out our other adventures throughout the country here!
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Brooke and Danielle, Colorful Sisters