A Perfect Weekend in Mitzpe Ramon: Connecting to the Magic of the Desert

גן לאומי עין עבדת

48 Hours of Desert Enchantment in Ramon Crater

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my travels, it’s that truly magical places can be found closer than one would expect. We just need to know where to look.

We tend to think that we can only experience a unique and peaceful atmosphere in exotic destinations, overseas. But even in a small country like Israel, there are enchanted places that you may not have thought to visit.

For me, there is something almost therapeutic about the Israeli Negev desert, which allows seeing and experiencing relaxing and enjoyable attractions. Most of them can easily be enjoyed during a single weekend in Ramon Crater (or as it’s called in Hebrew: Makhtesh Ramon), and the nearby city Mitzpe Ramon, in the South of Israel.

Connecting with yourself, nature and fantastic people

If you live in Israel, most chances are you live in an urban area. If you feel the need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and connect with yourself, mother earth and wonderful people, you don’t have to go far. The magic is right there, in the Mitzpe Ramon area.

This time I want to share with you, a unique glamping experience and a visit to some of the most worthwhile sites in the Makhtesh Ramon and Mitzpe Ramon area, in the south of Israel.

It’s perfect for a weekend. And maybe you’ll want to extend it to a long weekend. Because you really won’t want to leave the place. At Ramon Crater, you can enjoy accommodation with an extraordinary atmosphere. While the sorrounding area is filled with interesting activities to see and take part in.

I went there with my good friends T. and M., along with T’s sweet 4-year-old daughter. We all had a fantastic time! Filled with equal amount of relaxation, fun and interest. So, it’s definitely a fun weekend that’s suitable for a group of friends, and even for young children.

Accommodation close to nature

Perfect glamping in the heart of the crater

I love unique places of accommodation. Admittedly, basic camping is not quite my default choice. Which is why I chose a more pampering tenting option –  by staying at Selina Ramon by Glow, a glamping hotel inside the crater itself, which allows you to connect with nature and the desert, to feel the simplicity and love around you.

אוהלים מפנקים בסלינה רמון ביי גלו. לינה במכתש רמון
Accommodation in a pampering design at Selina Ramon by Glow

Here you will find luxurious tents equipped with incredibly comfortable beds, and everything you need.

אוהלים מפנקים בסלינה רמון ביי גלו. לינה במכתש רמון
Comfortable stay in the middle of Ramon Crater

The white tents reminded me of rows of lotus flowers placed at the foot of the quarry wall. Apart from the lodging, the place offers wellness classes, and other activities. Some of which are: stargazing tours, pottery workshops, yoga, and performances.

If you prefer to keep things low-key, you can just relax and hang out in the chill-out areas. It’s a welcoming place where you can meet new people and have conversations late into the night by the campfire, drinking Bedouin tea.

Planning on bringing toddlers with you?  T’s daughter claims “roasting marshmallows by the campfire” was by far, her favorite experience of the trip.

What really made me love the place was the outdoor shower; when was the last time you showered under the stars?

For those insistent of keeping up with work demands, fear not. There is a co-working space with Wi-Fi connection on site.

Getting there by Waze: register Selina Ramon – Selina Ramon

Learn about other unique places to stay in the South of Israel that you should know about


Selina Ramon by Glow is a different site to Selina Desert Garden Ramon (same chain but different sites). The latter is located in the city of Mitzpe Ramon City. It’s a beautiful hotel in its own right, but with an urban design.

Ramon Crater Attractions

After you’ve settled in the campground, it’s time to start your weekend with an adventure and discover what’s around Ramon Crater. Here you will be exposed to unique natural phenomena, impressive landscapes, and connect with an inner peace.

Getting to know the surrounding desert

Haminsara (The Prism)

Located in the heart of the crater, and only a few minutes’ drive from Selina Ramon by Glow, you can find Haminsara (“The Prism” in English). This site shows a rare geological phenomenon, which has resulted in the formation of multi-faceted prism-like rocks. Their chiseled look may appear man-made. But are completely the work of nature. Take the short pathway around the hill, where you can admire the view.

אתר המנסרה באיזור מכתש רמון, ליד מצפה רמון. אתר מעניין וחינמי לכל המשפחה
Haminsara, at Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater)

Getting there using Waze app: HaMansera – Ramon Crater

Stone, Wind, Water (Even, Ruach, Mayim)

Prepare your very own bottle of colored sand at the Stone, Wind and Water site

At Ramon Crater, there are various minerals that give the sand special colors in shades of green, yellow, orange and red, making it worth visiting this “sandpit of nature”.

Unlike other nature reserves and national parks, where you are prohibited from taking anything with you, here you are definitely welcome to take some of the colored sand with you, as a souvenir.

חולות צבעוניים שאפשר לקחת לכתוש ולקחת אתכם הביתה באיזור מצפה רמון
Create your own bespoke bottle with colored sand at the “Stone, Wind and Water” site

A fun-filled activity for adults and children alike:

Bring bottles, a seif and metal spoons from home

This will allow you to crush the sand from the rocks and prepare your own artistic creation. A kind of home-version of the colored sand bottles that were once sold as souvenirs in Israe’s southernmost city of Eilat.

During the rainy season, you will find a pool that you can walk around, a few hundred meters behind the sand site. A surprising and refreshing break surrounded by vegetation in the middle of the arid landscape.

אטרקציות באיזור מכתש רמון, מצפה רמון
The pool behind Stone, Wind, Water

To get there with Waze, enter: Stone, Wind, Water

Ramon Colours National Park

Another place that allows you to get to know the magic of the desert and its landscapes in a comfortable way is Ramon Colours National Park.

The site has a vehicle route that takes you to the middle of the crater. Here you will encounter spectacular geological phenomena and quarries of the crater.

פארק לאומי צבעי רמון - שווה ביקור לראות את הנוף המיוחד
Colourful geological formations, at Ramon Crator Colours National Park

Along the route, there are stop points and trails accompnied by explanotry signs.

Fun fact:

Located at 500 meters below sea level, Makhtesh Ramon is the world’s largest erosion crater of it’s type in the world.

Among the places to see, are the Purple Canyon, a sinkhole that got its vibrant colors from aluminum oxides. You will also be able to see the enterances to caves, formerly used for storage by nomadic tribes. Should luck be on your side, you may be able to view desert wildlife, such as the Nubian ibex, or the Caracal.

The Incense Roads Quarter in Mitzpe Ramon

The Incense Road in Mitzpe Ramon: worth a visit 

The Incense Roads Quarter, in the nearby city of Mitzpeh Ramon is a place I was pleased to discover. It has, among other things, galleries, second-hand shops, pubs and craft stores. The people I came across here exuded a care-free vibe. When events and festivals are held here, it fills up with lively crowds. Such as festival visitors, artists, musicians and students of the Music School.

Lasha Bakery

I recommend stopping at Lasha Bakery, which offers wonderful pastries made on site. It is likely that there will be a bit of a queue at the checkout, but the quality and freshness of what’s on offer are worth the wait.


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Note: the Quarter is closed on Shabbat (Saturdays).

An easy trail on the way back to the center of Israel

En Avdat National Park

An easy trail alongside spectacular canyons, and water stream

On the way back to the center of Israel, stop over at the desert oasis of En Avdat National Park. Located at the foot of Midreshet Ben-Gurion (the home of Israel’s legendary first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion) is deep and stunning canyon with springs and a stream that flows all year round.

מסלול קצר לעין עבדת
On the beautiful way to the waterfall and the pool of Ein Avdat

There are different points of interest and trails in En Avdat:

  1. A short trail of about 800 meters to the spring and back, which we did (about an hour to an hour and a half’s walk)
  2. A long trail to the poplar grove and back (about two to two and a half hours’ walk)
  3. A long straight trail to Upper En Avdat (about two and a half hours’ walk)

We chose taking the short trail that led us between the impressive canyons. It included reaching the En Avdat waterfall: with a cool water pool in the stream bed. It is very hot in summer, so remember to bring hats, sunscreen and drinking water bottles with you.

For wildlife lovers, from November to August (nesting season) there is a chance that you will see the vultures nesting on the cliffs of the wadi, or calmly soaring above you.

Getting there with Waze: En Avdat National Park

Map of attractions around Ramon Crater mentioned in this post:

מכתש רמון מפת אטרקציות
To view in Google Maps, double click on the map

To sum up

A weekend in Makhtesh Ramon and Mitzpe Ramon offers attractions for the whole family, and all ages. The visit here can suit those who want a family vacation, a romantic vibe or a perfect getaway for a group of friends, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

What do you think?

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