About 2.5 hours south of Tel Aviv, a single lane highway will bring you into the Negev Desert where you will come across the small "hippie" town of Mitzpe Ramon. Located just on the edge of the Makhtesh Crater, the town itself is quite small, but it should absolutely be added to your Israel itinerary because the surrounding area is beautiful and it also provides a relaxing getaway from the larger cities. Below are recommendations but my general recommendation is to head to Mitzpe, even if it's for a day.
|Samantha in Mitzpe Ramon |
- Beeresheet Hotel: My sister (who lives an hour north of Mitzpe Ramon) loves the town and comes all the time but I also truly came for this hotel. It's known as one of the best hotels in all of Israel which caught my attention right away. The hotel is literally on the edge of the crater with an infinity pool, stunning views from the rooms and ibexes that roam the grounds. It's a must.
|Ibexes are the Beeresheet|
- Airbnb: When my sister comes with friends on the weekends, they typically get an Airbnb which seems very doable and is a cheaper option than Beeresheet.
|The pool at the Beeresheet|
- Hike in or along the crater: Mitzpe Ramon is known for the crater. There are a lot of different activities you can do within the crater like a jeep tour, biking, etc... . We chose to hike along the edge of it which was fairly easy but there are varying degrees of difficulty for hikes in and along it.
- Spice Quarter: In the center of town is a plaza that has all different types of local shops and a brewery. We ended up buying a mezuzah from a local artist that made it out of stone from the crater.
|The Spice Quarter |
- Camel Mount: At the edge of town is a perch that overlooks the town and the crater. It's the best spot in all of Mitzpe for the sunset.
- Star Gaze: You are truly in the middle of nowhere thus the stars are magnificent. You can drive into the middle of the crater or just enjoy them from your balcony.
|Sunset at Camel Mount|
- InnSense: Located in the Spice Quarter, this is one of the only restaurants with in town. It's really casual and seems like something that would be in the lobby of a Holiday Inn but the salads were exactly fresh.
- Lasha Bakery: Also located in the Spice Quarter, this bakery is actually more of a lunchtime bakery than breakfast. It's only open certain days so check ahead of time but would be a perfect stop to pack a lunch before a hike.
- Kornmehl Farm: This farm is actually 30 - 45 mins north of Mitzpe and is a small goat farm in the middle of the desert. We didn't have time to stop here but I heard it's worth a visit, especially for the goat cheese.
|Sculptures along the crater|
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