A Nubian ibex on the edge of Makhtesh Ramon Crater in Negev desert, Israel

©vvvita/Alamy Stock Photo

Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve

Top choice in Mitzpe Ramon

Sometimes described as Israel’s very own grand canyon, Makhtesh Ramon is the largest protected area in Israel and is home to a huge number of hiking, cycling and horse-riding trails, as well as cliffs offering rappelling opportunities. About 300m deep, 9km wide and 40km long, it features multicoloured sandstone, volcanic rock and fossils.

From Mitzpe Ramon, the best views are from the hanging lookout 300m south of the Makhtesh Ramon Visitors Center.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mitzpe Ramon attractions

1. Makhtesh Ramon Visitors Center

2.93 MILES

Perched on the makhtesh rim, this visitor centre has extremely helpful staff who are willing and able to answer questions about the Makhtesh Ramon Nature…

2. Lookout

3.01 MILES

Affords spectacular views of Makhtesh Ramon. Ibexes often wander along the cliff rim around here

3. Bio-Ramon

3.07 MILES

This pocket-sized wildlife park is an excellent place to see desert creatures you're unlikely to encounter in the wild because they are either nocturnal,…

4. EthnoCenter

3.64 MILES

Run by a friendly family from Dagestan, this one-room museum has exhibits and demonstrations on the weaving and tying techniques used to make the…

5. Nana Winery

4.96 MILES

Nana is a high-altitude winery, set some 800m above sea level atop Mt Ramon. This location, in the middle of the Negev desert, overlooking the Mahktesh…

6. Avdat National Park

16.24 MILES

Dominating the surrounding desert, the beautifully preserved ancient Nabataean city of Avdat served as a caravan stop on the road from Petra to the…

7. Carmey Avdat Winery

17.49 MILES

Nestled in a valley richly planted with olive and other fruit trees, surrounded by stony Negev slopes, this family-run boutique winery was built on the…

8. Ben-Gurion Graves

18.19 MILES

The graves of David (1886–1973) and Paula (1892–1968) Ben-Gurion lie in a spectacular clifftop setting overlooking sublimely beautiful Wadi Tzin (Zin)…