Andrew J. Wein - Feb 14, 2011

Negev desert belong among one of the less know tourism destination in Israel. Nevertheless, tourists can explore unique craters there without being disturbed by crowds of other visitors. The landscape also reminds many of the Wild West.



Israel offers numerous interesting tourism destinations. For those who are eager to get off the beaten track there is a nice surprise in the Negev desert. The desert hides a huge crater called Makhtesh Ramon which offers a unique experience as the landscape is simply indescribable and not many tourists stop there.

There are only five craters like Makhtesh Ramon on our planet. Three of them are in Israel's Negev desert and two remaining ones are in Sinai. Most tourists coming to the region do not know about the place. According to, the best spot from where a tourist could start exploring Negev desert is the town of Micpe Ramon. It is tens of kilometers far from any other human dwellings and consists of two roads, a bank, gas station, two bars and two shops. The town reminds visitors of the Wild West. However, instead of cowboys and Indians one can meet Bedouins living on the outskirts of the town.

It is difficult to describe the landscape of Makhtesh Ramon. If someone wanted to shoot a movie about Mars, this would be a perfect spot. Visitors who arrive to the town usually take a few pictures or stop at the local tourism center. Then, they continue on their way to the coast. Those who are more adventurous go on a hiking trip that can last hours or even days. The path takes them through military zones. Tourists can also hire a jeep and a guide and travel around more comfortably.

It is also possible to travel through the crater via the road 40 which goes 300 meters down and then climbs up again after a few kilometers. The road takes tourists to the ruins of Avdatu, an ancient fort that was once used by Romans and later on by the Byzantines.

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  1. I agree that Negev is a unique destination, but the Dead sea, which by the way, has been chosen as one of the 28 finalists in the new7wonders campaign

    Olga (Israel)

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