Mitzpe Ramon is a small hamlet in the Negev Desert in southern Israel, clinging to the edge of Makhtesh Ramon, a gigantic crater. It is the world's largest erosion cirque and a spectacular geographic feature. The crater draws many tourists, who base themselves in Mitzpe Ramon for their explorations.
Like many Israelis towns it was planned and built in the 1950's. Unfortunately due to its isolated location the town never really took off. Population is at around 4500 inhabitants and continually dwindling.
Most important sectors of employment are the Israeli Army and the tourism industry.
The main reason to come to Mitzpe Ramon are the hiking possibilities and the 4WD tours organised in Makhtesh Ramon. It is very easy to book a tour or get information material once you are in Mitzpe Ramon.
Aside from that there isn't much to do in or around Mitzpe Ramon. Life is very quiet and sleepy there.
Mitzpe Ramon is located about 80 kms south of Beersheva on the road number 40.
Egged buses stop in Mitzpe Ramon on their way to Eilat from Beersheva.
There is no need to rent a car just to get around Mitzpe Ramon. If you choose to rent a car chances are high it is a 4WD - the necessary vehicle to explore Makhtesh Ramon on your own.
Despite the small number of its inhabitants the town is surprisingly spread out. From one end to the other it is approx. 2 kms. But distances are decieving: The roads wind up and down and depending on the direction you are going you might face a relatively steep uphill climb. It is possible to walk everywhere, but loaded down with heavy luggage you'll probably wish for a car to take you.
There is a small supermarket in the town and most hotels and pensions serve food to their guests.
|Mitzpe Ramon Youth Hostel||Nahal Nikrot 4 P.O.B. 2||hostel||-|
|Mitzpe Ramon Youth Hostel & Guest House||P.O.B 2||HOSTEL||-|
|Ramon Hotel||8 Nahal meishar street Mitzpe Ramon||hotel||-|
|Silent Arrow||Mitzpe Ramon at Derech Sfat Midbar 1||CAMPSITE||-|
|The Green Backpackers||Nahal Sirpad 10/6 P.o Box 827 Mitzpe Ramon 80600||Hostel||86|
|Mati & Roni's Desert GuesTent Hostel||Nahal Arava 3 Ben Gurion Blvd. 3||CAMPSITE||62|
|Mait and Roni's House||nahal arava 3||Guesthouse||-|
There is a small hostel in Mitzpe Ramon.
Israel is a technologically advanced society, and internet cafés are widely available in most cities and towns. The regular price for paid internet cafés is about 15 shekels per hour but you can get it for about 10 shekels in some of the more local places. Free Wi-Fi access is common in cafés (check individual articles). All branches of 'Aroma Espresso Bar', 'Arcaffe', 'Café Café', 'McDonalds' and 'Yellow' convenience stores have free Wi-Fi access, though in some you will have to approach the staff for a password.
Recently, the "Jerusalem Wi-Fi" project started. This government started project aims to cover the entire Jerusalem area with Wi-Fi although at the moment the only areas covered are in the city center. A similar project has started in Tel Aviv and in Karmiel in the north. Some other cities are following suit.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international country code for Israel is 972. Emergency numbers include 100 (police), 101 (ambulance) and 102 (fire). 112 is supported in mobile networks.
Currently Israel offers support for all the available networks including GSM/UMTS (Pelephone, Cellcom and Orange), CDMA (Pelephone) and iDen (Hot Mobile). In any case, you must check with your carrier about the roaming option and the compatibility of your device in advance. A valid suggestion otherwise is to turn off data services.
You can rent a cellphone for use in Israel either before your trip or once you arrive from several firms. You can also rent smartphones with sim cards included sometimes for lower than the cost of renting just a sim card. Vendors such as Israel Phone Rentalsoffer the advantages of a sim card rental without having to worry about bringing your own phone to Israel. If you have a GSM cellphone without a SIM-lock, you can buy a SIM-card. Prepaid SIM cards are available at Pelephone (Talk & Go), Cellcom (Talk Man) and Orange (Bigtalk) phone stores throughout Israel. Almost all shopping malls will have a Pelephone, Cellcom or Orange kiosk or store.
There are many public phones scattered around. Public phones can be always found at hotels, post offices, central bus stations and train stations. These phones use a Telecard, which, today, is a pre-paid calling card that works only with pay phones and can be purchased at post offices and some stores, as well as ordinary calling cards. Some phones also accept credit cards, usually those in hotels and post offices.
The Israel Post is the national postal service of Israel and generally has fast, reliable and affordable services. Efficiency means that letters and postcards send by airmail just take about 3-7 days within Europe, a few days more to the USA and Australia. Express Mail Services (EMS) is available, with which you are guaranteed to have the postcard or letter delivered within 72 hours anywhere in the world. You can buy stamps at post offices, or newspaper stands/kiosks or some souvenir shops and hotels. The main post offices are usually open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 8:00am to 2:00pm on Friday, though some might keep longer hours. Branch offices and post offices in smaller towns keep shorter hours, usually with a break from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, and on Wednesday and Friday only during the morning. Parcels can be send by the regular post offices or with companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx and DHL.
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