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Things to do in Eilat
Israel's Riviera on the Red Sea

There are many things to do in Eilat for the enjoyment of adults, children and whole families. Eilat is Israel southernmost city on the shores of the Red Sea, squeezed between to friendly countries, Egypt and Jordan.

The main attractions here are the beaches and the diving on amazing corals. But this is just the beginning of the surprises you may expect when visiting Eilat, just an hour by plane from Tel Aviv or a mere 4 hours by car.

My first time in Eilat was in July 1959, it took us 24 hours to get there hitchhiking from Jerusalem and there was nothing but sand and sea, then. Today it is a real Riviera with hundreds of hotels and facilities to attract the most sophisticated tourists from Europe and the rest of the world.

Underwater Observatory Marine Park

Underwater Observatory Marine Park

This is one of the major attractions of Eilat and of interest for everyone in the family to enjoy the amazing colors of marine life below the waters.

From the tower observatory, located 100 meters offshore, you will have to take the stairs down six meters below the surface to enjoy and witness the amazing underwater life of the Red Sea. While on the shore there is also an excellent aquarium, with hundreds of Red Sea fish, turtles, and sharks. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can also take a glass-bottomed boat trip to complete this magnificent experience.

Solomon's Pillars at Timna Park near Eilat

Solomon's Pillars at Timna Park near Eilat

This national park in the middle of the Negev Desert has surreal desert landscapes and a mysterious history of a copper mine. It is famous for its strange rock formations sculpted through thousands of years by rain and wind.

The most renowned of all is Solomon's Pillars, a 50-meter-high wall of sandstone rock, carved into pillar shapes by erosion. A flight of steps leads up the cliff face to a relief depicting Pharaoh Ramses III making an offering to the goddess Hathor.

Excavations in the area started when I came to Israel for the first time in 1959 and have shown that copper has been systematically mined here since as early as 3,000 BC, with both the Egyptians and the Israelites working the mines at different times. Opposite Solomon's Pillars is the Hill of the Slaves - a camp in which the miners of the 14th and 12th centuries BC were housed.

Things to do in Eilat

Dolphin Reef south of Eilat

Dolphin Reef south of Eilat

This is your opportunity to swim with the friendly dolphins. This private bay runs a variety of tours and trips where you are able to interact with the group of bottlenose dolphins that live in the water just offshore.

Many snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming tours are available for a fee. But if you don’t want to get wet, there are a few observation docks from where you may watch the dolphins from dry land.

Ice Space

This strange attraction throws you from the hot desert into the freezing Arctic. The inside temperature of this award-winning attraction is about 7˚Celsius as you walk between the various ice sculptures on display.

On a hot or very hot day in Eilat this is a well-deserved cool treat. Kids love this place.

Coral Beach Reserve

This is the # 1 diving site in Eilat’s Red Sea as the shores are home to the most amazing corals and colorful fish.

If you are a diver, this will be the highlight of your visit to Eilat. Even new divers are well catered by the variety of dive agency operating locally. If you just want to snorkel in the shallow waters near the shore, that is also fine.

Bird Watching Center

We all know that Israel is a must stop for birds migrating from south to north and vice versa from north to south between Africa and Europe. Fall and spring are the best season for bird-watching. At this small place on the road towards the border with the Kingdom of Jordan, you’ll find the best spots for this particular entertainment hobby.

Bird Watching Center
Botanical Gardens in Eilat

Botanical Gardens in Eilat

Located on a hill above Eilat within the red mountains is this botanical garden with lush tropical trees and plants.

It is a great escape from the scorching sun where the profusion of greenery blends with the surrounding bare desert.

Come here for a great evening stroll, when the heat has dissipated at the end of the day. The place is ideal for families with small kids, who love to explore everything new.

Things to do in Eilat

King's City Theme Park

All kids need a break from the beach. Eilat Israel has the perfect theme park with a Holy Land twist.

Inside the park you’ll find rides with historic themes, such as King Solomon in a water ride. All is centered around a Middle Eastern-style castle.

Mount Zefahot Trail

This is a circular hiking trail, north of the city of Eilat with panoramic views of Aqaba in Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. You may even see the shores and mountains of Saudi Arabia across the waters of the Red Sea.

Even though it takes about 4 hours to complete, if you are in good shape, don’t miss it.

Red Canyon

This hiking site on the way to the Egyptian border town of Taba is a great adventure treat for nature lovers.

It takes about 30 minutes to complete, but for those who want to explore further, there is a longer trail with a half-day duration through this pleasant wadi.

Hai-Bar Nature Reserve at Kibbutz Yotvata

Hai-Bar Nature Reserve at Kibbutz Yotvata

Go to Kibbutz Yotvata to visit this wildlife reserve established in 1963. This is a 10,000-acre park home to antelopes, wild asses, hyenas, ostriches, and a whole bundle of other desert creatures.

All the animals have been reintroduced to the wilderness here since the park was established with the aim of populating the area with animals that would have lived here in ancient times. It makes for a great day out from Eilat's beaches.

Things to do in Eilat

North Beach of Eilat where most hotels are located

North Beach of Eilat where most hotels are located

The # 1 attraction in Eilat, after all, are the beaches and people come here especially from Europe, looking for them. The most popular which was mentioned above is Coral Beach, located

Palm Beach and Village Beach are quieter and more laid-back and feature great cafés and restaurants.

And last but not least, the North Beach, where most of the hotels are located.

On all beaches there are sun loungers and sunshades for rent and all the facilities you could want for a day of swimming and sunbathing.

Things to do in Eilat

Map of the city of Eilat at the shores of the Red Sea

Map of the city of Eilat at the shores of the Red Sea

For more information visit Israel Tourism Offiicial Website

images for things to do in eilat

Underwater by ludvig14
timna by alex sheingait
dolphin by israel tourism
ice by israel tourism
coral beach by hoshvilim
bird by tiia monto
kings n/a
zefahot n/a
red canyon by matanya
hai bar by hoshvilim
beach by dr avishai teacher

All courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Things to do in Eilat

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