Over the years, the city of Eilat has become the ultimate resort city with hotels and beaches packed with thousands of Israeli vacationers and tourists from around the world, who come to relax in the country’s southernmost spot.
In the winter it mainly attracts tourists from Europe who prefer vacations in a warmer and more pleasant climate while Israelis flock to the city in the summer. The secret of this little city’s charm is its special location in the northern end of the Bay of Eilat. The combination of a hot climate, a tropical sea and a breathtaking background of wild, bare granite mountains has turned it into a tourist gem all the year round
Take Vegas’ hedonistic offering of luxury accommodations paired with Cancun’s music-blaring, skin-baring, party-hopping locales and throw in the Red Sea — a stretch of pure blue known the world over for its treasured diving sites and you’ve got Eilat. This tiny hot spot ebbs and flows with people throughout the year thanks to its perpetual sunny days and wild nights.
Situated on a sole land bridge between Asia and Africa, Eilat is the southernmost point of Israel. A beautiful coral reef runs along the Red Sea’s shores and serene granite mountains from the north form the impressive backdrop of the city. The Red Sea’s water temperature remains between 21-24 degrees Celsius (70-76 Fahrenheit) all year round.
The modern city of Eilat was established in 1950. In the early 1950s, a quay was built in the new city, and subsequently a port which became the basis for the new city’s economy. Towards the end of the 1960s, the tourism industry started developing in the city, and today Eilat is a paradise for tourists, travelers and vacationers.
The bay is one of the major attractions, thanks to the beautiful beaches, the developed water sports and some of the best diving spots in the world. In the south of the city is the Coral Reserve, with splendid tropical fish among the reefs. Within the precincts of the reserve is the Underwater Observatory, with a marine museum that displays collections of fascinating sea animals. Not far from the observatory is the Dolphin Reef with its resident school of dolphins.
The city’s many and varied restaurants suit all tastes, and there are also clubs, colorful shops and a promenade along the northern shoreline which holds vibrant bazaars during the summer. There are additional attractions for youngsters and families, such as an amusement park, a new “Kings City” (a high-tech theme park for all the family based on the Bible and Bible stories). Eilat also has an IMAXmovie theatre offering a 3-D experience, and many more leisure time activities.
The Arava region north of the city and the Eilat Mountains is an arid desert. But in between the exposed mountains there are many nature and beauty spots as well as archaeological and historical sites, which make Eilat a good starting point for special trips in the area, such as camel treks, jeep tours and more.
The calm surface of the bay is ideal for wind and water sports and numerous companies located near the marina will gladly rent to you a paddleboat, motorboat, parasail, sailboat or jet-ski. This hyper-fun cocktail of sea and sun, plus the annual Red Sea Jazz Festival that takes place in the vicinity every August, puts Eilat at the top of Israel’s most visited summer destinations. And although the city does get extra crowded, even the most private visitors can find a solitary refuge in this city.
How to get to Eilat
Some visitors arriving from Europe may land at Ovda airport (VDA) which is a 50 minute drive from Eilat. In that case, a special bus shuttle which stops at all major hotels will take you into the city.
Most international flights land in Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport).
There are a few options for transfer from Tel Aviv to Eilat:
1. Domestic flights by Israir and Arkia airlines – both have flights from Ben Gurion Airport and Sde Dov airport (small airport inside Tel Aviv) To Eilat. Eilat airport is located at the city center, and is a very short (5 minute) drive to most hotels. . There is an extra charge of 120 ILS each way for bike transfer.
2. By car – 3.5 hours drive
For domestic flights and car rentals you can check our special rates with our tour operator: [email protected]
3. By bus from Tel Aviv central station or Jerusalem central station
4. By train From the airport to Beer Seva and bus from Beer Seva to Eilat