Eilat Travel Guide
Here, you’ll find the world’s most northerly coral reef, ancient mines, and spectacular canyons.
Come check out our comprehensive travel guide to Eilat as we cover the best things to do in Eilat, Israel.
This beach resort is best known for the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. See how vibrant the marine life is below the waves at the Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve. This park protects coral reefs by taking up a one-kilometre stretch of Eilat’s waterfront.
This park’s corals start just offshore. Rangers built two wooden bridges that extend out to “plunge zones” to protect these vulnerable specimens. Snorkelers use them to prevent their footsteps from killing these delicate organisms.
Once underwater, this marine ecosystem will treat your eyes to a visual feast, unlike any you’ve seen before. Despite being nearly 30 degrees above the equator, you’ll find corals at their northernmost range in the world.
Back on the beach, you’ll find plenty of space for a picnic. Self-cater from nearby supermarkets and bakeries, and have a lovely lunch underneath a shady canopy.
Don’t want to get wet, but still want to experience the splendour of aquatic Eilat? Pay a visit to the Coral World Underwater Observatory. This attraction takes advantage of the clarity of Red Sea water by boasting an observatory wholly underwater. In this room, you’ll see fish, turtles, sharks, coral, and other marine species, all in their natural habitat.
In addition, this attraction is also an aquarium. Throughout, you’ll find exhibits that show off 20,000 specimens from 850 marine species. Of note are the turtle/sting ray pools, and the rare fish exhibit. In the latter gallery, you’ll find Red Sea clownfish, sea horses, lobsters, and other hard-to-find species.
Keen to spend a day away from the beach? Head 30 kilometres inland to the Timna Valley. People have mined its cliffs since Biblical Times – as far back as 5,000 BC, to be exact. They were after its rich copper seams – perfect for everything from weapons to ornaments.
The mines remained productive until the 7th century AD when the Ummayad Caliphate finally abandoned them. These mines came back to life in modern times. They didn’t last long, though, as the establishment of a nature reserve in 2002 ended all prospecting activity.
Today, visitors can enjoy hikes amid hoodoos, natural arches, and towering cliffs. Occasionally, creative groups and musicians will hold performing arts events here as well. As you walk amidst these formations, keep your eyes peeled for rock drawings.
Red Canyon is another natural attraction worth visiting in the Eilat area. A slot canyon that draws comparisons to Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA, it is a short yet rewarding hike. Part of this trek is suitable for families, while its more extended version will challenge seasoned outdoorspeople.
This part of Israel is a hot desert. However, add water, and it can support a wide variety of flora. You’ll discover this region’s fertile potential at the Botanical Garden Of Eilat. Within its bounds, you’ll find more than 1,000 different species of tropical plant here.
Despite the arid climate, the garden’s creators managed to create a lush rainforest-like environment here. Located well out of town on a former military outpost, visitors will need to take a taxi to visit. They charge an admission fee of roughly 22 shekels, so ensure you have enough before visiting.
While the sand in Eilat is scarce and rough, that hasn’t stopped visitors and locals from embracing its beaches. Of all the available options, Mosh’s Beach is the most popular by far. Patrons love its ocean access, beach bar, vegetarian restaurant, and chilled-out vibes. Thanks to its late closing hours, it is a great place to watch the sun go down with newly-made friends.
Not into the loud, sociable nature of Mosh’s? Opt for Princess Beach instead. It sits across from the abandoned Princess Hotel – that may sound creepy, but it ensures a quieter beach experience. The owners of this private beach enforce this experience with an admission fee. It is worth it, though, as the party atmosphere of Eilat can make peace hard to find.
Services don’t exist here because of its isolated nature. As such, bring drinks, food, and other supplies to ensure a great visit to this beautiful place.
If you’re looking for wholesome things to do after dark, Eilat now has a Musical Fountain. After the sun goes down, it lights up in a kaleidoscope of colours. Every so often, a show goes off, with its jets of water reacting to accompanying music.
Sometimes, the searing 40-degree heat of a summer day in Eilat can be too much. Escape it by heading inside Ice Mall. In stark contrast to the desert heat outside, you’ll find an actual skating rink at its centre.