A resort town and bustling port, combining sea and desert, Eilat lies at Israel’s southernmost tip. Sixty minutes by plane from Tel Aviv, Eilat is situated amongst the wondrous scenery of the deep azure Red Sea and the multihued Edom Mountains. Eilat is a paradise for sea-sports fans who enjoy diving, water skiing, swimming and boating. It also has all the amenities of a modern resort - luxury hotels, fine restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, an international airport -plus VAT-free shopping (the city is a free trade zone). With its unlimited supply of sunshine, Eilat has a perfect climate. It almost never rains here- a mere half dozen days a year. Average daytime temperatures rarely dip below 21 C (70F), even in winter. The Red Sea beckons with irresistible appeal. The clear blue water is enticingly warm - even in mid-winter the average daytime water temperature stays above 20°C (68F). The calm surface of the sea is also ideal for boating activities: pedaloes, rowboats, kayaks and self-drive motor boats. You can take a one-hour or full-day cruise aboard one of the yachts that depart regularly from the Eilat Marina. Few sights can compare with the reefs seen through a snorkeling mask or from a glass-bottomed boat. Eilat is famous as a superb diving location. The magic of the coral world can also be enjoyed by total novices, with expert instruction available in snorkeling and scuba diving. Action fun is not restricted to water sports. There is tennis, squash, volleyball, racquet ball and bicycling. Many hotels have well-equipped gyms. For the more adventurous, there is rappelling on the craggy cliffs of the desert mountains, or mountain biking. Eilat forms part of the Eilat District - a region generously endowed by nature: mountains and plains in vivid colors, canyons of breathtaking beauty and wild landscapes.
PLACES OF INTEREST
A one-hour guided tour takes you to the depths of 30 - 60 meters on an unforgettable underwater tour of the Coral Nature Reserve. Operates daily except Sundays from the Underwater Observatory. It is advisable to make reservations in advance Sailing 10 am - 3.30 pm.
CORAL WORLD UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY
Eilat’s major tourist attraction is the Coral World Underwater Observatory and Aquarium, a living museum 20 feet under the sea. There are special pools where you can watch sharks, giant turtles and stingrays. In winter open Sun. - Thurs. & Sat. 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, in summer open Sun. - Thurs. & Sat. 8.30 am – 5 pm. On Fri. & holiday eves 8.30 am - 3 pm. Coral Beach, 5 km. from the town center. Bus 15 Tel. 07-6364200
CORAL BEACH RESERVE
Coral deposits and multicolored fish in an underwater nature reserve. Skin diving equipment for hire. Open in winter 9 am – 5 pm, Fri. 9 am - 4 pm, in summer 9 am – 6 pm, Fri. 9 am - 5 pm. Buses 15, 16. Tel. 07-6376829,
THE DOLPHIN REEF
At the Dolphin Reef you can watch dolphins and sea lions being trained, see the rare fish of the coral reef go snorkeling with the dolphins and enjoy the private bathing beach. South Beach. Open daily 9 am – 5 pm. Buses 15, 16. Tel. 07-6371846
TIMNA NATIONAL PARK
This park contains rare rock formations, the flawlessly preserved 6,000-year-old copper mines, and the famous Solomon‘s Pillars, natural sandstone formations in glowing pink shades. Nearby, a rock carving portrays Pharaoh Ramses III offering a sacrifice to the Egyptian goddess Hathor. Underneath it stands an Egyptian temple which was used by miners at the site thousands of years ago. At the entrance to the park, there is an audiovisual show. Open 7 days a week 7.30 am until nightfall. 30 km north of Eilat on the west side of the Arava Road.
Tel. 07-6356215, 6316756.
HAI-BAR BIBLICAL WILDLIFE RESERVE
This wildlife park is home to animals indigenous to the region in Biblical times, many of which are now rare. Open Sun. - Thurs. 8.30 am – 5 pm, Fri. & Sat. 8.30 am - 3 .30 pm. Tours of the reserve Sun., Tues., Thurs & Sat. every’ hour 10 am . 3 pm, Mon., Wed., Fri 10 am, 12 pm. North of Eilat by Kibbutz Samar. Tel. 07-6376018, 6373057
INTERNATIONAL BIRD WATCHING PARK
Eilat's location at the meeting point of Africa and Asia has made this the busiest migratory route in the world. The birdwatching park and sanctuary just northeast of the city is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of hundreds of different species. Office. Hatmarim Blvd. City Center Office Hours Sun. - Thurs. 9 am - 1 pm, 5 pm – 7 pm, Fri. 9 am – 1 pm. Tel. 07-6374276
FESTIVALS IN EILAT
· Music at the Red Sea – International Classical Music Festival, Jan. 22 - 25.
· Jazz at the Red Sea, International Jazz Festival, end of August
For further information - Art Center Tel. 07-6370044, 6370045
· Tourist Center. 07-6372111
· Eilat Airport: 07-6363838
· Ovda Airport: 07-6375880
· Marina (North Beach): 07-6376761
· Police. 07-6362444
· Transportation: Getting around in Eilat is easy. There are cabs, buses and rental cars, Mopeds and motorcycles, and there is even a sightseeing train. A great way to see the desert is on a jeep safari. Special all-terrain vehicles with experienced driver/guides will take you on a discovery trip for several hours or several days. Camel caravan tours are another way of learning the secrets of the desert Bedouin-style.