If you like sunshine and the sea, then Eilat is the destination for you! Located at the southern-most tip of Israel with the Red Sea bordering Egypt and Jordan, Eilat has become a popular seaside destination for tourists. Year-round sunshine, pristine beaches with water sports, nightlife, hiking, international music festivals, tax-free shopping and popular attractions such as the Dolphin Reef, this city attracts tourists from all over the world especially from Europe.
Places to stay
There are various types of accommodations for every budget, from budget-friendly hotels starting from 15 USD/night to luxurious hotels going up to 4,500 USD/night. Travellers looking for budget-friendly accommodations with a local flavour will find many listings on sites such as Airbnb. Eilat also has other affordable options of hostels for backpackers and families ranging from separate rooms to dormitories. Most of these hostels are near the city centre making it easy to get around.
Things to do
The main attraction of Eilat are the beaches with North beach and the South beach (Coral Beach) being the two most popular ones. At the beach, do not pass on the chance to stop and say hi to cute dolphins! The Dolphin Reef in Eilat offers tourists the opportunity to bserve dolphins in their natural habitat. The more adventurous tourists can opt for a closer interaction with the animals through guided scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. You can also visit the Underwater Observatory Museum for the most amazing marine life experience.
Located north of Eilat, the Harei Eilat (Eilat Mountains), is popular with hikers and nature lovers. This destination offers breath-taking views of the spectacular desert routes with the rich yellow, red and brown colours of the mountains’ rocky landscape.
You can also visit Petra in Jordan while in Eilat for one or two-day tours or opt to visit independently. Tours to Petra are available every day, however, for independent visits you must pre-arrange your visa from your home country.
For those looking for a few minutes of respite, Eilat has a Botanical Garden with waterfalls and wooden swings. The garden is on a hill and offers a welcoming cool shade on Eilat’s hot days.
The international Red Sea Jazz Festival which usually takes place over four days is another thing that will draw you to Eilat if you are a music lover. With travel restrictions still in place in many countries, monitor their website to see whether a festival will be held this year.
Covid-19 and travel restrictions
Domestic tourists with a negative COVID-19 test carried out a maximum of 72 hours before entry can visit Eilat.
Foreign tourists who have received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to visit from May 23, 2021. Only approved guided tours would be allowed into the country and by extension into the city of Eilat to limit the number of people entering per day. From July 2021, it is expected that other foreign tourists will also be allowed.
For more information on Eilat: www.eilat.city
Photos: Dafna Tal