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Eilat is an oddity in Israel, because it has so many tourists (many of the tourists are still Israelis). Located at the southern, Eilat is first and foremost a resort town these days, devoted to sun, fun, diving, partying and desert-based activities.
The climate is arid, with moderate humidity. Summertime highs often reach 38°C and winter lows dip as low as 8°C
Eilat Airport (ETH) is right in the middle of the city. Flights to Tel Aviv are frequent and take only 50 minutes, but expect to pay around NIS 250 for a one-way trip. However, tourists can arrive in Eilat on charter or low-cost flights via the Ovda International Airport (VDA), also known as Uvda, 65 km (40 miles) and nearly a 50 min drive from town. As of March 2016, Egged operate a regular bus number 282 from Ovda, costing NIS21.5 one way. This service meets all scheduled flights and operates also on Saturday.
Please beware that if flying into Ovda your passport will be stamped as routine. Unlike Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, which has discontinued stamping in favour of paper slips since 2013, Ovda does not have this system in place. Therefore if you think that an Israeli stamp may cause you difficulty, consider flying to Ben Gurion to avoid any worry.
In winter season (Oct-Mar) Ryanair operates four direct routes to/from Eilat Ovda, with flights from Krakow, Bratislava, Budapest & Kaunas for as low as 10 EUR one-way.
All buses in Eilat leave from the Central Bus Station on HaTemarim Boulevard.
Egged express buses drive from Tel Aviv (390/394) and Jerusalem (444) to Eilat hourly, the trip takes around 5 hours and costs NIS 75 one way (60 for students) or 128 NIS for a return ticket. It's advised to buy tickets in advance because assigned seating is in use.
From the Taba, Egypt border crossing take local bus number 16 to the central station for 4.20 NIS.
By car or taxi
There are a couple of ways to drive from Tel Aviv to Eilat. One is via Mitzpe Ramon. Another nice alternative is from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea via Arad, stay a couple of days there or just make a short stop and then continue to Eilat.
Taxi from the Aqaba, Jordan border crossing is around 35 NIS. A taxi from Aqaba to the crossing is around 5 JOD.
A taxi from Nuweiba, Egypt to the Taba border crossing takes 50 minutes and costs around 110 EGP.
Central Eilat, that is the Promenade Area and vicinity of the central square can be covered on foot, although during the summer the scorching temperatures make walking around unpleasant. Only the closest public beaches are a sweaty stroll from the center, and dive sites will require motorised/bus going.
What to see
The main beach is in the North beach, and many of the major hotels are situated here. The south beach area is protected by the Israel Nature Reserve authority, but recent years have seen a decline in the marine life and reef quality. Fortunately, since the removal of the controversial fish cages from the Gulf water in 2008, a steady recovery of corals has been seen at all dive sites. While many divers head south to the Egyptian Sinai coast to Dahab or Sharm el-Sheikh, to experience better diving conditions, many divers still prefer Eilat, with far smaller crowds, interesting macro life and easy, unpressured surface entries.
Coral Beach - is the best place for scuba diving and located here are some of the best dive clubs in Israel offering technical diving courses, rebreather, nitrox, tri-mix etc.. The whole coastal area is protected by the nature reserve authority and divers are expected to follow regulations. The south beach is a great place for snorkeling, windsurfing and kite-surfing plus it has fantastic views over the bay.
Underwater Observatory. - One of Eilat's most popular attractions is a good way to view the Red Sea marine life without getting wet. It's white tower (Eilat's most famous landmark) offers great views above water and goes below the surface where the marine life is seen in two underground rooms.
Dolphin Reef, South Beach (3 km south of town towards the Egyptian border). Not just a tourist trap, the staff actually works to rehabilitate dolphins for life in the open sea - from whence they came. However in the past, the occasional release of the dolphins into the bay resulted in the immediate consumption of many of the nearby coral reef's inhabitants.
"What's Up" The Observatory of Eilat and the Arava, "What's Up" has begun a new show. With the addition of a special camera we can show you the deep sky as well as the moon and planets on a computer screen rather then through the eyepiece of the telescope. We can now collect photons in a way the eye could never do and see the wonders of the sky in living color.
Hai Bar a spectacular Zoo that its mission is to train animals to live in wild conditions to be released again into the wild, includes animal such as the Ostrich and the Arabian Oryx.
Timna Valley - The Timna Valley is located in southern Israel in the southwestern Arabah, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of the Gulf of Aqaba and the town of Eilat.
Eilat Mountains Nature Reserve - the most attractive nature reserve in the Negev Desert, climbing the high mountains of Eilat and take a wonderful view of Eilat and Aqaba, the Fauna includes Striped Hyena, Wolfs, Foxes, Caracal, Rock Hyrax, Dorcas Gazelle and Nubian Ibex
See separate article about Eilat beaches
The Negev desert surrounds Eilat and its scenic Eilat Mountains Nature Reserve has some of the most spectacular desert routes in Israel. Trails include ancient trading routes and the Great Rift Valley. Desert Hiking, 4x4 jeep tours and camel treks are major attractions in this area of the Negev desert.
Every summer, the Red City music festival is held in Eilat (sponsored by 99 ESC radio station.) This beach festival is held on the beach and consists of consecutive days of all night performances (Hip-Hop, rock and especially trance)
Red Sea Jazz Festival This annual event takes place in the last week of August and Jazz musicians from all over the world come to Eilat, for a week of fun, sun and lots of Jazz.
Kite surfing, Club Med Beach. Eilat is one of the best locations in the world for learning how to kitesurf. The weather and sea conditions are perfect for beginers with steady northern winds and a calm sea. KiteXEilat offers various beginners classess.
Scuba Diving (Lucky Divers), Simtat Tsukim 5. No license and no experience necessary SCUBA diving. As is legal in Eilat, an experienced dive master will accompany you on what could be your first ever SCUBA experience.
Snorkeling, Along the southern beach (anywhere public). If you don't want to splurge on SCUBA diving you can still see a clown fish or two by snorkeling along the south beach. You can rent the equipment usually from a Kiosk nearby. Rental of snorkel and flippers 25 NIS.
nightmare horror maze, derch yotam 1 (new tourism center). Fun and crazy horror maze!