Eilat is the southernmost town in Israel, isolated from the rest of the country by the Negev desert. It is sprawled along 7 kilometers of Red Sea coastline, between the borders of Egypt and Jordan.
Eilat's first incarnation was as a port, used for importing goods from Asia, such as oil and vehicles. In the 1970s, tourists began visiting Eilat. They were attracted by the coral reefs, sandy beaches, and the dry and sunny desert climate. The town began to develop, and tourism has become its main industry, serving as a popular holiday destination for Israelis and foreigners alike.
Today, the 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) North Beach area is full of hotels. Eilat offers some of the best resorts and hotels in Israel. All the hotels are well-equipped with modern facilities and most of the hotels of the region offer variety of spa treatments.
Is your style luxury? Five star hotels (Magic Palace, Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba, Herods, Dan, Princess) are along the Eilat beaches.
The Tayelet promenade extends the length of the beach front and hosts numerous stalls, street artists, restaurants, and fashionable shops. The promenade has great views of the bay, and each evening it is full of strolling tourists.
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 going. A limited bus system serves the south beach, as well as the suburbs. Taxis prowl the streets looking for fares.
The southern beach, which has coral reefs, is protected by the Israel Nature Reserve Authority. It has many public beaches and excellent scuba diving centers. Whereas the northern beach is reachable by foot and walkable, the southern beach will necessitate transportation. The Navy and commercial ports lie between the south and north beaches.
- 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 the marine parks aquariums are sharks, sting rays and turtles, plus lots of multi colored Red Sea fish. The huge glass windows allow visitors to get a great view the tanks occupants. The Oceanarium simulator is also a lot of fun for kids - a little scary for the smaller ones though. All in all it's a nice family morning out.
- Dolphin Reef South Beach (3 km south of town towards the Egyptian border). It's a very nice beach with lots of small pools and rich shrubbery. It has a fantastic spa (relaxation pools) and is well worth a visit. For those who want to get up-close to a dolphin book your swim or dive as early in the morning as you can. The dolphins get weary of visitors as the day goes on. Piers leading out onto the water allow everyone to get as near to the dolphins - as the dolphins want.
- Kings City in Eilat is a biblical theme park in Eilat, which has been inaugurated in June 2006. Built over a 40,000 square feet area on three levels, the park resembles a king's palace. The palace has four sections: Journey to the Past, Cave of Illusions and Wisdom, Bible Cave and King Solomon Falls.
As an incentive there is no value-added tax in Eilat. Therefore many duty free shops line the boardwalk and culminate in a duty free shopping centre know as Mall HaYam (The Mall of the Sea). Top brands can be found, and it is joked that the first thing an Israeli does on before leaving Eilat is to fill up their petrol tank to the brim.
WELCOME to EILAT!