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Eilat

The suggestive city between the Negev Desert and the Red Sea
Israel used to be considered only as a destination of religious pilgrimage (Holy Land, Jerusalem, Nazareth), but today the country has become an interesting tourist centre, attracting visitors to its beautiful cities along the coast, which include Eilat, a lively beach resort in the southern tip of Israel, served by a convenient airport.
 
 
Located between the Negev Desert and the Red Sea, the city offers spectacular views and places to walk or take part in sports, such as the very lovely Eilat Marina Beach, which has a tropical feel and lively night life, or the enchanting Coral Beach Natural Reserve, over a kilometre long, where you can admire exquisite colourful fish and brightly hued corals.
 
 
Sporting activities range from relaxing strolls to scuba diving or triathlon (swimming, cycling and running): the Israman Eilat Competition takes place each year and is considered one of the best in the world. A lovely place to walk or cycle is Boulevard Eilat, which offers an explosion of colours that range from the brilliant green of the palms and manicured lawns to the bright white of the buildings.
 
The beaches
The calming holiday atmosphere, mild year-round climate, welcoming tourist accommodation, friendliness and warmth of the people make Eilat Israel’s pride and joy, not just for beach holidays, but also for the numerous cultural activities on offer, such as the Red Sea Jazz Festival.
 
Negev Desert
Art, music, dance and shows bring joy to tourists and locals alike throughout the year. Camel rides or off-road driving trips can be organised in the nearby Negev Desert to the north of the city to watch the spectacular sunset. Other interesting sites include Timna ParkRed Canyon and Mount Solomon.
 
Even in the past, Eilat’s position, in a large bay, was of strategic importance, and since ancient times it has been used as a port, even at the time of the legendary King Solomon, who built a large fleet of ships here (event noted in the Old Testament) when the city was called Ezion-Geber: ships left for the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa to trade copper from the nearby mines of Timna.
 
 
Eilat, destination of the Jewish people of the Biblical Exodus led by Moses after their departure from Egypt, is still Israel’s only port on the Red Sea. The sea and ancient stories from the time of the Bible cohabit in this exciting city, among entertainment and spirituality.
 
The marine parks
Spiaggia dei Delfini
 
Places well worth visiting are the interesting Underwater Observatory with the Marine Museum and Beach of the Dolphins, as well as King City, a theme park inspired by biblical stories and one of the city’s favourite attractions, which is set in a wonderful palace.
 
Musical Fountain
Musical Fountain
Another spectacle to enjoy is the extraordinary ‘Musical Fountain’, which has very high jets of water of different colours that seem to dance in time to the music like ballerinas.
 
Today the city of Eilat, with its unique cultural, artistic and environmental heritage, has some 3 million visitors a year.
 
The specialties of Eilat
Its cuisine is also healthy and wholesome, with high quality ingredients such as olive oil and flavoursome French-like cheeses, such as goat’s cheese. Market stalls offer every type of tasty delight, such as olives flavoured with coriander, paprika or lemon, or dried fruit and in particular sweet, soft dateshummus, an import from the Middle East, as well as local sweets such as Baklava, made of pastry, honey and dried fruit. In addition, the local wines, some of which have been produced for about 5,000 years (as various archaeological sites prove) and which, since the end of the twentieth century have won awards for their high quality.
 
Dates
Hummus
Baklava
 
Where to sleep in Eilat

 

Eilat is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

 

STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
 
AIRPORTS
Hotels near the airports
 
In the surroundings
Dead Sea
 
Lastly, don’t miss a trip to the Dead Sea, a source of well-being and health that helps treat various illnesses as well as being a beauty tonic for the skin.
 
Text by Anna Glik
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: new.goisrael.com
All rights reserved. Copyright © Sisterscom.com
 
 
Tourism Board
new.goisrael.com
eilat.city/en
WHERE TO GO
Museum
EILAT IRI MUSEUM
Founded by a group of enthusiastic residents, the Eilat Iri Museum tells the story of the economic, historic, industrial and tourist development of the city in three rooms filled with important objects and hundreds of photos.
 
Escursioni
CORAL BEACH NATURE RESERVE
The Coral Beach Nature Reserve of Eilat is found in the south of the city and offers a fantastic experience for the whole family. Here scuba divers can see close up unique examples of tropical fish and multi-coloured corals; there is also a glass-bottomed boat available.
UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY - MARINE PARK
The Underwater Observatory is a must-see destination for visitors to Eilat. Here they can see an array of multi-coloured fishcorals of every type, aquatic plants and marine turtles, and there’s even a shopping area.
 
BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Botanical Garden is a spectacular place hidden in the far north of Eilat. It features waterfallspaths, a unique rain forest area, and is built on stone terraces in ancient biblical style. It is a truly magical place where the whole family can relax.
 
DOLPHIN REEF
Dolphin Reef is located on the beach in the south of Eilat and offers numerous activities: swimming, diving with dolphins, hydrotherapy treatments in the Relaxation Pools, nature film showings, activities for children, a centre for underwater photography, restaurants and a souvenir shop. It also holds shows and parties and is accessible to disabled people.
 
PORT AND CRUISE
The Port of Eilat is worth a visit because, although an ancient port, it was here that tourism in modern Eilatbegan, which brought many tourists from all over the world to discover the state of Israel. The new city, in fact, developed between the fifties and sixties and the new port is a now a well-equipped refuge for pleasure and fishing boats. A way to experience the very beautiful Red Sea is on a day-cruise on one of the many yachts that leave from the Port of Eilat. From romantic private cruises to parties on board tourist cruises, this is one of the most exclusive and fun things to do in Eilat.
TIMNA PARK
Just 25 kilometres from Eilat is the fascinating Timna Park, a place where nature creates a spectacle with unusual shapes and colours of rocks (red, pink, yellow, orange) that change with variations in the light. King Solomon’s copper mines, a metal that brought riches to the king and the entire country, were also located here. Don’t miss Solomon’s Pillars and the Ancient Arch.
 
 
NEGEV DESERT
The Negev Desert covers an area of 13,000 m2 and is a charming place full of surprises. Don’t miss a visit to Masada Fort, commissioned by King Herod the Great, or to the Ramon Crater, the largest in the world, and to finish, a trip to a unique place, Sde Boker, the Kibbutz in the desert where the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, lived for 20 years with his wife. Today the nearby Kibbutz, where his bodyguard lived, is a museum holding the archive and private library of the statesman, which houses some 5,000 volumes. The area is the site of farms and wineries producing fine wines.
DEAD SEA
Improperly called a sea, the Dead Sea is in fact a very unique salty lake. The lowest on Earth, below sea level by 400 metres, its mineral-rich mud has healing properties (skin, respiratory and nervous system problems) and can be gathered by hand on the shore. If you prefer a spot of pampering there are also many wellness centres around the lake, such as the Dead Sea Mineral Beach.
 
 
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