At first glance, Eilat may not leave the best impression, with its sprawling Hotel Zone and industrial-looking port nearby. But if you delve beneath the surface and explore further, you’ll discover a city that can surprise you.
Surrounding areas of Eilat are truly breathtaking, housing numerous hidden gems.
While these gems may not be concealed from tourists in the strictest sense, they still possess an allure that may not be immediately apparent.
Eilat has many luxurious hotels that line the beach as well as restaurants and shopping malls. The hotels are fully booked in July and August. Tourists from all over the world go there throughout the year because of the hot and dry climate (very little rain).
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The history of Eilat
The history of Eilat is relatively recent, with its development taking place in the latter half of the 20th century. While the surrounding area, as evidenced by Timna Park, has a much older history dating back to approximately 5000 BCE or earlier, the city of Eilat itself had humble beginnings.
In 1948, when the British Palestine mandate ended, the location of Eilat was occupied by a deserted outpost called Umm Rashrash. It was during the Arab-Israeli War that Israel recognized the strategic importance of this area, providing access to the Red Sea, and effortlessly gained control over it.
Following the war, the Israeli government utilized economic incentives to encourage Jewish settlers to relocate to this remote region. This led to a rapid increase in the population of Eilat as people started to establish their lives there.
The significance of the port continued to grow during subsequent events such as the Suez Crisis and the Six-Day War.
Today, tourism plays a vital role in Eilat’s economy, attracting thousands of visitors each year who come to experience the city’s offerings.
Discover Best Things to do in Eilat
When you go to Eilat, you have to be prepared for extreme temperatures! In summer, the 40°C is easily reachable in the shade, but the red sea always at 18°C at all times of the year will refresh you in an instant!
1. Swimming with wild dolphins
Thrill seekers can swim in the presence of free-roaming dolphins . Each diver swims in pairs with an instructor. The latter teaches the student the basics of scuba diving, in particular how to communicate under water or to evacuate the water from the mask or the regulator.You can book this unforgettable experience here.
2.Various water activities, such as snorkeling and scuba diving
3. Visit Timna National Park for an exceptional hiking adventure amidst stunning natural landscapes
4. Embark on a memorable camel ride through the desert landscape
4. Take a day trip to Petra in Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at its architectural wonders carved into the rock
Visit iconic and historic Petra from Eilat on full-day, guided tour with lunch included. Head through the sandstone Siq on route one of the world’s seven wonders built by the Nadateans of Jordan some 2000 years ago. Behold the Treasury monument as well as ancient crypts, mourning halls, baths, and temples. Stand in a 3000-seat Roman theatre built in 1st-century BC and watch the nearby mountains change colours throughout the day.
5.Take glass bottom boat cruise
Witness the hidden world of the Red Sea without the need to swim, snorkel or dive on a 2-hour glass-bottom boat trip from Eilat. Settle in the boat’s open or shaded areas, and gaze through the glass panels as you cruise to Taba and back. Admire shoals of exotic fish, float over technicolor corals, and watch for rays and turtles, all in their natural environment. Along the way, learn about the marine life and landscapes from the live guided commentary.
6. Enjoy leisurely strolls along Eilat’s Tayelet, where you can explore the vibrant Souk, visit attractions, and savor delicious meals at luxury restaurants or snack bars.
7. Experience the lively atmosphere at the Three Monkeys pub/dance hall, known for hosting international music groups and providing memorable entertainment.
These activities offer a diverse range of experiences that will enrich your visit to Eilat.