Eilat is a port and resort in Israel, located in the south of the country, on the Red Sea. The city is known for its beaches, where visitors can swim in the calm waters and experience marine life. It’s a popular spot for Israeli families and Eastern Europeans to holiday. Between the beaches and other attractions including parks, nature reserves, and music festivals, Eilat offers plenty of ways to relax and enjoy the warm sun and the scenery. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Eilat!
1. Timna Park
Located about 17 miles (25 kilometers) north of Eilat is Timna Park. One of the world’s largest parks, it offers stunning desert views. Timna Park is about 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares), and the horseshoe-shaped valley is surrounded by steep cliffs. At the center is Mount Timna, the world’s first copper mine.
The main thing to do at Timna Park is to hike. There are short and long trails, so hikers of varying experience levels can have a good time. Take in the acacia trees, view the mines, and peer at the wild ibex looking down at you from the tops of cliffs. There’s even a lake—yes, a lake in the desert! You can rent a pedal boat and relax on the waters.
Address: 88000 Eilat, Israel
Website: Timna Park
2. Coral Beach Nature Reserve
Covering 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) of shore is the Coral Beach Nature Reserve. A nature reserve and park, it is the world’s northernmost shallow-water coral reef. From the shore is a wooden bridge which leads to the reef. The reef is home to a wide range of coral and tropical fish. Buoys mark underwater trails, perfect for snorkelers to explore. Snorkelling equipment can be rented.
Coral Beach Nature Reserve
Address: Coral Beach, Eilat, Israel
Website: Coral Beach Nature Reserve
3. Rak Dagim
When the hiking and snorkeling have worn you out, head to Rak Dagim to recharge. The restaurant’s name, meaning “only fish,” gives you a hint as to what you’re in for. There are seafood dishes aplenty!
There is a wide selection of fish to chose from, including grouper, sea bass, grey mullet, and much more, which can be served fried or grilled. You can try shrimp or calamari, and the menu also offers risotto and pasta. The restaurant is known for its friendly service and has plenty of glowing reviews. If you’re a seafood lover, Rak Dagim must be on your list of places to go in Eilat.
Address: Tarshish St 7, 88000 Eilat, Israel
Website: Rak Dagim
4. Dolphin Reef
Dolphin Reef gives you the chance to observe dolphins in their natural habitat. There are floating piers from which you can view the dolphins, and you can also go on a guided snorkeling tour or diving experience. There are also three heated relaxation pools, with rainwater, sea water, and Dead Sea Water.
The Dolphin Reef has an underwater photo center, a restaurant, a cafe, and a souvenir shop. The dolphins are not trained and there are no dolphin shows. They interact freely with visitors, swimming up to the piers and swimming alongside divers. Don’t miss this unique experience to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat!
Address: Southern Beach, POB 104 Eilat, 88100 Eilat, Israel
Website: Dolphin Reef
5. Red Sea Jazz Festival
Held annually in Eilat, the Red Sea Jazz Festival is a four-day event with concerts each evening, workshops, and jam sessions. The festival has been going since 1987, with outdoor performances dotting the Eilat Sea Port. The jam sessions are free and take place at the beach next to the port. The main event is held the last week of August, but there’s also a winter festival in February.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate the festival into your travel plans. There are vacation packages, a hotel which is used by many festival-goers, and a ticket to the festival also includes entry to the Dolphin Reef. The festival draws crowds from all over the world and features a wide range of jazz styles. If you like music, it’s most definitely worth trying to plan your trip to Eilat during the festival.
Red Sea Jazz Festival
Address: Eilat Port, Dock No. 9, Eilat, Israel
Website: Red Sea Jazz Festival
6. Botanical Garden Eilat
Eilat’s Botanical Garden is built on stone terraces and features unique plants from all over the globe. In the garden, you can enjoy a stream, waterfalls, walking trails, bird sanctuaries, and a rainforest. Yep, a rainforest in the middle of the desert!
Visitors can experience over 1,000 types of plants, bushes, and trees. There are also three viewpoints from which to look out onto the Red Sea and the surrounding mountains. There’s even a shop where you can purchase seeds and pots and a cafe to enjoy an organic coffee.
Botanical Garden Eilat
Address: Carmel St, 88118 Eilat, Israel
Website: Botanical Garden Eilat (in Hebrew)
7. Ice Space
If you’re feeling a bit overheated in Eilat, head to Ice Palace to cook down. Upon entrance, you’ll be given a coat, gloves, a hat, and shoes to keep you warm inside. You’ll then go into the main hall.
At -7 degrees Celsius (-19 Fahrenheit), the hall has ice sculptures and a slide made of ice. Have a go on the slide, and take a peek at the frozen polar bear and penguin sculptures. There’s also a frozen bar, making Ice Space a great spot to keep cool and down a couple drinks with friends. Just remember to give back your warm gear when you leave, or you’ll be roasting in the warm Eilat sun!
Address: Yam-Suf Tower Spiral House, Eilat, Israel
Website: Ice Space
8. Mosh's Beach
It wouldn’t be a list of things to do in Eilat without a beach! Mosh’s Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the city. With numerous restaurants, including loads of vegetarian options, and an excellent beach service, this is the spot to relax and soak up the sun.
Visitors love the food and drinks and enjoy the music. The beach is kept tidy and has a friendly atmosphere. What more could you want for a day at the beach! Take a dip in the Red Sea, come out for some food, and relax on the sand—now that’s enjoying Eilat!
Address: Mosh’s Beach, Eilat, Israel
Facebook page: Mosh’s Beach
Sun and scenery in Eilat
Eilat is an excellent choice for those who love the outdoors and a warm holiday. From relaxing on the beaches of the Red Sea to hiking in the desert, there are plenty of ways to take in the scenery this port town offers. Start booking your Eilat getaway today! Just make sure you remember the sunblock.
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