Renowned for being a city of sun and fun, Eilat boasts sparkling azure waters and gentle breezes, but its resort-like vibe also belies a rich history.
Eilat is Israel’s port gateway to the east, positioned snugly between the Red Sea and the Negev desert. It attracts tourists from over 100 countries to its extensive beaches, high-end resorts, and noteworthy shopping areas.
Its historic past can be traced through archaeological evidence as far back as 7 BC. Ancient Egyptian texts mention extensive trading and mining operations across the Red Sea as early as 3000 BC. And biblical texts—notably the Book of Exodus and 1 and 2 Kings—mention Eilat (or Elath) as being a place of importance, particularly involving shipbuilding and trade.
When visiting Eilat, there is no shortage of sites and activities for people of all ages. And with some international flights now able to fly directly to Eilat, these options are now more easily accessible than ever.
Located on the shores of the Red Sea, there is Dolphin Reef, a unique interactive experience which offers the opportunity to swim alongside dolphins in their native environment. Be sure to add the Coral World Underwater Observatory Park to your list to view the beautiful coral reef-rich waters, as well as the vast and colorful marine life.
At the heart of Eilat, however, is its sun and sea, and the options for activities are endless. With parasailing, scuba diving, boat tours, and nature treks—just for starters—Eilat is guaranteed to offer you an unparalleled experience.
Less than 20 miles north of Eilat, is the stunningly beautiful Timna Valley National Park. Known primarily for its unusual geological features, it was also one of the earliest copper mining settlements in the world, tracing its roots to as early as 6 BC. Archaeological excavations indicate that the copper mines were most likely part of the Kingdom of Edom, known as the biblical foes of the Israelites during King Solomon’s reign. Over 10,000 mining shafts have been discovered in the Timna Valley.
Head a bit further north to Mitzpe Ramon, a town seated on the edge of the spectacular Ramon Crater, a site considered to be Israel’s Grand Canyon. The crater—or makhtesh—was actually created through centuries of erosion, not as the result of a volcanic eruption or meteor.
Arguably the most popular resort city in Israel, this bustling port is the Holy Land’s jewel of the south and is filled with attractions that will bring you back for more than one visit!