If you are traveling around Israel, you definitely cannot miss to go to EILAT. That Red Sea town with so many beautiful beaches, amazing corals and undersea , multiple snorkel and diving activities, animal diversity, a unique geographical placement (it is bordering with two touristic countries: Jordan and Egypt); Eilat turns out to be an incredible place. A place in which you will enjoy the nature, environment, and the views. Just relax and enjoy Eilat! 😊
HOW TO GET TO EILAT?
Mind the Shabbat
First of all, before planning your trip to EIlat, as well to any other place around Israel, MIND THE SHABBAT. The Shabbat,is one day that takes place between Friday’s sunset and Saturday’s sunset that because of the Jewish tradition, people are not allowed to work which directly affects to the public transport. Therefore, NO BUSES or other public transport is running on that period of the week.
From TEL AVIV
From MIZPE RAMON
If you are traveling from Mizpe Ramon you can take the bus 392 (it runs twice per day, one in the early morning and other in the afternoon). You take it in Sde Boker bus stop and it takes 2.30h journey. The bus from Mizpe Ramon to Eilat costs 39NIS, so around 10€.
Flying to Eilat
If your plan is to travel to Eilat when landing to Israel, you also have the choice to land here. Eilat has an airport, called “Eilat Airport” which is placed next to the center of the city
WHERE TO STAY?
Affordable places to stay at:
Even if Eilat is not a massively touristic place (not popular destination for foreigners), or at least its main tourism is based on local people (from Israel), Eilat is not a cheap. As the rest of the country, Eilat’s high prices easily surpass the one’s of Tel Aviv.
The touristic infrastructure in Eilat is mostly oriented towards a luxury/rich public, because its majority of hotels are luxury hotels that cost an average of 500$/night. But even that fact, I can assure you that you still can go for a couple of days on a budget.
There’s few hostels which offer some good deals. Just try to book all of them with enough time, as there’s not so many affordable accommodation’s offers and all the hostels get easily fully booked. That happened to my friend and I, because we just decided to go to Eilat one day before actually going there. That means finding an affordable place to sleep at became a real struggle.
First night in Eilat: Migdalor Beach camping
During the first night, we stayed at Migdalor beach which is one of the southern most beaches of Eilat, and it’s placed very close to the border with Egypt. The other problem we found is that we didn’t mind the Shabbat, and that means that we arrived just on it’s starting time (on Friday’s afternoon). That means, any bus was running in order to get to that camping, so we had to hitchhike. By the way, hitchhiking in Israel is in general safe.
In Migdalor beach there’s a camping that you can rent in Airbnb, and it will be okay for only staying one night. If you are in a budget (it costed only 35NIS to sleep there – 8,5€) and you’d like to sleep in a beach surrounded by the nature. Nearby the sea with amazing corals, sharing everything with everyone, and cooking shakshuka with a butane cylinder, then this place can fit your needs. But as I said, I won’t spend more than a night there as it is very basic place to stay at.
The place is next to Coral beach, one of the most known and interesting beaches in Eilat.
Second Night in Eilat: "Palma Diving resort"
For the second night, we stayed in Palma Diving resort which was closer to the city center and hence further from the southern most beaches of Eilat. It is a nice house, that rents some rooms, but you can use its pool and huge common areas as the garden, the big dinning room and kitchen. We only paid 80NIS for a night, which is only 20€. Was worth it.
WHAT TO VISIT?
1. Coral Beach
First of all, go to the Coral Beach. This is one of the most important beaches in Eilat because it has an amazing and protected undersea, with beautiful corals and blue water color. It is a good spot if you want to snorkel, although its entrance costs 35NIS- around 9€. Yes, unfortunately you need to pay to visit all the beaches in Eilat. But as I said, it is not a cheap destination, but I’m sure you’re time there will be nice and worth it.
Also, they do student discounts, so you might have your student card with you and get a 15% discount on the entrance prices.
2. Dolphin beach-reef
Visit the Dolphin beach, or Dolphin Reef, also placed in the southern part of Eilat, very close to the Coral Beach. That beach, was even more impressive than the Coral Beach. It is a huge natural space around the beach with lot of exotic animals around, above all dolphins, in a sea restricted area.
You can see them from many places, and even dive with them but the price of doing so it’s very expensive. The entrance to Dolphin Beach is 75NIS (almost 20€) but they do student discounts and you can get for only 55NIS. You can spend the whole day there, there’s a nice restaurant area, with terrace and beautiful views.
3. Underwater Observatory park
It is placed right next to the border with Egypt. We didn’t have time to go there, but many people told us is also really worth it.
4. Do a camel ride
You can start the ride from almost any point of the city and its roads, as there’s people walking around with the camels and offering rides that only costs 20NIS for 10-15 minutes.
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