By Daniel Andreas S.
Eilat is located at the south most point of Israel, borders with Egypt and Jordan (with Saudi Arabia clearly visible in the distance), on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba which is the northeast part of the Red Sea. Rather isolated from the rest of Israel thanks to vast mountains and desert, the next nearest large city is two and a half hours drive north. A short flight from Greece, Bulgaria or Romania, Eilat is an alternative to other seaside resorts. Tourism is big in Eilat and you are bound to see groups of people from all over the world, including Israelis from other parts of the country coming down south for a relaxing vacation. There are countless things to do, and some highlights are: book an excursion to Petra, go snorkeling or diving, take a day cruise down the Red Sea, visit Sharm Al Sheikh (south of Sinai peninsula), so hiking, go shopping, walk along the boardwalk, swim with the dolphins, check out the underwater observatory… The list goes on.
OVERRATED (Be warned!):
-As attractive as it may seem, consider not going to Eilat in the summer due to the extreme heat. It could sometimes get so hazardous that even the most experienced local hikers suffer sunstrokes. Be prepared and protect yourself with plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, sunglass, and comfortable loose clothing. It gets unforgivingly bright and hot during the summer months!
-This is a small city and it is very easy to get around by foot, so there is no real need to take a taxi and risk being ripped off. Many local taxi drivers are often tempted to scam tourists by overcharging. Do your research and question the prices if taking a taxi.
-The busiest beaches along the boardwalk are not necessarily the best beaches. The beautiful corals and exotic fish perished over 35 years ago. You could catch a foam party on the beach if that’s your thing, but the cleanest and most beautiful beaches are a ten minute drive outside the city towards the Egyptian border (“Taba”). Over there, you will see colourful corals still full of life as well as unique fish. Beware however of the rocks and stones on the shore! They can get sharp and/or hot, so wear your sandals.
UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts):
-Eilat does not only have some superb beaches and attractions, but it is also surrounded by a range of mountains with breathtaking views. Go on a hike to explore the mountains or book a tour, and it will seem like a whole new world.
-The underwater observatory and the “Dolphin Reef” may at first appear to be overrated attractions, but they in fact are worth a visit!
-Not all the greatest restaurants are located around the cluster of hotels you will see. Some superb restaurants and pubs are found deeper in the city among more residential areas, where you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see such great establishments.
Ever been to Eilat? What did you find overrated/underrated? Leave a comment below with your opinion!