Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, is a popular resort town known for its stunning Red Sea beaches, vibrant nightlife, and outdoor adventures. For those pondering things to do in Eilat, exploring the underwater world at the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, home to a vibrant coral reef and diverse marine life, and visiting the Dolphin Reef, where you can swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, are top activities.
The city’s Timna Park offers a unique desert experience with its ancient copper mines and iconic sandstone formations, including Solomon’s Pillars. Nearby, the Eilat Promenade provides a lively atmosphere with its array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, all with a stunning sea view.
Beyond its natural and recreational attractions, Eilat is also celebrated for its duty-free shopping and warm climate, attracting visitors year-round. For those seeking the best places to visit in Israel, Eilat’s blend of beachside relaxation, outdoor adventures, and vibrant atmosphere makes it a compelling destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Eilat, Israel
1. Coral Beach Nature Reserve
The Coral Beach Nature Reserve in Eilat is a protected area that preserves a stunning coral reef and an array of marine life. Visitors can snorkel or dive to explore the vibrant underwater world, getting up close to colorful corals, fish, and other sea creatures. The reserve also features an underwater observatory, allowing even non-divers to experience the beauty of the Red Sea.
Travel Tip: Rent snorkeling gear on-site and make sure to wear sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong.
2. Timna Park
Located about 25 kilometers north of Eilat, Timna Park is a vast desert park that features incredible natural formations, ancient mining shafts, and the world’s oldest copper mines. Visitors can hike, bike, or drive through the park to see attractions like Solomon’s Pillars, the Mushroom, and the impressive Chariots rock drawings.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day, and bring plenty of water.
3. Dolphin Reef
Dolphin Reef in Eilat offers a unique opportunity to observe and swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. The site features a floating pier that allows visitors to watch the dolphins play and interact, and guided swimming and diving encounters are also available.
Travel Tip: Book your dolphin swim or dive in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability.
4. Eilat Promenade
The Eilat Promenade is a lively waterfront area lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, and it’s a great place to take a stroll, enjoy a meal, or do some shopping. The promenade also offers stunning views of the Red Sea and the surrounding mountains.
Travel Tip: Visit in the evening when the area comes alive with street performers, and the cooler temperatures make for a pleasant walk.
5. King’s City
King’s City is a biblical-themed amusement park in Eilat that offers a variety of attractions and experiences for visitors of all ages. The park features interactive exhibits, 3D films, and rides, all centered around stories and characters from the Bible.
Travel Tip: King’s City is popular with families, so it can get busy, especially during holidays and weekends. Plan to visit during off-peak hours if possible.
6. Eilat Mountains Nature Reserve
The Eilat Mountains Nature Reserve offers some of the most spectacular desert scenery in Israel, with rugged mountains, deep canyons, and vast open spaces. There are a variety of hiking and biking trails suited to different fitness levels, and the scenery is simply breathtaking.
Travel Tip: Guided tours are available and are a great way to learn more about the desert’s geology, flora, and fauna.
7. Princess Beach
Princess Beach is one of the quieter beaches in Eilat, located a bit south of the city. It’s known for its clear waters and the beautiful coral reef that is accessible right from the shore.
Travel Tip: Bring your snorkeling gear, as this is a great spot to explore the underwater world.
8. Ice Mall Eilat
The Ice Mall Eilat is a unique shopping center that features an Olympic-sized ice skating rink in its center. Besides skating, visitors can shop in a variety of stores, dine in restaurants, and enjoy other entertainment options.
Travel Tip: Even if you’re not interested in ice skating, the mall’s cool temperatures provide a welcome respite from the Eilat heat.
9. Underwater Observatory Marine Park
The Underwater Observatory Marine Park in Eilat allows visitors to get a glimpse of the Red Sea’s rich marine life without getting wet. The park features an observatory tower, a shark tank, a turtle and stingray pool, and a variety of other marine exhibits.
Travel Tip: Check the feeding times for the sharks and turtles to enhance your visit.
10. Eilat Birds Watching Park
Eilat Birds Watching Park is a sanctuary for migratory birds, providing a place for them to rest and feed during their long journeys. Visitors can walk through the park’s trails and hides to observe a variety of bird species.
Travel Tip: Spring and autumn are the best times to visit for bird watching, as these are the peak migration seasons.
FAQ About Things to Do in Eilat, Israel
What are some must-visit places in Eilat?
In Eilat, you shouldn’t miss the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, Dolphin Reef, and the Underwater Observatory Marine Park. The vibrant sea life and coral reefs are unparalleled.
Can I go snorkeling or diving in Eilat?
Absolutely! Eilat is renowned for its clear waters and abundant marine life, making it a perfect destination for snorkeling and scuba diving, with many services offering guided experiences.
Is there an opportunity for desert tours near Eilat?
Yes, Eilat is a gateway to the Negev Desert, and you can embark on jeep tours, camel rides, or even hike in the scenic Eilat Mountains.
What are the best activities for families in Eilat?
Families will enjoy the Kings City theme park, the Eilat Botanical Garden, and interactive experiences at the What’s Up Observatory. There are also lovely beaches that cater to families with young children.
Are there any water sports available in Eilat?
Yes, Eilat offers a wide range of water sports, including windsurfing, kite surfing, paddleboarding, and water skiing. Equipment rental and lessons are readily available along the beaches.
Where can I find the best views of Eilat?
For the best panoramic views, visit the Eilat Mountain Lookout Point. Alternatively, take a hike to the Red Canyon for stunning natural scenery.
What shopping options are there in Eilat?
Eilat’s shopping scene includes the Mall Hayam Eilat, a tax-free shopping mall, and the Eilat Market for local crafts and souvenirs. Luxury brands and boutiques can also be found in the city’s hotels.
Are there any nature reserves to visit in Eilat?
Yes, apart from the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, you can visit the Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve to see wildlife in their natural habitat, including desert animals like the Arabian Oryx and African wild ass.