Escape to Eilat: best activities in Israel’s top resort town
On top of their crazy nightlife and quality restaurants, Eilat—Israel's ultimate tourism city—offers a multitude of attractions for visitors of all ages and tastes: from laid-back beaches and soothing spas that give the Dead Sea a run for its money to non-stop activities both in and out of the crystal clear waters, world-class shows, and even two ice centers for the ultimate escape from the heat. And as if that isn’t enough, Israel’s largest jazz festival comes to town twice a year at winter and in the summer time. To make your utopic getaway to Eilat even better, we’ve rounded up a list of things to do in the area - here are our picks.
Eilat Eats: the best resort town restaurants
While Tel Aviv and Jerusalem boast some of the finest restaurants in Israel and Haifa is home to some incredible seafood and Middle Eastern cuisine, down south, the restaurants are pulling out all the stops. Whether you’ve had an action-packed day of exploring the south, or some much needed R&R at the spa, you’ll want to recharge with good eats. Eilat boasts some wonderful restaurants that hit the spot. Here’s a list of the best restaurants in Israel’s top resort town:
Eilat Nightlife: five top bars and clubs
Whether you spend your days being active in Eilat while Snuba diving in the coral reefs and ice skating at only ice mall in Israel, or at your Eilat hotel taking in the poolside rays, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. What Eilat’s nightlife establishments lack in numbers, they make up for in party personality. Taking the motto 'go hard or go home' to heart, the bars and clubs that line the southern promenade promise to impress even the most Tel Avivian of night owls. From dually-owned open air nightclubs, Selena and Crazy Elephant, to casual pub staples like Three Monkeys and the American-themed Mike’s Place, you’ll be glad you stayed up to be part of the action.
Underwater Eilat: diving down south
Eilat is one of the top vacation spots in Israel due to the beautiful beaches of the Red Sea. It is also known as one of the most beautiful places for diving in the world, due to its coral formations containing over 250 species of coral and over 1,200 species of fish. The warm weather year round makes it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the cold. Visitors from around the world travel to Eilat to marvel at the underwater paradise. There are options for beginners and experienced, certified divers alike to explore the glorious crystal clear blue waters. We’ve collected some options for those looking to submerge in the south. Shulamit’s Eilat Diving Adventures © Shutterstock Shulamit’s is perfect for anyone looking to learn or advance their diving skills. They teach in small groups of up to four people so that every student gets the personal attention and customized level they need. Courses are taught in English, Hebrew, German, French and Russian, making diving accessible to almost every traveler. The dive center is located in a quiet Eilat neighborhood, but just a 5-10 minute drive to various dive sites along Eilat’s South Beach. Students will have the opportunity to dive at various coral reef sites during the course. Contact: 054-4758525 Address: 34 HaTsaftsefa St, Eilat Price: Guided dives NIS 200-300, courses vary from NIS 290-1350 Manta Isrotel Diving Center Structured according to the most “user-friendly” training systems known, Manta uses a meth
The best Eilat hotels
There’s no question that Israel is home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring ancient Israeli sites, quirky Israeli art galleries and Jewish art museums, but when you want some R&R, do as the Israelis do, and drive (or hop a quick flight) over to Eilat. The southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea boasts inviting calm waters, endless sunshine, plenty of activities (think snorkeling, diving and of shopping at some of the best malls in Israel) as well as a marine park making it a fantastic romantic or family destination. Don’t soil the experience, however, by opting for a subpar hotel. We’ve rounded up the best Eilat hotels so that you can make the most of your stay.
Things to do in and around Eilat
From day to night, Mosh’s Beach is the hottest beach spot in Eilat. With multiple restaurants and the finest beach service, this beach is where all visitors should head when looking for a beach escape in Eilat. Facing the Jordan mountains and sitting meters from the Red Sea, Mosh’s Beach truly is a romantic and unique getaway. With a beautiful sea, tasty food, and awesome music, Mosh’s is the place to head for an all around amazing experience in Eilat.
The Dolphin Reef
Located beyond Eilat’s port area, the Dolphin Reef offers an awe-inspiring atmosphere and experience for animal and nature seekers. Not only can you observe the dolphins from the floating piers and observation points, but you can also snorkel and dive among them. This ecologically unique site for both Israel and the world, houses a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins, where onlookers can witness them living first-hand in their natural habitat: playing, hunting and socializing. 10,000 square meters of open-ended sea allow the dolphins to come and go at will – none of them are captive.
Located just north of Eilat, Timna Park covers around 15,000 acres. At its center lies Mount Timna, approximately 1500 feet above sea level. The site has a range of attractions, including ancient rock formations like The Mushroom, The Arches, Solomon’s Pillars, The Valley of Rock Drawings, and offers activities like rappelling, zip-line, and bike tours. For those who want a total desert experience, overnight camping is available.
Coral Beach Nature Reserve
The Coral Beach Nature Reserve in Eilat allows visitors easy access to the reef, as well as essential beach services, including a shop, showers, toilets, sunshades, deck chairs and sun loungers. This stunning spot is the perfect place to check out the captivating coral reef in a comfortable setting. With small pools and bridges built over the reef - from which the coral reef and the colorful fish swimming around it can be seen - one can appreciate the many different species and types of plants and fish.
Eilat Mountain Hike
Adventuring through rock formed passages less than two meters wide yet hundreds of meters high, the Eilat Mountains offer visitors a unique and stunning desert experience. Whether hiking or biking, advanced or beginner, an experience awaits every visitor. In great weather conditions, one can see Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia from the top of mountain, making this experience uniquely Middle Eastern!
Snuba in the Red Sea
The southernmost city in Israel, Eilat, has been blessed with a spectacular coral reef. The Eilat coral reef, the northernmost reef in the world and a unique Israeli attraction, is the beating heart of the one-mile long nature reserve that stretches across the gulf of Eilat. Diving or snorkeling near the reef, you will see colorful coral gardens home to a variety of multi-hued tropical fish: parrotfish, butterfly fish, giant shellfish and a wide selection of intriguing species that only come out in the dark. About a ten-minute walk from the Egyptian border, you’ll find the southernmost scubadiving club in Israel, a small venue with plenty of peace and quiet. The club offers an introductory underwater excursion for those who have no previous diving experience.
Dining, drinking and dancing by the Red Sea
5th Avenue Eilat
This swank establishment gets its name from its menu, which offers five different types of international cuisine: Italian, American, Mexican, Oriental and Asian. While one may think that these five distinct flavors do not come together, 5th Avenue manages to combine these flavors in a beautiful culinary combination. The atmosphere is intoxicating and the food is fantastic, but the night doesn’t end here. Keep those cocktails flowing as great musical vibes take over the room and last into the wee hours of the morn. There’s no need to make it an early night…you can sleep on the flight home
Under the same ownership as Selena, these owners know how to host top international DJs and live performances by incredible musicians. Expect bright lights, loud music and crowded dance floors. The Crazy Elephant boasts a huge dance floor, spectacular design and comfortable seating area—though it’s doubtful you’ll want to sit as you’ll be too caught up dancing from sunset to sunrise. With a fantastic sound system and a tropical vacation vibe, get ready to get into the groove and find your inner party animal, as you will never want to leave this well-designed and well-run nightlife spot.
Casa Do Brasil
When in Eilat, dine like a Brazilian with churrascaria, a Brazilian barbecue where plenty of meaty possibilities are served right in front of you; it’s a meat-fest of sorts for hungry diners hanging out at the Red Sea. The effervescent vibe is intoxicating, especially on Fridays when Brazilian dancers pump up the energy. Dine family-style with over 11 types of meat showcased to your delight, or go all out and order the premium version with over 14 varieties of meat. You can also just weigh your possibilities by ordering meat by the weight to take home with you.
At Selena, you can enjoy a huge dance floor, spectacular design and comfortable seating areas. In addition, you can dance to quality music, played by the best DJs in Eilat and Israel. If you like to drink, the Selena Club offers a bar with a rich and diverse selection of fine liquor, both made in Israel and imported. Those with the desire to get wild and have a memorable night, come check out this impressive spot. From dark to light - Selena is guaranteed to be the place to get your groove on, drink on, and beach vacation party mood on!
Located on Eilat’s gorgeous promenade, Three Monkeys is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The reasons being that the bar boasts a wide variety of beverages for the thirsty traveler looking to have a great night, and the staff are super-friendly and the crowd wild, yet social.
Shopping and the city
Eilat’s Bazaar offers a diverse – sometimes bizarre – mix of trinkets, handmade clothing, jewelry, henna tattoos, hair-braiding and printed T-shirts. The stalls are ideal for perusing during an evening stroll and there are plenty of food and beverage kiosks to keep you well fed and watered.
Ice Park & Mall Eilat
Ice Park & Mall is an enormous glass-domed structure containing a mall and arcade/theme park. International and local designer stores offer VAT-free prices, while an Artist Market sells handcrafted jewelry. Whether your travels to the Middle East have you missing a true northern winter or you’re just plain sick of the blazing Eilat heat, come chill out in the mall’s one-of-a-kind indoor skating rink.