For many, a vacation in Eilat comes down to shopping at the Red Sea Mall and taking a walk around the promenade, but Eilat is much more than that. join me for the unfamiliar Eilat: nature walks in the Eilat area, observation points, amazing hiking trails, Flamingo lake, water sports, and more.
Eilat off the beaten path- here we come!
Eilat – more then sun & beaches
In my opinion, Eilat has always been the most “foreign” city in the country, but during the corona period, Ben Gurion Airport enthusiasts have rediscovered it as well.
Everybody knows that Eilat is a great place to catch some sun and enjoy the stunning beaches and the long promenade, but the truth is that Eilat is much more than a Vacation spot on the beach.
Here are some particularly worthwhile recommendations for trips to Eilat and the region, culinary tours, and more….
Eilat – off the beaten path
Hiking in Eilat area » Bird Watching Park
Not only do humans love Eilat, the birds love it too! The city has always been a meeting place for migratory birds from Asia, Europe and Africa. The accelerated development of the city caused the drying up of the brackish lakes that were in the area before the construction of the hotels, and in order to return the migratory birds to Eilat, a birdwatching park was established. The park is located at the northern end of Eilat, near the Rabin border crossing.
Besides birds, there are lovely and light hiking trails and the setting sun paints the water in stunning pink. The park is a lovely place to rest in nature perfect for couples and families.
Tip by the way:
The best hours to watch birds are early morning or late afternoon. if you have binoculars, don’t forget to bring them with you.
Places to visit around Eilat- the lizards park
Between the bird watching park and the main road (Route 90) is an area of 140 dunams, which in the past served as a waste dumping site. In this area you can see an animal called “the Turtle lizard” that warms its cold blood in the scorching sun. Today the place serves as a park dedicated to this rare animal, which due to the destruction of its habitats was squeezed into this piece of land, which served as a junkyard. In the park you can climb the “Lizard Observatory” and see them up close.
Eilat off the beaten path » Botanical Garden Of Eilat
A green corner in the heart of the desert with a “rainforest”, waterfalls, walking paths and also a plant nursery. The Botanical Garden is a short drive from the land of the lizards, but I don’t recommend visiting them both on the same day. The entrance fee to the park is quite expensive: 28 NIS per adult and 23 NIS per child up to 13 years old. Another disadvantage is that the place is only open during the hot morning hours.
Places to visit around Eilat » Holland Park
Remember the baobab tree from the book “The Little Prince”? If you want to see baobab trees with your own eyes, you can do so in Holland Park, which is located between Kibbutz Ayalot and the city of Eilat. The park has a 2.5 km hiking trail, with explanations of the flora and fauna of the area. The place is not shaded and it is recommended to visit it in the early morning or in the evening.
Eilat off the beaten path » Shchoret Creek
An abandoned quarry, from which the stones used to build the houses of the city of Eilat were quarried in the past. Because of the quarry’s proximity to Route 90, continued quarrying there posed a danger and the activity was halted. During floods, the water of a stream fills the cistern that was created there. A sad and unique phenomenon are the acacia trees that are left there standing “on stilts”.
Since the acacia is a protected tree (I wrote about it in this post), it is forbidden to cut it down and the contractors left the trees at the height of the source that will own the land. Over the years, the trees have dried up and died, and their appearance is strange and strange.
Places to visit near Eilat » Hay-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve
About 35 km north of Eilat is the Hay Bar: an open zoo that belongs to the Nature and Parks Authority. The place has a beautiful petting zoo where local animals are raised. Viewing them is possible only behind a window or fence. After visiting the petting zoo, you get into the car again and take a marked route around the park. The driving path is designed for all types of vehicles
Hai-Bar deals with protecting endangered animals and returning them to the wild, you can see ostriches, oryxes, porcupines, and more.
Getting there: In Waze, type: Hay-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve
For registration and additional details:
Places to visit around Eilat » The Flamingo Pool
If you’re an animal lover and you’ve finished your visit to Hai-Bar, you can jump to another nearby site: the Flamingo Ponds. The beloved pink bird tends to park in ponds on their way to Africa and back. The best time is in autumn and spring (migration season). If you arrive here not during the migration season, you can still see a few dozen stalwart flamingos who have decided that there is no point in continuing hundreds of kilometers to Africa if it is possible to stay and rest, here, near Yotvata.
Gettin there – in Waze: “The Flamingo Lookout Eilat”. Arriving via Route 90, shortly after Kibbutz Yotvata, turn towards “Sharsheret Wells”, a convenient dirt road will lead you to the beautiful pools.
attractions for children in Eilat » The Dolphin Reef
Beautiful beach where a flock of dolphins regularly live. You can come and just spend time at the beach, or enjoy various activities like swimming with dolphins, diving, etc. Those who are less active can enjoy relaxing in the “Stalbet on the Water” pools and receive water treatments there. (Stalbet means to chill in Hebrew)
Dolphin Reef is one of the best places in Eilat but it’s recommended to visit the website in advance in order to check the cost of the requested activity (not cheap …).
Coral Beach nature Reserve
A visit to Eilat is not complete without a visit to this amazing reserve, which is located 7 km south of Eilat, on the road to Taba. At the coral beach you can snorkel near the reef and see up close fish of spectacular colors, coral reefs, etc.
Tip by the way: for families with young children, it’s a good idea to settle in the southern part of the reserve (after the entrance, turn right), where there are shallow pools where you can take a dip. Others will prefer the northern part (after the entrance turn left) where there is a bridge that goes over the reef so you can go straight into the deep water.
Another tip on the way: snorkeling equipment can be rented at the entrance, but it is recommended to avoid during busy periods. A good alternative is to purchase basic equipment at “Decathlon Eilat”.
In Eilat’s central garden, at 2 Yotam Street, hides a cute little museum with exhibits related to the city of Eilat: from shells of different sizes and colors to a reconstructed bus of the Eilat-Tel Aviv line. A visit to the museum is suitable for families with curious children or as an air-conditioned rest on a particularly hot day.
When I write posts, I debate whether to mention especially worthwhile places that I have not yet been to Such a place, is the wandering observatory “What’s Up”, guided by Eitan Schwartz. I haven’t visited it yet, but it sounds really cool. If you get to be there, feel free to add details in the comments corner, below.
Eilat attractions for children and adults
Underwater Observatory Marine Park
There is not much more to say about the underwater observatory in Eilat, it is a well-known and especially popular place where you can observe fish in their natural environment.
In the underwater observatory there is a large white tower that can be used to descend 6 meters deep and see dozens of fish species up close. you can also ascend to the top of the tower to the “Balcony of Peace”, from which you can see the four countries: Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. At Aqua Dome you can see a 3D movie about whales.
Tip by the way: Shark feeding by a diver takes place twice a day: at 11:30 and at 15:00.
Another tip by the way: In the high season, the place is very, very busy and there is no way to find parking if you did not arrive right at the opening. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive early or alternatively arrive at the public transportation service.
One last tip: the entrance ticket is not cheap but valid for 3 days, so if you miss something, you can always come back again.
Like other resort cities, Eilat also has particularly cool musical fountains. The fountains are located near the E-Max complex, and operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 30 jets of water illuminated with colorful lights and “dancing” to cheerful music. The show is free of charge and takes place in the open air.
Summer show times: Summer (1.4-31.10): 20:30, 21:30.
Winter show hours: (1.11-31.3): 19:30, 20:30.
Attractions for children in Eilat » Skatepark
The skatepark is right next to the fountains. It’s nice to arrive a little before the show and watch the kids perform stunts on a skateboard.
Park opening hours: 12:00-23:00, Fridays 9:00-15:00 and Saturdays and holidays from 9:00 to 23:00.
Attractions for children in Eilat » Escape rooms
Eilat has two escape room complexes:
Escape rooms at Herods Hotel (The Vinci Code, Titanic, etc.):
We were a few years ago in the escape room that the Herods Hotel promenade and was invested and organized.
Attractions for children in Eilat » Karaoke in Eilat
The Karaoke Club “plug Inn” has rooms of different sizes, for families and groups. Definitely a recommended experience.
Eitat off the beaten path» Beautiful views in Eilat and the surrounding area
There is not always time and desire for a long trip: sometimes it is too hot, or you are traveling with irritated teenagers … It is nice to take a foray into the tranquility of the countryside to get some air. Here are some options:
Red Sea Lookout
A lovely observatory that can be reached within a few minutes drive from the center of Eilat.
The observatory is located in the “Shachmon” neighborhood and there is an organized parking next to it. You can see Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel from the lookout, and in the evening, the glittering lights of the Gulf. there is an audio explanation in Hebrew and English. Definitely worth a visit.
getting there: waze
Mount Yehoram Lookout
The lookout is about a 10-minute drive from Eilat. Arrival via Route 12 (you can stop at the lookout on the way to the Red Canyon route). The lookout is in a free overnight car park, a nice place to stay for camping lovers. Apart from a platform for putting up tents, the place has no services. Lovers of peace and quiet can definitely camp here and enjoy the sight of sunrise and sunset in nature.
There is also a memorial to the late Yaron Bar David and Eran Ofer. The two, Elite Military Unit fighters set out with their team to navigate the area on 28 May 1992. During the navigation, the place was under heavy heat, the two were severely heatstroked, and were evacuated to Yoseftal Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Mount Hezekiah Lookout
If you haven’t had enough with the observation points, you can find another recommended observation point less than a 10-minute drive from Yehoram Lookout, right on the border between Israel and Egypt.
The summit of Mount Hezekiah is visible from a distance due to its height of 838 meters. Before the peace treaties with Egypt, there was here the Etzion airport, which was evacuated in 1979. Here, too, as in the previous observation point, you will find a memorial plaque to the late Captain Yair Peled, commander of the Paratroopers Reconnaissance Unit.
Waze: Mount Hezekiah
Driving on Route 12, on the left you will see a brown sign that says “Mount Hezekiah”.
Eitat off the beaten path» Nature Walks
The Red Canyon
The Eilat version of the famous “Antelope Canyon”😊 it may be a more modest version, but it is ours! Beautiful and rewarding route for the whole family.
We arrived at the place on one of the hottest days of the year, in the middle of August. In order not to give up on experiencing nature, we woke up at 6:00 A.M. It wasn’t easy to get the teenagers out of bed but this time we succeeded in the task.
The place is about twenty minutes from Eilat, on Route 12, after the beautiful views of Mount Yehoram and Mount Hezekiah. From the parking lot follow green trail markings, on a path exposed to the sun, about ten minutes. Then you enter into the beautiful mall.
The Red Canyon does not disgrace the name given to it and indeed its high walls are red and create an impressive appearance. The walls of the canyon are narrow and sometimes it is necessary to descend with the help of handles installed in the rocks. All this beauty lasts a few hundred meters after which you must connect to a trail marked in black, up the mountain. The trail connects at the end of the ascent to the path from which we came – the green trail. The whole route took an hour.
Tip by the way: The road to the Red Canyon, on Route 12, is no less beautiful than the route itself and passes right near the border.
Another tip by the way: not for those with a fear of heights.
In Waze: Red Canyon
Nature Walks » Amram’s Pillars
We love nature very much, but Let me put it this way… we are not really fit walkers Not really trekking. Especially not after a few days stay in an “all inclusive” hotel in Eilat.
To our delight, the itinerary to “Amram Pillars” was perfect for us. Reaching the route via Route 90, and therefore very suitable on the day of arrival or on the day of return. The way took us less than half an hour from the hotel. leave Eilat and drive north for ten minutes, to Be’er Ora, where you make a U-turn and return to Route 90 to the south. Turn right, onto a gravel road, where you drive for 2 1/2 kilometers. Turn left (following the signs) and continue for another 7 km until the parking lot. From here a short walk (black trail markings) leads us to these lovely columns. which are made of red sandstone The rainwater dissolved the soft layers of the rock and formed vertical columns 15 meters high.
places to visit near eilat » Dom palms
Another short hike is to the rare dom palms in the “Ein Evrona” reserve. The stop there is very suitable before the route to Amram’s pillars, on the way to Be’er Ora. Arrival from Route 90: leave Eilat and after 10 minutes of driving there is a brown sign that points to the “Dom Palms”.
The pedestal palms have a special shape (two branches for each tree) that creates the appearance of a kind of “slingshot”.
The Dom species usually grows in areas further south of Egypt, and the small group in the eye for it is the northernmost in the world.
The place is suitable as a short rest on the way from Eilat or as a stop on the way to Amram’s pillars.
places to visit near Eilat » Mount Slates
The route to the top of Mount Tsfachot (Slates) is one of the most beloved routes of hikers in its area from the top of the mountain there is a spectacular view of the bay. However, the climb is not easy and the descent can also be challenging, especially for children and therefore it is important to be careful and not to do it in the dark.
The full route starts behind the Club Inn hotel: follow the road marked in blue and go up with it to the top of the mountain. The descent is on a path marked in green, which leads us to the Eilat Field School. From there you can walk back to the starting point.
Tip by the way: The route is especially suitable for late afternoons, when the mountains are painted in a reddish and especially beautiful shade against the azure color of the bay.
places to visit near Eilat » The Vanishing Lake
The Vanishing Lake is one of the most photogenic places in the country, with stunning turquoise waters and red mountains above it. Arriving by car is possible until the viewpoint above the lake, where you can take a picture and enjoy the sight. Those who want to go all the way down to the water will have to walk along a wide path (also suitable for an SUV) and fully exposed to the sun.
The lake was formed as a result of groundwater ingress into a copper quarry, the water is brackish and rumor has it that there are dangerous substances in it, so it is not recommended to go in and swim.
Tip by the way: While swimming is not recommended, it is possible to sail in an inflatable boat. Caution – there are of course no rescue services.
Eitat off the beaten path » Timna Park
A large park with many hiking and entertainment options. The park is located on Highway 90 about 25 km north of Eilat. You can tour by car and go down to the lookouts at the various points as well as make short and not difficult hiking trails.
For a map of the routes in Timna (from the park’s website):
Among the popular places: Solomon’s Pillars (not to be confused with Amram’s pillars… Although there is similarity), the big mushroom and the pink canyon.
Besides excursions, you can also rent a pedal boat and sail in the cute little lake, sit in the café (Bedouin tent style), rent bicycles, and more.
If you arrived in the warm season and it is difficult to travel during the day, you should consider booking a lantern tour or a stargazing tour. The park is lit up at night with beautiful lights and the visit is very enjoyable.
Eitat off the beaten path »Tours in Eilat
On our last visit to Eilat, right upon arrival at the hotel, a large brochure was waiting for us with information about cool and free tours of the city. The tours are free of charge, but require early registration. I have to admit that even though I really, really wanted to, we couldn’t get organized for such a tour this time, but since they sound really special, I’ll give you the details:
For details on tours and registration:
www.redseaeilat.co.il Phone: 08-6340754
Art tour in Eilat
A tour that takes place on Tuesday mornings in an air-conditioned minibus. On the tour you meet Eilat artists, hear explanations about street art in the city and visit the gallery.
Culinary tour of Eilat
Eilat has a lot of tourist restaurants, but this tour takes you to small places, in the industrial zone, that only locals know: a brewery, an Indian restaurant, a French patisserie, etc. The tour takes place on Mondays at 12:00.
“Flower of the Neighborhoods” – a tour of the Ye’alim neighborhood:
A tour of the old area of Eilat, a meeting with residents, tastings and also a small show to finish. The tour departs on Wednesday afternoons from the Ye’alim community center.
Beaches in Eilat
Most visitors to Eilat are satisfied with the beaches near the hotel. For those who have a car and want to enjoy slightly lesser-known beaches, here are four recommendations:
A beautiful beach with a restaurant bar, rental of chairs and umbrellas, wardrobes and also beach parties and performances on Friday afternoons. In the burning season there is a real difficulty in finding parking on the premises.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Eilat. It is located 2 km north of Taba. Entrance is free of charge. There is a beach restaurant with cool smoothies. Also here in summer there is difficulty in finding parking if you don’t arrive really early in the morning.
Lovely beach owned by singer Mosh Ben Ari and Eli Benzino. The place is full of relaxation corners, hammocks, beanbags, and also a restaurant with a very tasty vegetarian menu. The atmosphere on the beach is younger than in other places.
Most people don’t know this stunning place and that’s a good thing. Mykonos Beach is next to the “Reef” hotel and the atmosphere is completely “abroad” – with a large Greek restaurant that serves souvlaki, Greek salad and alcoholic hail that makes for a good mood and excellent music.
An equal bonus is the “Kite Surfing” – windsurfing club, which is located on the premises: it’s so much fun to sit on the beach and watch surfers float and do cool stunts.
It was really fun that you traveled with me in Eilat and the area
Hope you have discovered new places and hiking sites in the Eilat area.
I invite you to register here and I will update from time to time about interesting places I have traveled.
Did I miss a particularly worthwhile place? Know more beautiful places in the area? You are invited to add and update at the end of the post, in the comments corner.