The main pride of Eilat, located in the driest region of Israel, is the sea, mountains and sun. And there is nothing to be surprised. The local Red Sea coast is an officially recognized nature reserve that will find something to delight adepts of snorkeling and diving. The Eilat Mountains Reserve has a good network of hiking trails with great views, one of which leads to the magnificent Red Canyon. Well, there is nothing to say about the sun – the local climate warms the body and soul of tourists all year round.
According to itypeusa, Eilat has an incredible number of sunny days a year: the rain is perceived almost as a miracle.
Is this not enough? Head to neighboring Jordan or Egypt – Eilat is favorably located near the borders of these states. Don’t want to go anywhere? Then at least climb the tower of the Eilat Underwater Observatory – those who have overcome 90 steps will have a unique opportunity to take a look at the territories of all three countries.
Eilat is a duty-free zone, a prestigious year-round resort with a developed tourist infrastructure and a good hotel base. But that’s not all: there is also a marine reserve with a great variety of corals and rich flora and fauna.
Communication and Wi-Fi
For a stable and inexpensive connection with your home in Eilat, it is better to buy a SIM card from one of the Israeli operators – Cellcom, Orange and Phelephone. The first two have interesting tariff plans for tourists. In Talkman Cellcom and Bigtalk Orange packages, a call to Russia will cost about the same – about 1.2 ILS, SMS – 0.68 ILS. As these are prepaid travel sim cards, no passport or Israeli bank card is required to purchase.
Tariff plans are sold at cell phone offices, supermarkets and kiosks. They cost about 50 ILS, 40 of them will be on the account. You can top up the balance using a prepaid card or in cash at the box office.
With wireless Internet access in Eilat, everything is fine. There are Wi-Fi points on the promenade, some beaches, at the airport, shopping centers, McDonald’s and near the main attractions. In hotels and restaurants, you can also go online, but most often you will have to ask the administration for a password, and in some hotels you will have to pay for surfing separately.
Diving in Eilat
Transparent warm water and a coral reef, which in some places comes close to the shore, attract divers from all over the world to Eilat. The desire to go to the depths and get to know the marine life here arises even among those who have never held an aqualung in their hands before. There really is something to see – the underwater world of the Red Sea off the coast of Israel is inhabited by thousands of fish of different colors and sizes, as well as corals and other animals.
Diving and even swimming here should be done carefully. Many inhabitants are very dangerous, and the needles of sea urchins are not the worst thing. Poisonous snakes, fish and corals are found in the sea, burns from them heal for months.
Together with experienced divers, beginners also dare to conquer the bottom of the sea – there are all conditions for this in Eilat. The instructors will explain the safety rules, teach you how to breathe properly and will accompany you throughout the dive. This pleasure will cost 200 ILS, the same amount it will cost for an experienced diver. Those who want to thoroughly study all the details and get a certificate will have to pay more – from 1800 ILS. The price includes all the necessary equipment. Each center offers photo (150 ILS) and video (300 ILS) services.
What to bring
On the waterfront of Eilat, there are many shops and shops with souvenirs for every taste. For those who want to take home something symbolic, there is a decorative “minor” (a candlestick for 7 candles) and “hamsa” – an ancient palm-shaped amulet. If you have a lot of friends, but not much money, you can buy everyone a small pendant in the form of a Star of David.
Cosmetic stores sell shampoos, creams and scrubs with Dead Sea minerals – some of the most popular Eilat souvenirs. The price range is wide – from small bags of salt for 2-3 ILS to large sets for 50-60 ILS. You can please lovely ladies with Israeli jewelry – handicrafts made of silver and stones. There is also a real exclusive with gold and diamonds, but such trinkets cost a lot.
Of the edible, it is worth taking olives, dates (they are very tasty here) and hummus with you. In addition, Israeli wine is famous for its sweetness and astringency. There is grape and pomegranate, the latter will cost twice as much. By the way, the grenades themselves can also be an excellent present for relatives.
Cuisine and restaurants in Eilat
The best way to find food in Eilat is to head to the main promenade. Small cafes and bars with quite affordable prices are crowded next to expensive elite establishments. The variety of culinary traditions is also impressive – there are cafes of Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Arabic and other cuisines of the world, as well as those that specialize in meat, fish or dairy dishes.
In the menu of Israeli restaurants you will not find pork and seafood, as well as dishes that combine milk and meat. However, there are many equally delicious kosher dishes. Shakshuka (scrambled eggs with tomato sauce and spices) is served for breakfast, and hariru (rice, chickpeas and lentils soup) is served for lunch. For dessert, you can try an unusual dessert – “kugel” (black pepper pudding).
For a budget snack in Eilat, there are street stalls with typical Israeli fast food – shawarma and falafel. All pleasure will cost 20-40 ILS.
A traditional Jewish breakfast with eggs and cottage cheese in a cafe costs 50-80 ILS. For lunch in a middle-class establishment, you will have to pay 150-200 ILS for two, and the average check in an expensive restaurant can reach up to 350 ILS. Those who want to save some money should look for eateries away from the tourist center. There prices can be 20-50% lower.