Although the actual city of Eilat, Israel was not established until after the Israeli War for Independence ending in 1949, the city is steeped in history and culture. Because of this, it has grown into one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and it combines modern resorts with historical landmarks.
About the City of Eilat
Eilat, Israel is located on the southernmost tip of the country and is home to about 20,000 permanent residents. It is a bustling port city that sees sunshine throughout most of the year; it only rains about six days a year in this part of the world. During the summer, temperatures easily climb well beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but they rarely drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The quickest route into Eilat is by plane from Tel Aviv; driving from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem takes about four hours, but is well worth it.
The History of Eilat
Eilat is home to many historical sites that are difficult to find in other parts of the world. It is possible to view a number of prehistoric temples and caves dating back to the Neolithic Age, and there are abandoned copper mines from the time of King Solomon and before to tour as well. The Nabateans were the first to settle Eilat; they used the Red Sea port to enhance their lucrative spice trade, which eventually led to the growth of the city. During the 7th century, tens of thousands of pilgrims met in Eilat, and over the years it has been conquered by not only the Romans, the Moslems, and even the Crusaders. It was eventually liberated from Jordan and Egypt and became its own Israeli city.
Activities on the Red Sea
The Red Sea is the most popular tourist attraction in the city as it offers a variety of watersports like skiing, swimming, and diving. Because the sea is calm, it is the perfect location for sailboats, motor boats, kayaks, and more. There is an amazing coral reef that you can see from the surface of the sea with nothing more than a snorkel and mask, and many vendors in the city offer up tours on glass boats for one of the most spectacular views available. Tourists can even take underwater safaris in a glass-walled submarine that holds up to 50 people and as many as 200 feet below the surface.
More to See and Do
Although the Red Sea provides the most popular source of activity and entertainment in Eilat, there are plenty of things for landlubbers to see and do, as well. The Coral World Underwater Observatory, for instance, will allow tourists to stay high and dry while they enjoy the wonders of the Red Sea in an aquarium-style setting. What’s more, Eilat is a bird watcher’s dream; thousands of people come to watch more than a billion birds fly across the area between the Mediterranean coast and the mountains in Jordan. In addition to these great activities there are also dozens of incredible hikes with beautiful sandstone and magnificent views. Timna park one of Israel’s most treasured is a must do when in Eilat.
Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, Eilat offers plenty of history, culture, and marine life. You can visit ancient temples, tour caves from the Neolithic age, and even venture out into the desert just a few miles north of Eilat. It is certainly a beautiful sight to behold all year round.