Tour Israel: What to see in Eilat this summer

Eilat is no longer known just as a place to lounge around on the beach, at the pool, or walk along its crowded beach promenade, where shops sell strange souvenirs.

 Yam Suf Hotel (photo credit: YANIV COHEN)
Yam Suf Hotel
(photo credit: YANIV COHEN)

School’s out for the summer, which means it’s time to get organized and plan your upcoming vacation. As everyone in the country knows, one of the most popular locations to go for a vacation in Israel is Eilat. To that end, this week I will be continuing with Part II of my guide to making the most of your trip to Israel’s southernmost city, making sure there’s a little something for everyone.

As we discussed in last week’s Part I guide, Eilat is no longer known just as a place to lounge around on the beach, at the pool, or walk along its crowded beach promenade, where shops sell strange souvenirs. Nowadays, Eilat is known for its variety of sleeping options, restaurants, and attractions.

1. Red Canyon

If you’re driving to Eilat, then I highly recommend stopping off at the Red Canyon, less than a half hour before you reach the city. It’s called Red Canyon due to the red hue that is especially visible when sunlight hits the canyon. The different colors and shapes of the walls of the canyon are a result of the sandstone that’s been carved out by the wind and water over the millennia.

Walk through the 300-m.-long dry riverbed that winds through the colorful 30-m.-high stone walls. This trail is appropriate for kids, and this mini-hike is a great way to get everyone into the spirit of enjoying your holiday (and also provide you with fantastic photos for your Instagram).

2. Tulum Yachts

Spending the day on one of Tulum Charters’ yachts is guaranteed to be unlike anything you’ve ever done before. This luxurious experience will make you feel like you’ve sailed off into the sea and reached Europe in just a few short minutes, even though you’re still just around the bend from Eilat.

 Tulum Yachts (credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Tulum Yachts (credit: MEITAL SHARABI)

The yachts offer high-quality beds, comfortable and well-outfitted bathrooms, chaise longues, and lots of space on deck to enjoy the sea, sun, and fresh air. The crew prepares delicious gourmet meals that can be extremely romantic, if that’s the style you’re hoping for.

Prices range from NIS 50 to NIS 200 per person, per hour, depending on how many people are in your group, and which yacht you book.


3. Yam Suf Hotel

If you’re a sea lover, then Isrotel’s Yam Suf Hotel might be the place for you. Located next to Coral Beach, this hotel hosts Manta, the largest and most professional scuba diving center in Israel.

The Yam Suf Hotel is especially well suited to host young children, and offers a number of activities to keep them busy and having fun, including entrance to Ninja King, a new kid-friendly facility for kids and youth from age six at the King Solomon Hotel.

4. Sea of Love Party 

If you’re planning on being in Eilat for Tu Be’av (the 15th of Av, the Jewish Festival of Love), you’ll be happy to know that there will be a free Sea of Love Party with live romantic music at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, on the northern section of the promenade, near the Azrieli Mall.

5. Sport Club

One of the most popular hotels in Eilat is the all-inclusive Isrotel Sport Club. Located on Eilat’s northern beach, near the Royal Beach Promenade, the Sport Club is surrounded by a whole host of restaurants, bars, and popular attractions.

Inside the hotel, you’ll soon discover that you will not be going hungry any time soon. Among the food options, you’ll find ice cream, cold and warm drinks, and alcoholic beverages. In addition to eating and drinking, you can also partake in exercise classes, or spend time in the gym or at the pool.

6. The Lagoona Hotel

Another all-inclusive option is the Lagoona Hotel, on Eilat’s northern beach, just two minutes from the beach and near the city’s shopping and entertainment centers.

In addition to all the meals, guests at the Laguna can enjoy ice cream and popsicles, cold and hot beverages, and alcoholic drinks, making it one of Eilat’s most popular destinations.

There will also be live concerts on the northern end of the promenade. These Thursday Live concerts will take place on August 3, 10, and 24.

7. Food Festival

The Eilat Food Festival will be held on Eilat’s northern promenade on August 15-17, from 7 p.m. to midnight, during which the best of Eilat’s restaurants will be offering tasty food, while famous artists will be participating in live performances.

8. What’s Up Observatory

The What’s Up Observatory is a special astronomical experience in the heart of the desert, led by Eitan Schwartz. Out in the desert on Mount Yehoram at night, and away from the lights of the city, Schwartz offers fascinating explanations about Venus and Jupiter, craters on the moon, and the rings of Saturn, and explains how stars are born and also what happens when they die.

In addition, you’ll get a chance to look through his huge telescope. There’s also an option to request that the evening include sitting around a bonfire, drinking sweet tea, and nibbling on Middle Eastern treats.

Price starts at NIS 70 per person, depending on number of participants.

9. Riviera Club

The Isrotel Riviera Club is a self-catering suite hotel, and each room comes equipped with a kitchenette and dining area. Suites on the ground floor have direct access to the pool area, while smaller guest rooms on higher floors have spacious balconies that overlook the pool area. There’s also a new PlayZone where kids can play multimedia games, as well as another room dedicated for younger kids.

10. Musical Fountain

One of my favorite spots in Eilat is the Musical Fountain. It might not be as extravagant as those in Las Vegas or Dubai, but it is the largest in Israel.

This fountain has 350 water jets that reach up to 30-m. high, in keeping with the beat of the music. All of this, in addition to the spectacular colors that are constantly changing, make for an all-around incredible experience.

Shows in the summer start at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Hours of water jets in the summer: Thursday, Fridays and Shabbat, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.