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Eilat is the Israeli version of Miami Beach, a sinful strip of beach resorts, tacky restaurants and cheap cocktails. Israelis flock here year round to work on their tans and swim in the warm blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba, although foreign visitors tend to find the surrounding mountains of greater interest. There are natural springs, a 90-foot waterfall at Ein Netafim, desert hikes and amazing opportunities for star gazing. There are of course opportunities to play Lawrence of Arabia for a day, exploring the narrow canyons from the back of a camel. The Negev Desert north of Eilat offers excellent eco-tourism opportunities, especially ...

Eilat is the Israeli version of Miami Beach, a sinful strip of beach resorts, tacky restaurants and cheap cocktails. Israelis flock here year round to work on their tans and swim in the warm blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba, although foreign visitors tend to find the surrounding mountains of greater interest. There are natural springs, a 90-foot waterfall at Ein Netafim, desert hikes and amazing opportunities for star gazing. There are of course opportunities to play Lawrence of Arabia for a day, exploring the narrow canyons from the back of a camel. The Negev Desert north of Eilat offers excellent eco-tourism opportunities, especially around Mitzpe Ramon. Here visitors can descend into an five mile wide crater and hike amid eerie rock outcrops and a maze of canyons. The area can be toured by dune buggy, mountain bike or on foot, and one should not miss the chance for an outdoor cookout and a night in a Bedouin tent. Human impact on the Negev dates back a couple of millennia and before leaving the area, make sure to visit some of the ancient Nabataen sites, including the impressive ruins at Avdat, Shivta and Mamshit.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Middle East, between Egypt and Lebanon; along the Mediterranean Sea
  • Language: Hebrew, Arabic, English
  • Currency: Israeli Shekel
  • Research: Negev | Eilat | Negev | Eilat
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to April