Eilat is a port that is Israel’s outlet to India, eastern Asia and Africa. Six decades ago it was a shanty-style frontier town, but Eilat has developed into one of Israel’s major resorts whose Red Sea beaches and dozens of hotels attract Israelis and tourists from 100 countries. Eilat is devoted to vacationing. Resorts line the promenade and lagoon, along with a giant shopping mall, restaurants and a variety of attractions for visitors young and old. Eilat is also an entrée to one of the world’s most magnificent coral reefs: the Eilat Underwater Observatory is a must for every visitor, as is the dolphin reef where tourists swim with the dolphins.
Eilat is a 4/5-hour drive from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – or a one-hour flight into Eilat Airport which sits in the heart of town. A 15-minute drive south from Eilat brings visitors to the crossing point to Egypt. And 10-minutes to the north, tourists cross to Jordan and the neighboring port city of Aqaba. Many visitors to Eilat take day trips to Petra in Jordan.