As a city resort Eilat has plenty going on beyond the beach. Whether you’re looking for family fun or to learn more about Eilat’s spectacular natural world below and above the water, you’ll find an attraction to suit.
Rafsoda: A new entertainment complex situated just east of the Marina entrance with stunning views from the upper deck of the Gulf of Aqaba, the beach, Eilat and the red mountains of Edom. Rafsoda hosts numerous restaurants — a Fish & Sea Food Restaurant, a Mediterranean Grill Bar, Italian and Thai restaurants, an expresso bar, wine cellar and pub.
In addition to the attractive suspended & netted sundecks there are swimming and snorkeling facilities. At night there is live international & Israeli music, dancing and dinner shows. Open from 10:00 am till well after midnight, Rafsoda provides fun for all.
Dolphin Reef is a magical palm-fringed beach whose azure waters are home to a delightful natural treasure – a school of Dolphins:
The Reef’s bottle-nosed dolphins live as a homogenous group including a number of babies born and living at the reef. The Dolphins are not captive and live quite naturally at the reef in an area of some 10,000 square meters by 18 meters deep. They have free access to the open sea at all times and they often venture out from the reef, staying away for as long as they wish.
The fact that they return is testament to the good-natured friendship that exists between the dolphins, visitors and staff at the reef.
Dolphin Reef also has shady outdoor cafes and a fine restaurant/bar. Its a great way to spend a perfect day!
Maybe it’s their intelligence, their inquisitiveness or just their irresistible cheesy grins but for some reason dolphins have found a special place in our hearts. If swimming with them tops your tick list of things to do in your lifetime then Eilat is the place to make that dream a reality.
Dolphin Reef is far removed from the tacky dolphin experiences you might have encountered elsewhere. The style is more Bohemian than theme park and the marine mammals don’t have to perform for their supper.
Hang out on the floating piers and, if they’re in the mood, (which more often than not they are) some of the eight resident bottlenose dolphins will appear to show you a few tricks or nudge your dangling feet. For the ultimate up-close encounter you can don a snorkel or dive tanks and view the dolphins underwater – an experience accessible to disabled visitors and children.
You can spend all day at Dolphin Reef, watching the dolphins’ antics from a lounger on the private beach, lunching in one of the restaurants or unwinding in the relaxation pool area, which can even by hired for chilled-out parties.
The Underwater Observatory – Marine Park, Eilat:
Eilat is famed for its spectacular offshore world but if you don’t fancy taking the plunge in wetsuit and flippers you needn’t miss out on the resort’s greatest wow factor. The unique Underwater Observatory is a kind of ‘live aquarium’ where the exhibits are ever-changing. Here you can descend a (disabled accessible) six metre shaft to viewing rooms surrounded by natural coral reef to see all manner of colourful visitors at the windows.
Elsewhere on the site, 35 traditional aquariums, fed by natural sea water, help you learn more about the marine life of the Red Sea including sharks, stingrays, turtles, sea horses and colourful tropical fish.
Guides in every room can tell you more about the amazing creatures you’re viewing like males that give birth, fish that disguise themselves as rocks to catch their prey and mammals that swim while they’re asleep. You can also watch divers enter the tanks during regular feeding sessions. There’s even a dark room where you can experience the luminous fish and coral that live in the deepest waters of the Red Sea.
A marine underwater observatory and nature museum exhibiting the rich corals and colorful fish of the Red Sea. Shark and sea turtles swim in large open-air custom built tanks. Also:
• Above & Underwater Observation Tower
• Restaurants & Cafes
• Photographic studio
• Yellow Submarine — Explore the coral reefs and marine life
• Large aquarium with panoramic windows.
• Shark Tank
Coral Beach Nature Reserve
You may have heard that divers flock to Eilat because of the Red Sea’s rich underwater life, but did you know that even non divers can dip into this special world just a few metres from the shore?
The most easily accessible reef is at the aptly named Coral Beach. Hire a snorkel, mask and flippers, even a life jacket if you wish, walk along a short pier and you’ll find easy steps down into shallow warm water teeming with tropical delights. Even from the piers you will see plenty of bright fish darting about the colourful coral garden. Butterflyfish, parrotfish, groupers, wrasse, lionfish, even turtles and rays regularly put in an appearance.
Coral Beach sits within a 1 km nature reserve patrolled by rangers. A small entrance fee goes towards helping preserve the site and there are staff on hand to answer your questions.
The beach has sunshades and loungers, hot showers, and a snack kiosk and is usually quieter than Eilat’s other beaches, so it’s a great place to spend the day, renewing your acquaintance with you fishy friends whenever the mood takes you.
Sun, sea and sand always make for happy children but Eilat also offers family fun beyond the beach. One of the most popular kid-friendly attractions is Kings City – a biblical themed amusement park set inside a palace.
Children and parents alike will particularly enjoy the hands-on fun of the Cave of Illusions and Wisdom where optical tricks baffle the brain. Will it be you or the kids who find the real exits in the mirror maze, or best make your wobbly way around a house whose floors and walls are not quite as they first appear?
Elsewhere there are spiral slides, a ‘4D’ film which brings tales of the Pharaohs to spectacular life and a network of caves where moving models depict key scenes from the Bible.
The main attraction however is the King Solomon’s Falls, a boat ride that takes you through animatronic scenes of the biblical king’s life and ends with a splash in the lake outside.
Kings City is open until late most nights so it’s a good bet if the children have spent all day on the beach and still have energy to spare.
Hai Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve
If you’re lucky, you may get to spot desert animals when you take a tour into the wild and rugged landscape just outside Eilat but to have a better chance of coming face to face with a hyena, oryx or wolf, Hai-Bar Yotvata is the place to head.
This nature reserve has been breeding endangered desert animals since 1968. On a guided drive through its 45 square km of safari park you can see ostriches, oryx and stripy legged Somali wild ass roaming among the acacia trees.
In the reserve’s Predator Centre, hyenas, jackals, caracal and snakes are among the less than cuddly animals you can watch enjoying their lunch in the glass fronted enclosures. A darkened nocturnal hall introduces you to bats, owls and other night hunters of the desert.
Despite its great viewing possibilities Yotvata is no zoo. The animals in the park have minimal human contact and are encouraged to hunt and defend themselves so that they or their offspring can be released into the wild and boost dwindling numbers of their species.
This nature reserve has been breeding endangered animals *that are mentioned in the Bible* since 1968.