Soaking up sunshine may be your holiday priority but you’ll find plenty to tempt you from your lounger in Eilat. Tours into the desert, glimpses of the deep and day trips to world-class cultural sites are among the fantastic experiences on offer.

Timna Park

Discover beautiful rock formations, ancient art and the world’s first copper mines in this accessible desert reserve just 30 miles from Eilat.

Glass bottomed board tours

Stay dry in the deep as you travel alongside colourful fish, then enjoy the views from the sundeck on one of these relaxed vessels.

Kibbutz Yotvata Tour

Learn about Kibbutz life at the largest and oldest of the region, and perhaps take a horse ride around its desert farmland.

Camel Ranch

Drive your own camel into the rugged Negev desert on a day or sunset tour or spend an entertaining evening at a Bedouin-style feast.

Day/overnight tours

Combine your beach holiday with a visit to a special natural or cultural attraction. The Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Petra are just a few hours away.

The Dead Sea & Masada

The Dead Sea may be the lowest point on earth but it could well prove a high point of your holiday to Israel.

Its high salt content is not only responsible for its name (fish are unable to survive in its waters) but for giving swimmers extra buoyancy – which makes for some fun photographs.

The minerals of the Dead Sea are renowned for their medical and beauty properties and you may be tempted to slap on a mud pack while you relax in the warm waters, taking in the sparkling salt crystal scenery. For more sophisticated treatments, a series of spas line the shore.

Some day trips to the Dead Sea also take in Masada, the remains of a mountain-top fortress that was the last strong hold of the Zealots against the Romans. You can reach the summit by cable car and view the archaeological discoveries including beautiful floor mosaics and a fortress built by Kind Herod. IMAGE Day and overnight trips from Eilat can be booked through your tour operator, hotel reception, or local travel agencies.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is an important centre for several faiths and whether or not you share them you’ll have a greater appreciation of the historic and cultural significance of the city after a day or overnight trip from Eilat.

Tours typically take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives then visit the walled old city and the key Christian, Jewish and Muslim sites. You can see the tiled Dome of the Rock mosque, the sacred Jewish site of the Western or ‘Wailing’ Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on the believed site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, and the Garden of Gethsemane where he is said to have been betrayed by Judas.

Some operators will make a short stop at the Dead Sea on the way to give you the chance to float in the salty waters.

Petra

The Jordanian border is only minutes from Eilat, making a side trip to spectacular Petra a surprisingly easy add-on to your beach holiday.

The ancient capital of the Nabateans was recently voted onto a list of the ‘new’ Seven Wonders of the World. Set in the Siq Canyon, the remarkably well-preserved city is hewn from rock that changes in colour through red, orange and pink with the light of the day. Its most photographed feature is its 42 metre high temple facade.

It takes about two and a half hours, including breaks, to reach Petra from Eilat and tours typically take in a stop at the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the return journey.

Petra is manageable as a day trip and many people choose this option but an overnight stop allows for a more relaxed experience with the chance to see more of the site.