An Insider’s Travel Guide To Eilat: Israel’s Southern Port City Paradise

Photo of Yehudah Jacobs
10 December 2015

Eilat is the ultimate vacation destination that Israel has to offer, which is why it is one of our must-see top ten places to visit in Israel. The weather is always nice – it rains only four days out of the year – and it is located on the shores of the Red Sea, which is home to one of the world’s most beautiful reefs. The beaches boast a plethora of hotels and everything there is VAT free, which makes for an excellent shopping spree. We have curated a travel guide for your visit to this southern paradise.

The Astral Maris Hotel I @Astral Hotels

There are three ways to get to Eilat: either fly from any of the airports within Israel, take a bus from any major bus station in the large cities, or rent a car and drive through the Negev.

Where to stay

When traveling to Eilat, to get the ultimate experience of a seaside city, it is highly recommended to stay in a hotel located by the beach. This way, when you get up in the morning, the first sight is the beautiful ocean and it is positively relaxing. A great hotel, which is also the most affordable is the Astral Maris Hotel, located at the beginning of Eilat’s promenade. This boutique hotel is much smaller than the rest of the hotels located on the beach, but what separates it from the rest is the level of personal service that is provided by the dedicated staff.

The rooms are spacious, modern and sensationally clean, and most come with a balcony facing the sea. The breakfast offers up a sizable buffet spread and has friendly staff preparing you a personalized omelet, while asking you how you are doing.

Snorkeling the reef of the Dolphin reef in Eilat I @Creative Commons

What to Do

There is an abundance of activities to do in the city depending on the age of who’s traveling. But, if you are already in Eilat, a must-see is the reef. There are a couple of ways to explore this glorious product of nature: either in a glass bottom boat, which is more appropriate for families, or with a more up-close-and-personal approach. Take an adventurous scuba dive or a quick snorkel to see the reef, and you can experience and interact with the reef from, literally, arm’s reach. For those who get seasick or don’t know how to swim there is also another option: the underwater observatory. The underwater observatory is an entirely new experience where you can not only see the reef, but enjoy the fascinating exhibits on display as well.

The prime rib steak at Olla I Yehudah Jacobs

Where to Eat

Eilat is a city full of excellent restaurants, so where to begin the foodie journey? These are two venues that are a must-try for lunch or dinner.


Olla is a kosher chef restaurant that is rated as one of Eilat’s best restaurants, bar-none. The location is right in the heart of the main hotel area. Olla has a comfortable environment, and a staff that gives you service that is simply impeccable. Olla specializes in gourmet grilled meats and they really know how to conjure up a fabulous meat dish. The prime rib accompanied with grilled bone marrow and an au jus with a side of grilled vegetables is probably one of the best steaks in Israel. Olla is also child friendly, and is one of the most inviting restaurants for a wide range of customers.

Olla has been around for a long time and with the way they treat customers with amazing food and service, they will be there for a much longer time.

The Venice Rigatoni at Pastory I


Pastory is an authentic Italian restaurant: from the white and red checkered tablecloths, to the music in the background, Pastory truly brings the Italian experience to Israel. The service is fast and the wait staff are polite. The cuisine at Pastory is the center of the story, serving fresh pasta, accompanied by excellent sea food or a variety of grilled meats.

Open 7 days a week, you can visit there any time and enjoy a European culinary experience on the Middle Eastern Red Sea.

Feeling hungry for a steak? Discover our pick of the best restaurants for carnivores in Jerusalem!

By Yehudah Jacobs

Yehudah Jacobs is a 30-year-old food fanatic in digital marketing. He is a classically trained chef, a renowned carnivore and eats kosher only. Yehudah made the switch from the kitchen to the digital world so he can find trendy places to write about and share his recipes. You can find him traveling around Israel, trying to find a good beer while sharing it with his friends on his Facebook group, Twitter and his blog.

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