Eilat for Winter, Sun and Fun
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direct contrast to Jerusalem, Akka, Haifa and Caesarea with their historical and
archaeological wonders, Eilat is the playground of Israel and guarantees sun,
fun and relaxation.
make the most of a trip to Israel, a two-centre break with a guide would be ideal.
Security is tight, so you feel perfectly safe as checks are made in shopping malls,
restaurants, hotels and all public places. Allow lots of time for checking in at
the airport. English is taught in schools so communication is generally easy.
time is short however, you have the choice of visiting the historical areas and
stopping over in the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv
for a night or two.Tel Aviv
is built on sand dunes and did not exist until 1909. It is now is a vibrant city full
of skyscrapers with white beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. City dwellers jog
and exercise along the promenade in the evenings and the area buzzes with sidewalk
cafes and the finest fish restaurants in the country. Old Jaffa almost merges
with the new city and this is where you find character and atmospheric restaurants
by night and flea markets by day.
Or, for pure rest, relaxation and recreation you can head down south
to Eilat on the
Red Sea. I touched on the Med, the Dead and the Red Sea on this trip, what
a country of contrasts Israel is!
temperature was around 32C and very pleasant but air conditioning in our guide’s
car was welcome as we drove through the Judean mountains down to
the lowest point on earth - the Dead Sea. 1,365feet (416meters) below sea level
and receding 1m each year, the Dead Sea has the Judean desert onone
side and the soaring mountains of Jordan on the other. Famous for its healing
properties the Dead Sea enabled even me to float and my skin felt wonderful
the next day.
human endeavour has created oasis along our route to Eilat. Around Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found,
seeds were identified,replanted
and today date palms, the same as those growing 1,250 years ago,flourish
and wave their fronds in the desert winds.
the Eastern edge of the Judaean Desert is Masada
a UNESCO site. Once one
of King Herod’s Palaces and fortified between 37 and 31 BCE. It is built
on an isolated
rock plateau and was the site of the last stand of the Jews against the
Romans in the The Great
Revolt which began in the year 66 CE. By
73 CE, the Roman legion had surrounded
Masada and built a wall and then
a siege ramp against the western face of
the plateau. During the Siege of Masada, Sicarii rebels and their families held out for 3
years due to their impenetrable position and ingenious water cisterns scoured
out of the
rock. Finally, as the tenacious Romans scaled the cliffs, the First
Jewish-Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 souls.
Eilat is a duty free
Whatever you wish to
buy in Eilat is 17.5% cheaper than in other cities. Israel tapers down to
Eilat on the Red Sea with just 12km of water front, bordered by Jordan and Egypt. It
is a city built for fun, sun and pleasure.
is excellent and the spread at breakfast is quite a choice challenge. The vast selection of
unusual dishes is tantalising. Food is fresh and plentiful.Israeli settlers have
all brought their own cultural dishes from all over the world,so eating in Israel
is a foodies delight. Portions are huge, Silver Travellers may well want to share.
In this desert
environment, hotels compete to create the most magical oasis of pools and green spaces.
This is a city for non-stop shopping and high adrenaline experiences. In the
evenings we strolled along the waterfront past marinas, busy restaurants and music
Ten minutes’ drive out
of Eilat there is a magical paradise where again we took to the water and snorkelled with bottlenose
dolphins. Dolphin Reef is an
ecological site where dolphins have the freedom to
choose if they wish to be around people (and food) or swim out to sea. There is no attempt
to domesticate or train them.
After sipping fresh
orange juice in a structure resembling a set out of Pirates of the Caribbean, I experienced Watsu for
the first time. Three tranquil pools surrounded by plants and wafting screens
set the scene for Water Shiatsu and
I am hooked.
To float in a warm pool
with underwater music, under a canopy of palms, with a therapist supporting your
floating body whilst massaging tired neck, shoulder, back and limbs,to my mind, is heaven
and brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘to chill out’.
With bodies and minds
still floating we continue with the water theme and visit the Underwater Observatory Marine Park to see the coral
reef, technicolour fish and feeding of sharks.
Water is very
important in this part of the world and that evening we were lucky enough to catch the WOW show, now in its 12th
year. This year’s theme is Splash!
Family entertainment at its
best and it certainly lives up to its name. With athletic aquatic performers diving in
and out of on stage pools and waterfalls, aerial acrobatics merging with 3D special
effects and mermaids in glittering costumes, it is similar to Cirque de Soleil with lots of
splashing (a front row seat is not recommended!), it is a great night out with tickets priced at
£20.00 and all in English with good music.
will be spoilt for choice when deciding on ways to fill the day. There is a chance to
go bird watching or sail on the Red Sea with lunch and an opportunity to jump ship and
swim. We went to visit the Botanical garden of Eilat which is
an organic farm, the
dream of three men who 20 years ago took over a disused military base. The result of
their nurturing now offers the visitor a show of abundant desert flora complete with a rain
forest, baobab trees, fruit trees, herbs and observation points overlooking the Red
Sea and the Edom Mountains. This is paradise in the desert.
You could choose to
take a jeep ride or ride a camel. As Jordon and Israel are friendly at the
moment, a day trip to Petra is possible for $300.
The Timna Valley is also a must. Rich in
copper ore it has been mined since the 5th millennium
BCE and the area is linked to the legend of King Solomon’s mines. In 1990 an expedition made a deep excavation of Timna
Valley and discovered 10,000 copper mines
and smelting camps with furnaces, rock
drawings, geological features, shrines, temples,
an Egyptian mining sanctuary, jewellery, and other artefacts never before found anywhere
in the world.
Israel is a land of
contrasts and guarantees winter sun and fun in Eilat.
- We stayed in Isrotel hotels who also host the WOW Shows
- Licensed Tour Guide
Motti Saar - Highly recommended
- Restaurants in Eilat:
- Restaurant in Tel-Aviv:
Dr Skashuka in Jaffa
- Dolphin Reef and Watsu massage
- Eilat Botanic Garden
For tourist information, visit www.goisrael.com
For travel to Israel Silver Travel Advisor recommends Cox & Kings
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