Eilat,Israel The City of... Imagine beautiful blue beaches, white sand, hot sun and clear skies, surrounded by stunning mountains and desert scenery. Now open your eyes and catch the first flight to beautiful Eilat, Israel's number one resort city. Only one hour from Tel Aviv, Eilat is the perfect vacation spot if you're looking for the perfect blend of fun, sun, diving, partying while relaxing by the pool of a luxurious hotel. Story of... Beaches, sun and fun is the Eilat's fun cocktail. Enjoy her wonderful city hotels, one hour only from Tel-Aviv. For your information, it's better to fly there from Ben Gurion Airport in Lod or from Sde Dov in Tel Aviv (link to the Arkia reservation page). Five Great Reasons to Visit Eilat: • Who can resist those cute and fun-loving dolphins? At the Dolphin Reef you can get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures. The reef is a unique ecological site, where visitors can enjoy nature. The children have a rare opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. The dream come true. Not to be missed are the three pools, where you can float in seawater, fresh water or salt water, with lush gardens all around, and have trained therapists apply relaxation techniques on your buoyant bodies. You'll feel like you're in heaven. • While you're at it, Eilat is the perfect place for scuba diving. For first-timers, the Red Sea is a very friendly environment for diving lessons. The Red Sea is always calm, and the visibility is excellent. More experienced divers will find world-class diving here. The local nature reserve hosts a reef more than 1,200 meters long. It's one of the world's most northern tropical reefs. • Eilat is also the perfect family destination: from beautiful beaches to loads of fun activities for children in all the major hotels, you're little ones will never be bored, and you'll have ample opportunity to sip a cool drink at the pool. And let's not forget the many attractions for youngsters and families - an amusement park, a new Kings City (a theme park based on the Bible and Biblical stories) and an IMAX theater. • Where else can you find such a perfect blend of surf and desert? The Arava region north of the city and the Eilat Mountains are an arid desert, dotted with hidden oases, as well as archeological and historical sites to be explored. Eilat is a great starting point for a myriad of camel treks and jeep tours through the region. • Finally, after a long day of diving, lounging on the beach, enjoying a multitude of water sports or admiring the desert views, don’t forget to leave a little (or a lot) of energy for the fabulous nightlife. In the evening, take a stroll down the promenade, buy a souvenir or get your hair braided. Head on to the iconic Three Monkeys Pub (tel. 08-6368989), enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and have a beer or two, then party the night away at one of the dance clubs. Attractions Marine Park - One of the best and popular attractions on the Red Sea is the Underwater Observatory Marine Park. The park offers a close look at one of the most beautiful ocean reefs in the world. You can visit several aquariums, a shark tank and underwater observatories. The top of this underwater experience is the cruise inside the park's combination boat-submarine, the Coral 2000. Hai-Bar Nature Reserve - Go on a safari and follow in the footsteps of extinct animals that were reintroduced into the wild.The reserve, north of Eilat, is a breeding ground for animals mentioned in the Bible and other endangered animals. There are three main sections: an open area for herds of desert herbivores, living almost as if in the wild; enclosures for large predators, reptiles and small desert animals; and a ‘dark room’, where you can view nocturnal animals. Avdat National Park - Within the park are the remains of a famed Nabatean city, one of the ancient centers built along the Incense Route. Almost nothing remains of the Nabatean temple on Avdat’s 'acropolis', but its magnificence is evident from its restored gateway. Another attraction is the Roman bathhouse. Restaurants Eilat is best-known for its fish and seafood restaurants. The city has hundreds of restaurants to choose from: Rak Dagim is a fish and seafood restaurant. Angelina is a kosher Italian restaurant. Boston is a seafood and grill restaurant at the Royal Beach Hotel. Wangs Grill is a kosher restaurant, boasting impeccable service in an elegant setting. Despite the name, the tastes that rule here stem from the California fusion kitchen. Casa do Brazil is one of the best meat restaurant in Israel. Meat carvers pass from table to table and will slice different cuts of meat from big skewers straight onto your plate. Eddie's Hideaway is exactly that - a hidden gem off the beaten track. The menu includes dishes such as beef meat in a special sauce and steak in brandy. Best Shopping Eilat has a big shopping mall. The seaside Mall Ha'Yam is the city's main shopping center, with local and international brands such as Zara, Golbary, Seventeen and Gap. Eilat's famous open-air night market stretches along its promenade, with countless stalls for clothing and jewelry, as well as tattoo parlors, food stands and even a mini amusement park. Eilat is a free trade zone and offers VAT-free shopping, so join the many Israelis who fly to Eilat especially for the shopping - you won't have to fill those pesky VAT refund forms. Trips and Tips • The Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel in Hebrew) is a hiking trail that crosses the length of Israel. It starts near the Lebanese border in the far north, and extends all the way to Eilat, a length of approximately 940 km (580 mi). The trail is marked with white, blue and orange stripes, and will take you an average of 45 days to complete (you can also walk just a few segments). • If you plan to take a trip to Aqaba or Petra in Jordan, don't forget to take your passport with you.