Eilat is a resort town on the shore of the Red Sea in Israel. One of it’s primary draws is year-round snorkeling. It’s situated on the southernmost tip of Israel, being a shipping port since the days of King Solomon. Many Israelis travel here in the summer, whilst Europeans love to visit in the winter.
Eilat is known for its incredible landscape, with the desert as a backdrop and the beautiful bay sitting on the sandy shores. There is plenty to do, and there are all kinds of accommodations. From hostels all the way to luxury resorts.
Snorkeling is very popular here. The main reason is the coral reef which attracts many brightly colored fish. You can even spot a sea turtle. The sun is always shining, so you can relax and count on enjoying beautiful days. Eilat has a 6 miles long shoreline. The water is clean, clear, and refreshing.
Best Beaches And Marine Life In Eilat
Snorkeling is a favorite activity in Eilat, especially since it’s very easy to do. Although there are a few tours, you don’t need to take one. You can walk right in off the beach and find plenty to see. There are fish and corals close to the shore. Read on to learn about the beaches that have great snorkeling.
When you snorkel in Eilat, you might see any of the following types of wildlife:
- Sea turtles
- Sea lilies
- 100 different types of coral
- 650 different types of fish
- Butterfly Fish
- Parrot Fish
- Surgeon fish
- Sergeant fish
- And more
Lighthouse Beach (Hof Ha Migdalor)
Located a little way past the underwater observatory towards the Egyptian border, this beach is free to enter. You can rent your snorkeling gear there. They have good facilities, as well as a beach bar and a restaurant. You will find music playing, and you can walk right into the water to snorkel.
The beach sits on Eilat’s National Coral Reserve, and it is a great spot for snorkeling. Some people posted a video on youtube of snorkeling in this location. There aren’t many though.
Princess Beach (Hof Hanesikha)
This beach is the southernmost in Israel, located close to the Princess Hotel. It’s the last beach before the Israeli border. It has a wild coast with boulders as a backdrop for the blue waters of the Red Sea.
This beach is part of the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, and the beach is marked by ropes and buoys. You can enter the water from the beach, but there are no lifeguards or facilities. So bring at least one snorkel buddy!
There are two bridges that cross over the reef, providing access to the other side. This part of the reef has been well preserved. You will find schools of fish when you snorkel under the bridge. The video below provides a good impression of what we mean.
Coral Beach Nature Reserve (Shmurat Teva Hof Ha’almogim)
The reef at this location is known as the northernmost shallow coral reef in the world, and it is the only one in Israel. This is one of the most popular spots for snorkeling because there are over 100 types of corals as well as 650 different types of fish. It is one of the most densely populated coral reefs in the world. You might see giant clams, surgeonfish, sergeant fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, cornet fish, clown croris fish, and many different wrasse.
You can snorkel right off the beach. There are trails underwater that are marked by buoys. You will see the underwater gardens of coral as well as many different types of fish. Examples include parrot fish, butterfly fish, nocturnal fish, and more. You can reserve a guided snorkeling trip or just go out with your own gear.
When you go beyond the reef, you will see some of the largest coral rock formations in the world. There are two called “Joshua Rock” and “Moses Rock”. They are a very short swim from the beach.
You can rent snorkeling gear here if you don’t have your own, and you will find souvenirs and other items as well. This spot has good facilities and picnic tables. A great way to spend the day!
This spot gives travelers a special opportunity to swim with some of the most amazing creatures in the sea. There are dolphins as well as many different colorful fish. The coral is some of the most beautiful in the world.
The dolphins are not held captive, but they stay in the area. You can observe the dolphins from the pier, or you can go snorkeling with them. People between the ages of 10 and 88 are welcome to snorkel for one hour sessions. This is a wonderful opportunity to encounter dolphins in their natural habitat and see colorful fish on a private beach.
EAPC Beach (Hof Katza)
This beach used to be owned by the Europe Asia Pipeline Co, but it has recently been opened to the public. It has floating ropes, and there is a nice approach to the water. The beach is sandy and divided into two parts.
The majority of the beach is free to enter. There are umbrellas put up by the Eilat Municipality. A smaller portion is marked as an ecological beach. You can still walk into the water to snorkel here.
Families and couples love to go to Dekel Beach. They have a Bedouin tent and a floating tanning raft. You can walk up to the water on a boardwalk. There are chairs and umbrellas for you to use free of charge. You will also find a buffet restaurant and some other facilities. Snorkeling off the beach is lovely here.
Consider this beach as a nice way to spend the day with the family. Maybe you bring kids who want to combine some water activities with tanning or building sand castles. And hey, if it helps, check out our giant guide for snorkeling with kids.
Snorkeling Tours In Eilat
There are many different tours available for snorkeling in Eilat. You can go out with an instructor, or you can go on a tour. The benefit is that they know the best spots to see the widest assortment of fish. Some tours combine snorkeling with sight seeing or other water activities.
Sunset Sail And Snorkel Tour
This tour is a sailing excursion. They take you out sailing and make a stop at the coral reef. It is a lot of fun! After you snorkel, you can relax on the boat and take in the incredible scenery. The contrast between the deep blue sea and the desert mountains is fascinating.
You will leave from the marina in Eilat. On board you will be taught about the history, or maybe you have a few questions you’d like to be answered. If you are interested, more information can be found on their own website.
Tip: If you experience motion sickness easily, make sure to read our guide about snorkeling and seasickness. Especially if you join a boat trip.
Snorkel With An Instructor On Coral Reef
When you go on this tour, you get 40 minutes with an instructor. You can use their equipment if your don’t have your own. If you’re in doubt about purchasing your own gear, make sure to read our article about buying vs renting snorkel gear.
Instructions and safety explanations will be shared before entering the water. The same goes for swimming techniques. You can also read our guide about snorkeling and swimming where we share some great tips. If a private adventure is what you’re after, learn more in this thread by TripAdvisor.
Additional Tips And Information
When you go snorkeling you need a mask and a snorkel. Fins will help you out a lot too. You can wear a life vest and water shoes for safety purposes if you like. Or maybe a rash guard to protect your skin. Just remember not to put your feet down on the coral reef, as it is very fragile. You can rent equipment in many locations near the beaches if you don’t have your own. These days more and more people opt for a full face snorkel mask. Make sure to read our guide if you want to know what they’re all about.
Bang For Your Buck
Eilat is one of the least expensive and easiest places to snorkel in the entire world, not to mention one of the most beautiful places. The coral reef that surrounds the shore on the Red Sea is home to many different species of both corals and other sea life. In other words, you get a good bang for your buck.
Snorkeling Off The Beach
If you are out on any of the wonderful beaches, you can go straight to the reef by walking into the water. Many of the beaches have buoys to guide you along these reefs. There are many different types of colorful corals as well as hundreds of different types of fish. You will find tours if you want to go that route, but you really can just wade out from the beach.
We already covered the topic snorkeling and floating in the past, however, the red sea has a big advantage: It contains about 35% more salt compared to most other snorkel locations. This salty water facilitates floating. People also say that it improves our blood circulation. More facts about the red sea can be found here.
Tip: If you’re visiting the Red Sea area, make sure to also read our guide about snorkeling in Egypt.
Eilat is a pretty safe holiday location. Obviously crimes can occur anywhere, however, the crime rate in Eilat is low. Still we would advise you to keep an eye on your belongings. If someone watches over your things on the beach that’s great. If that’s impossible consider to bring a waterproof case that you can take with you whenever you enter the water. We wrote a review about these bags and cases which you can find here.
There are plenty of taxi’s and busses. Still, most of the entertainment can be found near the so called “King Solomon Promenade”. Loads of hotels are situated in this area so who knows you’re able to do a lot of sight seeing by foot. Make sure to understand Sabbath time since it could temporarily close certain types of transportation.
Eilat can be very hot. Especially during the summer months where maximum temperatures could exceed 100 °F. On average however these months are usually between 80 °F and 90 °F. January is the “coldest” month with an average temperature between 50 °F and 70 °F. Still quite enjoyable. In case you plan your trip, make sure to read more about the climate. One helpful website can be found here.
From shopping malls to restaurants and festivals, Eilat has it all. If you want to enjoy an evening out, you should be just fine. Tasty fish food, local drinks, a party here and there, there’s enough to explore. They offer music parties like the Jazz festival or the Street festival for example. If you do a little research you’ll soon figure out that Eilat offers a lot besides snorkeling.
Eilat is stunning with it’s deep blue sea and the desert mountains in the background. It has a coral reef along the shore, and it is home to many different fish. The coral reef is so close to the shore that it is easy to snorkel off the beach. It is free in most places unless you go on a tour or to an attraction such as the dolphin facility.
The climate is enjoyable but it can become pretty hot in summer. Make sure you understand that since it could influence your snorkel experience. After a long day of beach and snorkel fun there’re plenty of entertainment to choose from. Or you can simply enjoy a lovey meal with the family and call it a day.