“Where can I camp in Eilat?” – That’s a question I hear a lot lately. Eilat is full of hotels and even has some great hostels, but what if you’re on a very tight budget? In this case, you might want to know about the camping options in Eilat and its surroundings. Camping in Eilat or nearby is also a special experience. You probably haven’t camped in the desert before, and this is a great opportunity to do it. So… here are the top camping sites in and around Eilat.
I also recommend reading some basics about camping in Israel before you set up your tent.
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Free camping on the beach
According to the “Open Beaches Policy” in Eilat, you cannot camp on all the beaches in Eilat. Only a few beaches are open for camping. It is completely free to camp on the beaches! But officially, it’s only allowed on weekends (Fridays-Saturdays) and on holidays. In reality, there are people who camp on the “forbidden” beaches and on the weekdays, and the municipality’s inspectors don’t do much to prevent that from happening. Anyway, I suggest camping where it is allowed. It’s always better.
So here are the beaches where it is allowed to camp in Eilat. Before you set up the tent, make sure that you see a sign that says camping is allowed.
Camping on the Southern Beaches
It is allowed to camp on the beachline that stretches from Snuba Beach to Migdalor Beach (the “Lighthouse Beach”). Near Snuba Beach you can also find an organized parking lot, where you can park a caravan. On Migdalor Beach itself, it is NOT allowed to camp.
This stretch of beach is rocky, quite narrow, and close to the road. Because there are many corals in the area, there are only certain places where it’s allowed to enter the sea. So, there’s a rope that blocks the entrance to most parts of the sea. Here and there, there’s an opening where you can wade into the water. There’s no lifeguard service here, so swim only if you’re confident. If you want to snorkel or dive, you can also find two diving centers across the road.
There are a few field toilets along the beach. And there’s even drinking water!
If you prefer a more organized beach, you can walk a few steps to the Migdalor Beach (in Hebrew: “חוף המגדלור”), where there are normal toilets, open showers, a restaurant-bar, and shade. You can also rent a chair for 5 shekels or a tanning bed for 10 shekels. It’s open till late each night. It’s not allowed to camp there.
Camping on the Northern Beaches
It is allowed to camp in the parking lot of Mifraz HaShemesh Beach. It is also possible to park a caravan there. Be aware – it is illegal to camp on the beach itself, only in the parking lot area! The beach itself is rocky, and there’s no lifeguard service. It’s a short walking distance from toilets on the promenade.
It is also possible to camp on the Roksa Beach (also called “Ardag Beach” or “Thailandi Beach”,) located a bit east of Mifraz HaShemesh Beach, near the border with Jordan.
Paid camping in Eilat
Camping in the Eilat Field School
It’s safe to camp on Eilat’s beaches, but if you prefer more organized places, you can check the Eilat Field School. The field school is located across from the Coral Beach Reserve, at the end of the Israel National Trail, in the southern beaches area. It is a short bus drive from the city center. There are private rooms, but if you bring your own tent, you can stay on the Eilat Field School’s grounds for a reasonable amount of money. It should be around 50 Shekels a night but check with the field school itself for precise prices. The campground includes showers, toilets, BBQ corners, and lighting.
The only downside is that it is open for camping only on holidays or summer weekends when there are enough people who want to camp.
For more info about prices and availability, call: +972 3 638 86 88 or send an email to [email protected].
Watch how camping in the field school looks like through this video by Itzhak Moreno:
Free camping near Eilat
There are several free campgrounds near Eilat, but all of them are very basic and do not have any facilities. There are no toilets, no showers, no flowing water or lighting in those campgrounds. They are good for hikers in the Eilat Mountains Reserve or Timna Valley, but if you plan to stay there, you should make sure you have enough water for the night. 2022 Update: The INPA upgraded the Mount Yehoram Campground and Shchoret Campground and added drinking water there.
Here are a few recommended camping sites near Eilat:
Nahal Shlomo (Solomon Wadi) Campground
This camping site is located a bit west of the Camel Ranch in southern Eilat. This is a perfect campground for those of you who plan to hike up Mount Zefahot in the early morning, as it is about an hour’s hike from the mountain. Though, because it is located near the Camel Ranch, you should expect more movement of people in the area. There are no facilities.
To get there, you can take a bus from the Eilat city center towards the Taba Border (line 15), get off at Mitsrayim Road/Camel Ranch station (דרך מצרים/ חוות הגמלים) and hike along the dirt road north-west to the campground. It is about a 30-minutes hike from road number 90.
Mount Yehoram Campground
Located near Yehoram Mountain, about 2.5 km north of Eilat, near road number 12. The campground is on the eastern side of the road, a bit north-east of Mount Yoash. It is considered a safe campground. It has drinking water and a field toilet. This campground is perfect for hiking up Mount Yoash in the morning or hiking down Gishron Wadi on the Israel National Trail. You can get there:
- By Bus – Line 392 to the station called Mahavar Netafim (מעבר נטפים) and then a 30-minutes’ hike down along the road to the camping ground.
- By Foot – About a 2.5-hours’ hike from the beginning of road number 12 in the south-western part of Eilat.
Red Canyon Campground
If you’re planning to hike the Red Canyon, this campground is a good pick. It has no facilities, but it’s minutes from the start of the trail. To get there, take Egged bus 392 from Eilat Central Station, get off at the “Red Canyon” station (in Hebrew: הקניון האדום), and then walk about 15 minutes to the campground.
To learn about the trail, read my post >> Hiking Around Eilat – Beautiful Red Canyon.
This is a great campsite for those who want to hike Shchoret Canyon and its surroundings. It’s also a short 20-minute drive from Timna Park. Though, if you’re arriving by car, you should know that to get there you will need to drive on a dirt route. There is drinking water and a field toilet.
It’s complicated to get there by bus because it’s deep in the desert. So, your best bet would be to hike to the campground or to hitchhike to the closest point on the road and walk from there. If you plan to hike to the campground from Eilat, get ready for a full day of hiking. Read my post for a recommended route >> Birds, Agriculture and Ancient Wells Just Outside Eilat.
Paid camping sites outside Eilat
Here are a few campgrounds outside of Eilat that charge a camping fee. They are all organized and have all the facilities you need for a great stay:
Hai Bar Yotvata Camping Ground
Located near Hai Bar Yotvata Reserve, between Kibbutz Yotvata and Kibbutz Samar on road number 90, about 35 km north of Eilat. The campground has hot showers, toilets, BBQ corners, electricity spots for phone charging, a drinking water faucet, and a field kitchen with a refrigerator and cooktop. It is possible to get sleeping mattresses for an additional fee. The camping is in private tents.
Camping is possible only on the weekends (Thursday to Saturday) or on Jewish holidays. You can arrive at the campground until 4 PM. Check-out is possible until 11 AM. If you wish to leave the campground during the day for a hike in the area, you will need to leave an ID at the entrance of the site as a security deposit.
The prices (in March 2022) are 55 Shekels for adults and 40 Shekels for children. Payment is made upon arrival at the ticket office. You can pay by credit or cash.
To get to Hai Bar Yotvata Campground by bus, take bus line 390, 397, 444, or 991 and get off at “Samar” station. Then, walk a short while to the camping site.
Camping in Timna Park
There is an option to camp in private tents near the artificial lake of Timna Park. The campground includes toilets, hot water showers, electricity sockets, lighting, and drinking water. You can rent sleeping mattresses for an additional price. This is a perfect campsite for those of you planning to hike around Timna Park. Read my post to learn more about Timna Park’s attractions >> Saturday Morning in Timna Park.
Please contact Timna Park for more info about camping prices and availability.
Camping is a great experience, especially in or near Eilat. The beautiful desert mountains surround you, and the Red Sea is very close by. I hope this post will help you find the experience you’re looking for. Wish you all a wonderful time camping!
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