Eilat is one of the most popular vacation cities in Israel. It’s located on the southernmost point in Israel, right next to the beautiful Red Sea. So, many come to Eilat to enjoy its fabulous beaches. The water temperature stays around 21-27 degrees Celsius, which means you can enjoy it all year long. So… Whether you like to swim or just lay on the beach and listen to the waves, here are my 5 favorite beaches in Eilat.
A bit more about the Red Sea
I think the Red Sea is the most beautiful body of water in Israel. Some suggest that it’s called “Red Sea” because of the reddish Jordanian Mountains, that reflect in its water. You can see them clearly when you enter the water in Eilat.
It’s a huge sea that borders eight countries. At its northern tip, it borders Eilat and Jordan. That’s why the gulf next to Eilat is called Eilat Gulf or Aqaba Gulf, after the neighboring Jordanian city. The Eilat Gulf is one of the deepest places in the Red Sea. Here, it reaches a depth of about 1.6 kilometers! That’s 5,500 feet!
The Red Sea is also one of the saltiest seas in the world – with 4.2% salinity in the Eilat Gulf. Not all underwater species can survive in this amount of saltiness, and that’s why there are many endemic species in the gulf area.
Wondering what more can you do in Eilat? Check out my full travel guide to Eilat.
My 5 Favorite Beaches in Eilat
I’ll start from the newest beach in Eilat – Katza Beach or EAPC Beach. This beach was closed for 50 years because it belonged to EAPC (Katza), the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company. In 2017, they passed it back to the municipality. Now, it’s open to the public and is one of the prettiest beaches in Eilat, with one of the best-preserved coral reefs in the city. Because of its proximity to the Dolphin Reef, you can sometimes meet dolphins in its waters.
I love this beach because it’s beautiful and calm. It’s usually quieter than the northern beaches, but don’t count on it. Sometimes, especially on weekends, the beach fills up with people. It’s best to come early to catch a patch of shade.
Lifeguard service: There’s no lifeguard service, so swim at your own risk!
Facilities: There’s a large, shaded area and a chemical toilet.
Terrain: Katza Beach looks the same as it did 50 years ago, so there’s no artificial sand here. The beach is covered with small stones.
How to get there? The beach is about 3.5 km from the city center, so you can walk there, but it will take about 45 minutes. It’s also possible to take bus number 15 or 30 from the city center and get off at “Mitsrayim Road/Dolphin Reef” station. From there, it’s a short walk to Katza Beach, located south of Dolphin Reef. There’s also a parking lot next to the beach if you have a car.
When I say Royal Beach, I also mean Hof HaZahav and HaShchafim Beach. They are all next to each other, and you can’t really distinguish between them. So, for me, they are all one long strip of beach. They lay right next to the city promenade, where all the shops, restaurants, and hotels are located. So, you can expect much more people here. But the big plus of this beach is that it’s very organized. It has everything you need for a pleasant beach break. You’re only a few meters away from places that can sell you drinks and snacks.
I love this beach because it feels the safest and it can easily be combined on a visit to the promenade. Also, I love the fact that it’s a sandy beach, which is much more comfortable than a stony one.
Lifeguard service: There’s a lifeguard service, operating from 9 AM to 5 PM in the summer and from 8:30 AM to 4 PM in the winter. There’s also a first aid station if you need it.
Facilities: There’s plenty of shade and outdoor showers. There are also regular toilets a few meters away. If you want to rent a sun lounger, it will cost you 12 shekels (true to the time of writing).
Terrain: The beach is covered with artificial sand, that was brought to Eilat from somewhere else. The authentic beaches in Eilat are pebbly beaches and not sandy beaches.
How to get there? The beach is in front of the Royal Beach Eilat and Dan Eilat hotels. You can walk to the beach from the city center on the seaside promenade. If you prefer to come by car, you can park in the dirt parking lot of Mifrats HaShemesh Beach and walk from there.
Mifrats HaShemesh Beach
Another beach that I go to often is Mifrats HaShemesh Beach, close to the border with Jordan. This beach is usually quiet, and you can see a beautiful view of the whole city from here. There’s also an option to camp here – in the designated area – on the weekends and on holidays. Read more about camping in Eilat here.
And, if you’re interested, there are also men-only and women-only beaches right next to Mifrats HaShemesh.
I love this beach because it’s near all the stores and restaurants but still apart from them. So, it’s a very calm beach but you can always walk a short distance to all the commotion. I think it has an ideal location with a beautiful view.
Lifeguard service: There’s no lifeguard service.
Facilities: There’s shade and outdoor showers. If you need to go to the restroom, you can walk about 10 minutes to the nearby toilets next to Royal Beach.
Terrain: This beach is pebbly.
How to get there? The beach is located near the border with Jordan, at the end of the seaside promenade. So, you can walk all the way to it. Or, you can take your car and park in the dirt parking lot right next to the beach, beyond Herod Palace Hotel.
Dolphin Reef Beach
The Dolphin Reef is one of Eilat’s top attractions. It’s an ecological site that offers the opportunity to meet and observe dolphins in their natural habitat. The bottlenose dolphins here are not held in aquariums or fenced area. They are free to go wherever they wish. Many people come to the Dolphin Reef to view the dolphins from the floating piers or join guided swims or dives to see them from up close. But there are also many people who come to Dolphin Reef for its beach.
I love this beach because it’s relaxing and very pretty. It has everything you need for a fun time on the beach, and sometimes you get to see some dolphins jumping out of the water. I usually come to this beach in the late afternoon, when there are less people.
There is an entrance fee.
Lifeguard service: There’s no lifeguard service.
Facilities: Chairs, beach umbrellas, indoor showers, toilets, and a beach bar-restaurant.
Terrain: It’s a sandy beach.
How to get there? The beach is about 3.5 km from the city center, so you can walk there, but it will take about 45 minutes. It’s also possible to take bus number 15 or 30 from the city center and get off at “Mitsrayim Road/Dolphin Reef” station. The station is right across the road from the Dolphin Reef. There’s also a parking lot next to the Dolphin Reef if you want to come by car.
Watch this video by Visit Israel to learn more about Dolphin Reef:
Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve
The Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve is the place to go if you want to do snorkeling in Eilat. The reserve preserves the beautiful coral reef of Eilat, the southernmost coral reef in the world. You don’t even have to swim far to see the great variety of fish that live here. Just step into the shallow wading pools near the shore, stick your head in the water, and look around. But if you do want to swim far, there are two bridges over the reef that lead you to the deeper areas.
I love this beach because it’s usually quite empty and therefore very calm and quiet. I often come here with my family because we like to snorkel and see underwater life. It’s an ideal beach for families because the shallow pools next to the shore are very safe for kids.
There is an entrance fee. If you have an Israel Pass the entrance is included in the pass.
Lifeguard service: There’s no lifeguard service.
Facilities: Chairs and sun loungers, plenty of shade, indoor showers, and toilets. There’s also a shop where you can buy a popsicle and rent or buy snorkeling equipment.
Terrain: It’s a pebbly beach.
How to get there? There’s a parking lot next to the reserve, so you can come with your car. But if you prefer public transportation, you can get on bus number 15 or 30 from the city center and get off at “Mitsrayim Road/Field School” station. The reserve is across the road from the station.
Where is the best place for snorkeling in Eilat?
Thanks to its beautiful coral reef, Eilat is a good destination for snorkeling. As I already mentioned, the Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve is a great place for snorkeling in Eilat. But if you prefer a free beach, almost any beach along the south-western side of the Red Sea will be a good choice. Some recommended beaches include Katza Beach – which I’ve already mentioned, Migdalor Beach, and Princess Beach. They are all pebbly beaches, popular amongst snorkelers and divers.
There are many diving centers in this area of Eilat, so you can rent equipment there. My favorite diving centers are the Manta Isrotel Diving Center and Marina Divers, but you can walk around and compare prices.
Eilat has some of the prettiest beaches in Israel. You can see the reddish Jordanian mountains while you relax on the beach or swim in the water of the Red Sea. There are lots of beaches, some free-of-charge and others that require an entrance fee, but my favorites are Katza Beach, Royal Beach, Mifrats HaShemesh Beach, Dolphin Reef Beach, and the Coral Reef Nature Reserve.
What are some of your favorite beaches in Eilat? Tell me in the comments 😊
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