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Eilat History

Mentioned in ancient Egyptian text and also in the Bible, Eilat had settlers as far back as the year 7CE, with evidence from archaeological excavations uncovering prehistoric tombs from the era further supporting the historical and biblical writings.

The Romans then developed this outpost further by building a road connecting the area with the Nabataean city of Petra (in Jordan), a move that fuelled the trade in copper, which was mined in nearby Timna Park, with neighbouring countries. But the era of prosperity was short-lived, because from 700CE to 1200CE there were many wars over the area. It was believed that Saladin, the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, captured Eilat between 1167 to 1170, driving the area’s former riches into decline.

The modern history of Eilat began when it was formerly granted to Israel in 1949 under the Armistice Agreements, becoming Israel’s only access to the Red Sea. The remote town gradually transformed into a city after the government opened a small port and welcomed Jewish immigrants from Morocco to settle here. Tensions between Israel and its neighbours meant the early years were challenging for Eilat, particularly when Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran in 1956 and 1967 respectively, stopping all ships going to Eilat. Fortunately, things began to look up after Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994.

Today, Eilat is known as a buzzing resort city and one of the hottest destinations for European sun-seekers, offering the best combination of beaches, cuisine and nightlife for miles around.

Did you know?
• The first water desalination plant in Israel opened in Eilat in 1997.
• In 2014, during an international underwater photography competition, Eilat broke a Guinness World Record when half a million people live-streamed the underwater event on their mobile phones.

 

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Featured Hotels

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Royal Beach

This 364-room luxurious resort enjoys an exclusive spot overlooking the Red Sea. Facilities include three swimming pools, two saunas and a spa offering more than 70 body, health and beauty treatments. The dining options and nightly entertainment are superb too. Reserving a suite gives you access to the VIP lounge by the pool.

Isrotel Riviera Club

A relaxed 3-star hotel with all the touches of comfort. Reasonably-priced self-catering apartments with kitchenettes are the biggest draw, though studios are also available. The location is ideal, as the beach is only two minutes' walk away.

C Hotel

Right in the heart of Eilat amid a myriad of cafés and shops, this friendly hotel has 153 rooms in various sizes and offers good-value facilities such as two pools, a kid’s club and a wet sauna.

Comfort Hotel

This budget hotel is well-equipped with a swimming pool and a spa centre offering services from reflexology to deep-tissue massage. It is also just around the corner from the Central Bus Station, giving you quick access to local and regional bus services.

Dan Eilat Hotel

A leading hotel brand in Israel, Dan lives up to its reputation by providing five-star service, facilities and setting in Eilat. All 375 rooms have sea views and each room features a painting by Israeli artist Natan Yosef. Checking into a suite provides you with access to the VIP lounge on the 14th floor, where you can enjoy free food and drinks with unbeatable views across Eilat.

Aviv Motel

Located about 2km (1.2 miles) from the Marina, this motel is clean, comfortable and affordable. Accommodation ranges from standard rooms to suites with a kitchen. Other facilities include a swimming pool and free WiFi.