Eilat - important to visit on 1st trip to Israel?

Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Eilat - important to visit on 1st trip to Israel?

We are planning a 1st trip to Israel, although who knows when the 2nd trip might be... We will be going for 2 weeks - DH, me and DS age 15.

We tend to enjoy visiting fewer places for longer time periods to get to know the area better and I normally might skip Eilat the first time around, but who knows when we might return, so maybe I should include it in this trip? Or skip it and add an extra day somewhere else? We are thinking of a tour for parto of the visit and some time on our own.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Eilat is relatively far away from most of the sites that firsttime visitors see so the logistics of your trip might decide that for you. It's a pretty long drive or a short flight from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
It is a beautiful resort town, but not big on the historic sites that most people come to Israel to see.
What is the emphasis of your trip--relaxation, religious, historical sites?Do you have a tentative itinerary? Although it's a small country , there's plenty in the center and north of the country to keep you busy for 2 weeks. Also, what time of the year. Eilat in the summer is not so pleasant!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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...What Alex said. Eilat is a resort town, I call it Las Vegas on the sea... There are some places in Israel which are MUSTS but Eilat is not one of them...

Dead Sea / Massada (1 day)
Jerusalem (3-4 days)
Galillee (3-4 days)
Tel Aviv / Jaffa (2-3 days)
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We plan to go in late May/early June. We plan to start in Tel Aviv, move north to Haifa, Galilee, Masada, and end up in Jerusalem. Our primary focus is historical/religious and I don't particularly like super hot weather.

Mamamia's description of it as Las Vegas by the Sea and AlexA's comment that it is super hot in the summer abd bit a lot of historical significance is enough for me to say, "I think I'll skip it!!"
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Old Oct 6th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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I totally disagree with Mamamia. I am an Israeli living in Israel. And I can tell you without hesitatation that Eilat doesn't even resemble Las Vegas. I visited Las Vegas many times and I know what I am talking about. Going to Eilat is not just visiting the town. There are some great places around and close to Eilat. Just to mention one - Timna Park, not to be missed. Your kid will love the Dolphin Reef swimming with the dolphins, and snorkeing on Hof Almog.
You have 2 weeks which is enough time to drive to Eilat. I would p[lan on driving one day and stopping on the interesting sights. You could go one way through Mizpe Ramon, see the Ramon Crater, Avdat, Sde Boker and visit Ben Gurion home (very interesting how the first prime minister of Israel lived). Visit his grave - one of the most beatiful sights in the desert. Go to Ein Avdat and so much more.
Then staying 2 nights in Eulat, and drive back on the 3rd day while driving through the shorter Arava road.
I don't know where you are from, but if you haven't experienced a real desert before, this may well be the high light of your trip!
Eilat itself is fun. The hotels are beautiful. You will make a big mistake by skipping this desert experience!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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ellenbw, I wouldn't classify Eilat as being like Las Vegas --it's small, no "strip" or neon or anything like that. Like I said, it's a beautiful resort area. Really beautiful. But if you are coming from the US or have been in the Caribbean, you will probably have been in similar resort hotels, been snorkeling, swimming with dolphins etc (if you wanted.to) I just think that most people coming to Israel would rather see the sites in the northern and central areas, especially for historical and religious sites, And you'll still have beach time if you want.There are amazing quieter spots even on the Mediterranean coast.
If Eilat were closer, maybe, but I still think that the answer to your original question "Eilat - important to visit on 1st trip to Israel?" is, IMO, a definite no.
Hope this helps!
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Well, I've been in both Eilat and Vegas, lately -- and and several times before... Of course, comparing the two is subjective... Of course, Eilat doesn't have casinos in every corner, no Eifel tower or Venice canals...

The bottom line, IMHO, although driving to Eilat thru the Negev desert can be a great experience (following eri's itenerary) --- I'd say for a FIRST timer, with a limit of 2 weeks' schedule, going there in the heat of early June (when you hate hot weather) ---- Skip it this time....

Also, something to consider, you may get hit by JET LEG for the first 2-3-4 days, in which you'll be too tired to schedule too much in one day...Take it easy those first days there...

BUT DON'T SKIP THE DEAD SEA! Even though it's gonna be as hot (sometimes hotter) than Eilat....
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Just how hot is it down there? Planning a trip to Eilat next May & was concerned because we'd like to take a jeep tour into the desert.
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