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Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

Opava, Czech...
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Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

My and my girlfriend found cheap flight to Eilat, decided to visit it for on week at the end of February. We are looking around the intenet about this place, but still have many questions. Please, how it is with safety in these situations if we rent a car and travel alone:

- for hiking on different lonely place around Eilat, not only Timma

- travel to Taba and coast of Egypt for snorkeling, or to stay in some hotel at Egypt coast through some nights, esspecialy at least one night in "bungalow" hotel.

Please, can you advise some interesting places to visit? Not the commercial ones?

And please, how about snorkeling at Eilat coast (using simple wetsuite)? Is it nice, possible, free? I saw that the temperatures are about 15-20°C (60-80 F) only.

How are prices for dinner/lunch in Eilat, please?

Israel
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1. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

Welcome to the forum and to Israel. It is great the you have found cheap flights to Eilat. First of all you should check out the threads regarding transportation from the Ovda airport which is 50 km north of the city. There is a shuttle to Eilat from there. If you are arriving on Saturday you will be able to check into your hotel but not rent a car as the rental agencies are closed until Sunday morning (they close from noon on Friday).

Timna is great place and can keep you busy for days so don't put that of your itinerary. The Red Canyon and Shchoret Canyon are also lovely and great to hike in the winter. Just check with your hotel to be sure no rain is expected or that there is no flooding from rain on the previous 3 days, before going on a desert hike.

You can travel to Taba, but it's possible to snorkel in Eilat. This way you won't pay for exit taxes from Israel or for the Egyptian visa obtained at the border. In any case you cannot take the Israeli rental car into Sinai. For more information on visiting Taba check the Egyptian forum.

In the desert there are vast areas that can be visit. Since you are coming from a European country and probably don't have much experience in desert hiking, I would stick to the places I mentioned above plus commercial ones such as the Hai Bar, Flamingos in salt ponds, migratory bird watching (early in the morning), Underwater Observatory including the Shark exhibit, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, a boat road on the Red Sea.

No need for wet suite for snorkeling. You bathing suit is enough. No, it's not free. You need the equipment (are you bringing from home?). The water is not very warm and the air temperature may be chilly as you saw on the internet. There may be a odd day that the temperature may go up to 25C, but February is the coldest month of the year and thus I would not expect the temperatures to pass 20C.

You can also drive to the Dead Sea which is 3 hours north and is a great experience -- floating at the lowest place on earth.

Prices are pretty standard around 60-100 shekels per person including a soft drink. You can get fast food for less (pizza, felafel, scharwma) or a fancy dinner for more, if you choose.

Suceava County...
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2. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

5 mil. wetsuit is mandatory.//rental/.

Coral nature reserve is the ONLY beach with coral!!!

Timna is one hour drive!!

Orchid is the only hotel with bungaiows,and near the coral reef.

Forget about Taba or Egypt.

Eilat, Israel
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3. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

At the end of February the water temperature will be 21C and the air temperatures somewhere in the mid-20s. February actually isn't the coldest month of the year - January is - and by the end of the month the high can be in the high 20s. As a long-time Eilat resident, I can tell you that both the 'bathing suit only' opinion and the '5mm wetsuit mandatory' opinion are somewhat extreme. For snorkeling a 3mm suit is plenty for most people, and a short 3mm wetsuit is pleasant enough on a warm sunny day.

The best snorkeling is at the beach opposite the Princess hotel, and at Lighthouse Beach. Also opposite SNUBA. The Coral Beach Nature Reserve has nice facilities but the snorkeling is not as good as the southern sites I mentioned.

Add Amram's Pillars to the list of hiking locations - it's perhaps 2nd best after Red Canyon. By the way if you get a good map you can do a much longer hike at the Red Canyon than the standard, in the south Shani wadi. Your best bet is to go to the SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel) location near Coral Beach and get maps and additional recommendations and information. They are generally the ones who maintain and mark all the trails in Israel.

Jerusalem, Israel
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4. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

Average max temperature in February is +22C, should be much warmer than where you're coming from.

Eilat has some great places for snorkeling - see above posts.

If you like birds, don't miss Eilat's birds observatory, just north of the city.

Timna Park is no more than 20 minutes drive from Eilat. Wild Animals Reserve near Yotvata can also be interesting for animal-lovers (called "Hai Bar Yotvata National Park").

Opava, Czech...
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5. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

Thank you to all for information, it helped us a lot. I will give here some review after the trip.

6. Re: Eilat in February, safety for trips and hiking?

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