My report will be (I hope) of interest to Northern European visitors looking for some winter sun. I highly recommend it and don't really have a lot to offer in terms of time spent exploring Antiquities as I spent most of my days on the beach and in 1 week read 6 books!!
A few points about the Airport:
1. They stamp your passport - not a problem for me but might be for buisness people who may need to go to the ME countries.
2. The 282 bus was waiting for us and costs 21.5 NIS (they do not accept any other currency) and it is single ticket only. The driver will not leave until everyone has been through immigration and a manager from the hotel gives permission for the bus to go. The first stop is the central station and the driver then asks for the name of the various hotels and drops everyone off at their hotel. The last stop is the Taba boarder. The return is different, the bus leaves the Taba boarder, 3.5 hours before the flight and stops at various bus stops along the route - look for the 282 number on the various bus stops but get there early as it depends how many stops the bus has to make as to what time it will arrive. The final stop is the bus station.
I went to the Underwater Observatory on the one cloudy day I had and enjoyed it very much. No 15 bus, cost a few pence and takes about 20 mins. I had intended to book two tours, one to Timna Park and the other to Red Canyon but as I have a hip problem I was advised that the Red Canyon was probably not for me. This advise was good as I had great difficulty getting into and out of the Land Rover ( my brother in law as a Land Rover and he gives me a step to get in).The guide was great and he helped me to get in. Timna is a must if in the area.
My one downside was the hotel I booked. I travel a lot and I Fly Cheap. Sleep Cheap and Eat Well - it has always worked for me. This time I booked a 5* hotel half board and was getting a great deal. My instinct told me it was wrong but I went with it as I was getting a bargain!!! Wrong, I hated it. The hotel was OK but I am a foodie and the Cattle Market at both breakfast and dinner was worse than my old works canteen. The hotel was Kosher and appealed to large bus loads of package holiday customers. On the first night I asked for a glass of wine and this was like getting water out of a stone as they supplied only water at the table. People putting huge amounts of food on their plate and eating a fraction - How can that be cost effective? On one night I went out to a restaurant in Eilat and had a wonderful meal and not only one glass of wine but two with no problem.
It did take 3 hours to get through security when leaving and with my sore hip the standing was discomfortable. A lot of people complained but it was so thorough that I felt confident that if my flight did not arrive at my destination I was 99.9% certain it would not be caused by a bomb.
This is a great resort for Winter Sun, doesn't really feel Israeli, more European but I will be back next year (need my VIT D), staying in the hostel that Shuffaluf recommends (know where it is and OK location) Wonderful shops as well and got a got a wonderful outfit at 70% reduction -travelling
out of season has its advantages!!