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Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

Belfast, United...
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Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

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!!


Destination Expert
for Israel
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1. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

Thanks for sharing - glad to hear that in addition to a lot R&R and sun you did get to see a few sites and had a wonderful time.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

I enjoyed this a lot as well. It's different from the usual ones -- and for that reason, it has value.

Your description of the hotel buffets made me smile and cringe at the same time. That's been much my experience of dinner buffets as well, and I really dislike them for the same reason. Getting buffeted and jostled by Israel families acting like they are at their last meal is not my favorite thing. (In this case, it sounds like a lot of European visitors as well -- and the same issue.) I strongly recommend that visitors avoid half-board and get out and eat in the city. Even a place like Eilat -- not a foodie paradise generally -- has some excellent options.

My husband and I will be in Eilat in May during a two-week visit in Israel, and I'm looking forward to spending more time there. Thanks for the report!


County Donegal...
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3. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

Thanks for taking the time to make that helpful & informative post helers. I'm off to google for info on the underwater observatory as I should have some free time in Eilat in April & that could be an option for me. Thanks again.

Edited: 17 February 2016, 15:36
Jerusalem, Israel
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4. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

Thanks for the report! Seem you had fun. I had to admit I also caught some winter sun 2 weeks ago, to escape a bit from Jerusalem's cold. Was fun!

By the way, there is a 2-way ticket - but you need a Rav-Kav (the Israeli smart transportation card) to buy it. Don't worry - the Rav Kav is available for sale (5 NIS) at Ovda airport.

Egged also offers 2-way ticket + 6-day bus pass in Eilat for 55 NIS.

All the information is here: egged.co.il/Article-4917-Transfer-Ovda-Eilat… (See bottom - "tickets")

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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5. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

I enjoyed your trip report.

I can understand your reaction to the hotel. Mostly I found that the big hotels we stayed at on tours were so well organised that it did not feel like a cattle market - simply very busy, and efficient. On a tour you are so busy socialising within your own group that a lot of things noted by independent travellers are not evident. However we stayed at one place on the Dead Sea last year on tour and from the moment we stepped into the hotel it was disorganised chaos coupled with cattle market feeling. So I think it depends quite a bit on the individual hotels. But for independent travellers I think the mid range, smaller, more boutique-style hotels are usually more personal. They just don't always have some of the extras. I personally find the big buffets at the big hotels a big asset because I have to work around food intolerances and I get more choices there. The smaller boutique hotels gave me much more limited food options. Everyone has different needs and what is the best solution for one person is not always the best for another.

Edited: 17 February 2016, 21:02
Spokane, Washington
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6. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

Thanks for the report. I wish that Eilat was closer for me to get to for a quick winter getaway. From the west coast of the US Hawaii is closer.

7. Re: Winter Sun trip report in Eilat

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