The girls were out of school for the Shavuot holiday, so we headed south to visit Eilat for the first time.
It’s an Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea popular with Israelis and international tourists.
Since the borders are still closed, only Israelis now and expats living here like us. Eilat is on the Southern border, so you can look across the sea at Jordan and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also within sight.
It was the first weekend hotels opened up in the country so we didn’t know what to expect.
We did know our hotel was sold out along with a lot of other open hotels in the town. Although that was the case, the hotel and town were still very empty post corona lockdown. Without international tourists, many of the hotels, restaurants and attractions couldn’t afford to open with just a few guests. Jim read only 13 out of 50 hotels reopened in Eilat. So, it was an artificially “sold out” experience. But, that made for a wonderful trip for us.
Eilat is about a 4-5 hour drive from Tel Aviv without traffic.
We had open roads and decided to stop at the Ramon crater. The Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev Desert is the world’s largest erosion crater. It was very windy when we stopped for a few photos.
The hotel was surrounded by other large hotels in the area. This was a hotel set up for families with kids. There were at least 3 game rooms for kids of all ages on the main floor where we entered. There was also a big market which looked lore like a grocery store with lots of food, drinks and other items to purchase during your stay.
We decided to eat in the dining room that night since it was almost 8 when we arrived. We were surprised it was actually a buffet in post corona times. But instead of getting your own food, they had people serve you cafeteria style. There were also items you could grab on your own, but most were packaged items like condiments and also desserts. The food was edible since we were hungry.
The next morning the kids woke up early and wanted to head straight to the pool.
The pool was huge and there was even a sandy area for a small beach and a water slide!
The kids were very happy and we spent most of the day in or near the water.
We took a short walk after leaving the pool to have lunch and shop in the nearby stores. Eilat is also known for its shopping because the normal 27-percent tax on everything in the country- is tax-free here. So many people come here specifically to shop and especially for large ticket items. We were not in the market for anything big, but did get some summer clothes for the kids.
The next day we walked around and found a great place near a beautiful beach for lunch.
You could jump in the water while you waited for your food.
We also decided to visit the Ice Mall we had read about. If there ever was a mall made for kids…this was it!
It had a huge ice skating rink in the center and lots of amusement park type rides throughout the shopping area.
Of course, the girls had to try a few of them!
They also discovered a trampoline park and climbing gym inside the mall as well.
We spend the entire afternoon with the girls here and they were exhausted by the time we made it home.
We had dinner that night at a nice Italian restaurant near the sea.
The next morning we had more pool time,
lunch in town
and returned to the mall for a few more things and a few more rides before heading back to Tel Aviv.
Eilat was the prefect spot for our first getaway post Corona. Unfortunately, a lot of the attractions in town were still closed, including the Aquarium, so we will definitely return to this fun town in Southern Israel.