• Yael Lerner

Snorkeling in Eilat: Swimming in nature's aquarium

עודכן ב: 17 ספט 2020

Have you always dreamed of swimming in crystal clear water, surrounded by colorful fish? Maybe even rub elbows with a dolphin as you marvel at unique, beautiful coral reefs? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to swim in nature's own wild aquarium? Tell me, have you ever snorkeled in Eilat?


Welcome to Eilat, the southernmost point of Israel, a bustling resort city on the bank of the Red Sea, where the sun shines all year long!

Nestled amid desert and marine vistas, the city is located between three countries – Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – on the shores of the Gulf of Eilat. This is where the water, with their 50 shades of mesmerizing blue, blend beautifully with the reddish-brown hues of the Edom Mountains and the golden desert.

Breathtaking views aside, Eilat is a summer lover's paradise. The city offers dry, sunny weather, various hotel and hostel accommodations that fit every budget, popular eateries and world-class restaurants, family-friendly attractions, desert tours, and tax-free shopping.

Millions of tourists from all over the world visit Eilat every year with the aim of making the most of its water-based attractions, which include swimming, diving, and snorkeling in the Red Sea – a stunning, clear body of water that has the only coral reef in Israel and the northernmost reef in the world. The coral reef is home to thousands of species of colorful fish, dolphins, and sea creatures that are unique to the Red Sea and this area of the world. And did we mention that the water stays at the perfect temperature of 23 degrees Celsius (74 degrees Fahrenheit) all year-round? Even in winter!

What makes the Red Sea so attractive for swimming and diving is its waters' clear and calm nature. Moreover, the reefs grow in nature reserves that are very close to shallow waters, so anyone equipped with a snorkel or underwater binoculars can embark on a magical subaquatic journey. Also, this is an exciting, fun-filled pastime that's suitable for everyone, no matter your budget!

Snorkeling is something of a national sport for Eilat's residents, so here are the top-five snorkeling spots, as well as some tips and recommendations that only we know!

Before you go snorkeling please make sure to observe a few basic rules:

1. Bring water, sunscreen, water shoes or fins, binoculars, and a snorkel.

2. You can rent binoculars and snorkels on some of the beaches.

3. You are diving in nature reserves, so make sure to abide by the different restrictions aimed at protecting the delicate coral ecosystem.

4. To minimize contact between the corals and visitors, special paths and bridges have been set up and marked with buoys. You can swim along the reef and enjoy its beauty, but do not touch the corals and under no circumstances try to take them out of the water.

Shall we begin?

Recommended Eilat beaches, from north to south:

EAPC (Katza) Beach

Located on the southern shores of Eilat and bordering the Dolphin Reef, Katza Beach is a secret spot only the locals know. The beach is family-friendly but it is also suitable for those looking to scuba dive and snorkel.

Katza beach lies on a virgin strip of golden sand and its waters are home to a beautiful coral reserve worth discovering. This is one of the most wonderful places for snorkeling in the city: You can arrive in the morning and enjoy the clear water that offers beachgoers a glimpse into a rich underwater world that includes a great variety of beautiful fish, such as Lionfish, Blue Tang (like Dory from "Finding Nemo"), and even dolphins that swim over from the nearby Dolphin Reef. Sea access points are clearly marked with floating rope lines. The beach is equipped with large shaded areas, portable facilities, and plenty of nearby parking.

Entrance fee? none

Lifeguard services: none

Changing rooms: none

Restaurant/snack bar: none

On-site equipment rentals: none

Parking: yes



Snorkling at Katza Beach. pure pleasure!




The Coral Beach Nature Reserve

The Eilat Bay Reefs are the only coral reefs in Israel and you can observe them while swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling. The Coral Beach Reserve, which is also handicap accessible, allows visitors easy access to the reef via bridges that lead deep into the sea, where you can snorkel and discover a rich underwater world brimming with unique corals, fish, and wildlife.

You can also stroll along the beach, visit some vantage points and enjoy the beach-adjacent wading pools, which are suitable for small children. Holidays and weekends include guided snorkeling tours through the reserve. These family-friendly excursions are about half an hour long and combine swimming with explanations about the coral reef. They require a mask, snorkels and swimming ability.

Please note: The reserve is a non-declared beach with no lifeguard services!

Entrance fee? yes

Lifeguard services: none

Changing rooms: yes

Restaurant/snack bar: yes

On-site equipment rentals: yes

Parking: yes



The Coral Beach Nature Reserve. Easy access to the reef via bridges that lead deep into the sea

Aqua Sport beach / Coral beach

Clear turquoise-colored water, vibrant fish, and tranquility await you at the Coral Beach, located across from the Isrotel Red Sea Hotel. The beach, which is a nature reserve, is one of the most beautiful sand strips in Eilat.

Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and enjoy sunbathing, swimming or snorkeling. The water offers an amazing, animated mosaic comprising hundreds of species of fish, which swim so close to the beach you can literally walk into the water and see them! Beach access is free of charge and the area offers visitors restaurants, chairs, tanning beds, and changing rooms. Equipment rentals are available at the nearby Aqua Sports Dive Center.

Entrance fee? none

Lifeguard service: none

Changing rooms: yes

Restaurant/snack bar: yes

On-site equipment rentals: yes

Parking: yes

Migdalor Beach Eilat

Migdalor Beach is located about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Eilat, right off the International University Institute. Migdalor Beach is named after the lighthouse overlooking it from the other side of the road and it is widely considered one of the coolest beaches in Eilat, where you can enjoy chillout music, eat, drink cold beer, swim, snorkel along a spectacular coral reef, or just relax in the Eilat sun.

Entrance fee? none

Lifeguard services: none

Changing rooms: yes

Restaurant/snack bar: yes

On-site equipment rentals: yes

Parking: yes

The Caves of Snuba Beach

This is one of the most popular places for snorkeling and diving in Eilat. This magical beach allows visitors to dive beneath two natural underwater passages within the coral formation.

A few years ago, one of the caves was closed after it narrowed, sparking concerns that divers could accidentally cause irreparable damage to the underwater flora and fauna. However, divers can still look inside the cave and appreciate its splendor.

The second, wider cave is still accessible to visitors. Its shape resembles a large arch. When you enter the cave, you will most likely see schools of fish (mostly Pempheris rhomboidea) circle around you, and the experience is absolutely magical.

The caves are home to an abundance of sea creatures, as seen here.

Entrance fee? none

Lifeguard services: none

Changing rooms: yes, at the scuba diving center, located across the road.

Restaurant/snack bar: yes

On-site equipment rentals: yes, at the scuba diving center.

Parking: yes

Princess Beach Eilat

Sitting at the foot of the magnificent Princess Hotel is Israel's southernmost beach. This is a wild stretch of sand, where boulders harmoniously flow into the blue water. The entrance to the beach is marked by buoys and line ropes because it is a part of the Coral Beach nature reserve. The water is also accessible via two iron bridges leading directly into the deep water, for those who prefer to skip walking through the beach.

Although it is a natural beach, the area is clean, well maintained and inviting. This is, however, a non-declared beach, so it does not have restrooms or showers, nor does it provide lifeguard services. Parking is available right next to the beach or in the square adjacent to the Princess Hotel, although it’s very crowded during high season.

Entrance fee? none

Lifeguard services: none

Changing rooms: none

Restaurant/snack bar: none

On-site equipment rentals: none

Parking: yes



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