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Izrael – Eilat and Its Surroundings

Published: 19.11.2022
Today is our last day in Israel. And because we are flying home at night, we borrow a car early in the morning and we make ourselves a really rich programme.

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First we head down the main road to Tel Aviv to Hai Bar Yotvata reserve in the Negev Desert, which is part of the project which should return extinct species back to nature. It is about half an hour of ride from Eilat and is actually a small safari. By car (your own) here you will pass through the reserve area and where you'll watch animal that live here in their natural surroundings. You can see here different types of antelopes, gazels, ostriches, donkeys, hyenas or leopards. Unfortunately we are not lucky in the predator section. Still we encounter a large herd of all sorts of antelopes. Sometimes an ostrich crosses our path. Therefore, be alterted all the time. They find cars especially interesting. We managed to close the window just in the right time before they would stick their long necks inside the car. It takes about 40 minutes to cross the reserve by car.

Hai Bar Yotvata reserve   Hai Bar Yotvata reserve

Hai Bar Yotvata reserve

Timna Valley is our next stop. There we are going to visit the timna Park. It is located in the same direction as Hai Bar Yotvata reserve yet only 25 kilometers from Eilat. At the entrance to the park there is a large tourist center. We get a clear map and a bottle for local colored sand, a nice souvenir. After a while we set out right to the desert. The trip is suitable both for hikers, bicycles, and for a car ride. However, it is necessary to take into account the really hot weather.

Timna Park

Timna Park – Solomon Pillars   suvenýr

Timna Park offers beautiful sandy scenery with rock cliffs and shapes bearing names such as Mushroom, Crocodile or Lion Head. At the same time we discover the traces of one of the oldest copper mines in the world. Copper was mined here in the 6th millennium BC It is believed. Also here were the King Solomon's mines. The only reference to the ancient king are beautiful sandstone pillars which goe by the name Solomon's pillars, popular with the tourists. A trip to Timna Park was one of the best experiences for us in Israel. It is a really beautiful and unusual place with lots of trails for tourists.

Timna Park

Timna Park – Spiral Hill   Timna Park

At the late afternoon, we are more likely to choose a relaxing program. We are returning to Eilat, the only city in Israel that lies on the Red Sea. This is why it is a very popular resort. Since the weather is really good today, we head to the beach. Right on the beach, there is a beautiful coral reef (1.2 km long), hence we go to the Coral Beach Nature Reserve - it is a paid beach. It is only here where you can dive to a protected marine reserve. At the entrance we get a snorkel, diving goggles and a beach chair. Underwater we admire the uniquely colored sea-fish, corals, and tiny jellyfish. We would stay here for a long time, but there are two more beautiful stops along the Red Sea.

observation tower   under water

A submarine observatory and a sea park are close to the reserve. In aquariums, there are 500 species of marine animals and during the day we can see feeding of sea turtles, skates or sharks with commentary. A white observation tower is a submarine observatory. Up from there you can see the surroundings as well as what happens under water.

observation tower, the Red Sea and coral reef

undersea observatory and maritime park   undersea observatory and maritime park

On the same route is our last stop in Israel - Dolphin Reef. In 1990 it became a research center where they study the behavior of dolphins. As an attraction for tourists there is the possibility of diving, snorkeling or just swimming with dolphins. The center approaches human interaction with the dolphin in a non-violent way, so only when the dolphin is interested. The three dolphins that inhabit the reef at the moment are playful, so it is definitely a worthwhile fun even from the local wooden moles.

Dolphin Reef – on wharf   observing dolphins

GPS: 29°30'15.6"N 34°55'03.4"E

Text a foto: Veronika Schubertová

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