Isramail - Eilat

EilatThis week in the Isramail! So you thought Israel is in the middle of nowhere?! And Be’er Sheva is the middle of nowhere in the middle of nowhere?! So let me tell you the truth about Eilat! THAT’S really in the middle of nowhere.                                                                             

The southernmost place in Israel, the place that most tourists tend to forget to visit when they are in Israel, the place that even Israelis say " too far," except for me and another few million tourists a year.

Why do I like Eilat?

BEACHES, luxurious “Vegas looking” hotels, spectacular one-of-a-kind scuba diving and snorkeling resorts, unbelievable coral reefs and the most colorful fish I have ever seen in my life, friendly Zionistic dolphins, I don’t know anyone from Eilat so no awkward  “hi! I know you from..”, breath taking scenery of the mountains of Jordan across the red sea, BEACHES, jazz festival, sunrises, sunsets, sea food, BEACHES, no tax, the beautiful road to Eilat, BEACHES, how happy the people of Eilat are when it rains, the SO Israeli boardwalk vendors that still sell iPads next to flip flops and sea shells necklaces next to gourmet food, that road trip feeling of driving to Eilat that you can’t feel anywhere else in Israel, did I mention the BEACHES?!

Why don’t I like Eilat?

It’s so hot in the summer that Houston summers feel like Chicago, sometimes too chill and relaxed people (the phrase "Yalla! Yalla!" means "c’mon! get going!" doesn’t really mean anything to them), it’s really, really far away in Israel - standard 6-7 hours, I am not sure the city exists during winter, it's sometimes cheaper to fly to Greece or Cyprus than to go to Eilat for a weekend, the overcharging aggressive cab drivers, not a lot to do except to boil in the sun.

Don’t tell anyone - it’s not a popular answer - but Eilat is my favorite place in Israel. Eilat is my happy thoughts place. When I need to relax, unwind and just feel like a vacation, that’s the place for me, my gateway, my secret Israel away from Israel.

With more than  85% capacity in its hotels during the summer time, a new international airport to be built (named over Ilan and Asaf Ramon), future train track north, huge port, never ending Malls and shopping centers and growing university, Eilat 400km from Tel Aviv, with only 47,000 people, is definitely a one-of-a-kind oasis in the bridge between Europe and Africa.

So if you don’t like sun and water, Eilat is not a place for you. But if you do, this combination of Las Vegas and Miami in the middle of the middle east, is the place you just can’t miss in the summer.