Eilat’s reef

Dolphins, colorful fish, and beautiful corals, in the stunning reef of the Red Sea in Eilat. Discover the best diving and snorkeling spots of Israel.

Eilat's Reef: world-class diving at the southern tip of Israel.

Famous for its rich and diverse sea-life, impressive corals and clear water, the Red Sea is considered to be one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling. Your visit to Eilat, the beach resort town at the southernmost part of Israel, is a great opportunity to explore the incredible life under water, for an incredible experience to remember.
Red Sea, Eilat, Southern Israel
A dolphin in Eilat
Fish in the Red Sea, Eilat

Located in the Gulf Of Aqaba, and bordered by Jordan to the east and Egypt to the west, is the stunning Reef of Eilat, on the beaches of the Red Sea. As a unique shallow-water coral reef, featuring diverse sea life and calm, clear waters, Eilat’s Reef is an absolute paradise for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Here is everything you need to know about the nature and diving options in Israel’s Red Sea.

The unique Eilat’s Reef in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is an intercontinental sea, which is essentially a continuation of the Indian Ocean, which is artificially connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Suez Canal. Eight different countries share the Red Sea: Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, and Yemen. Its area is 438,000 square kilometers, and its maximum depth reaches 2,221 meters. It is one of the four seas named after colors, along with the Black Sea, the White Sea, and the Yellow Sea. The red color is given to it by the reflection of the desert mountains that surround it on both sides, which are reddish and create the look of water with a red tint.

There are over a hundred endemic species recorded in the Red Sea, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. One of the explanations for such a high concentration of endemic species is the structure of the Red Sea. The fact that it is a relatively isolated marine area that includes on the one hand shallow waters close to the shore and on the other hand, a steep continental shelf beyond which the sea can reach depths of over two kilometers. To this can be added the relatively warm and stable water, the sun, the high salinity, and the currents of the sea. All of which create suitable conditions for the development of many unique ecological phenomena.

Although the Gulf of Eilat constitutes only about one percent of the Red Sea, it is considered to be the most important area, along with the rest of the coastline that continues along the Sinai coast, up to Sharm el-Sheikh. In this section of the Red Sea, you can find thousands of species of fish, and corals of many colors.

Best diving and snorkeling spots in Eilat’s Reef

Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve

The reefs of the Gulf of Eilat are the only coral reefs in the country, and you can see them while swimming by diving or snorkeling in the reserve. The Coral Beach Reserve gives visitors easy access to the reef through accessible bridges that lead visitors to the depths of the sea, where you will be greeted by a magical underwater world where you can snorkel and observe a huge variety of corals, fish, and animals unique to the Red Sea.

On holidays and weekends, there are occasional guided snorkeling trips in the reserve, which combine swimming and explanations about the world of corals. Those are a options for families, as it is about half an hour long. If you plan on taking the guided tour, you should make sure to have a mask, snorkel, and of course, suffiecient swimming ability. Please note: the reserve is an unannounced beach, without lifeguard services. You can rent snorkels on the beach of the reserve if your’e interested.

Entrance fee: 35 ILS

Dolphin Reef

A unique diving experience alongside the dolphins living in the Dolphin’s Reef, the most popular diving spot of Eilat. A personal diving guide will take you to a close encounter with the beloved mammals, in an experience which is Suitable for divers of all levels. The guided diving in the Dolphin Reef costs 350 ILS per person.

The sculpture garden

located in the middle of the sea, on the northern coast of Eilat, The sculpture garden consists of several impressive underwater sculptures built by sculptor Dan Rapoport. This site should only be reached by boat and accompanied by a person who knows it well. Suitable for experienced divers only, The Sculpture Garden offers a diving experience like no other.

The Caves

A popular beach for snorkeling and diving in Eilat, where the unique formation of corals in the place created two passages known as “caves”. one of the “caves” is closed to divers because of damage that was cause to the place and the corals that grew there when they passed through it, but it is wonderful to float and snorkel around it and look at the rich life in the place. The second passage, which is wider, is open to divers and there you can go through a kind of cave ‘sealed’ by a huge amount of fish. When going through the passage, you can enjoy the view of the reef, colorful fish and multiple sea creatures. Go through the cave very carefully, while completely maintaining balance, as any small movement could damage the cave walls or its ceiling, break corals and damage the equipment.

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