Tel Aviv to Eilat

Ramon Crater, Israel

Eilat, one of the most popular and beautiful places in all of Israel, is also the southernmost city in the entire country. Thus, getting to Eilat from most of the other main attractions of Israel can be a bit harder and longer. However, choosing to make the journey south from Tel Aviv to Eilat is also a great opportunity to experience the wild and less touristic side of Israel, and stop on the way in some of the most beautiful sites in the Israeli desert. Here, you will find everything you should know about getting from Tel Aviv to Eilat.

Best ways to get from Tel Aviv to Eilat

By car

The most popular way to get from Tel Aviv to Eilat is by driving the whole way with a rental car. The trip length should take between 4-5 hours each way if you drive without making any stops on the way. While it may not sound like an extremely long drive, it is probably the longest drive you will have during your Israel trip, and it can be quite tiring over time, so make sure to make enough stops and freshen up on the way.

Two main roads lead from Tel Aviv to Eilat, with each one offering completely different landscapes and sites to see on the way:

Road 90

Road 90 is actually the longest road in Israel, as it goes from Eilat and all the way up to Metula, the northernmost town in Israel. If you choose to make the journey to Eilat through Road 90, you will get the chance to visit some of the most impressive and well-known attractions of the desert in Israel, such as the Dead Sea, Masada, and Qumran. Once you will go past the Dead Sea, you will get to the charming Arava region, which also features great lesser-known sites to visit.

Road 40

Road 40, which offers a shorter way to Eilat, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful scenic roads in Israel. The road goes through the middle of the Israeli desert and will lead you past several great natural wonders and unique towns, like Sde Boker, Beer Sheva, and Mitzpe Ramon. However, above all, the main attraction of Road 40 is driving through the incredible Ramon Crater, which offers epic views and great hiking options.

By plane

If you wish to make a shorter and more efficient way to Eilat, another good option is taking the short flight from TLV Airport to Ramon Airport in Eilat. The flight takes about 1 hour, and on most days of the year, you can get pretty good flight deals. In fact, due to the high petrol prices in Israel, flying from Tel Aviv to Eilat is usually a more affordable option for couples or solo travelers, in comparison to driving.

By bus

Finally, if you are looking for the most affordable way to get to Eilat, you can take bus line number 390 from Tel Aviv to Eilat. The bus lines to Eilat are the only ones that require booking in advance. Currently, the price for a one-way ticket is 74 ILS. In addition, there are bus lines to Eilat from several other cities in Israel, such as Haifa, Jerusalem, and more.

Best stops on the way from Tel Aviv to Eilat: road 40

The Sculpture Garden in Mitzpe Ramon

The Sculpture Garden, or by its other name “the promenade of sounds”, is an open and spacious complex, where you will see more than 20 unique sculptures inspired by the world of music. The sculptures are also somewhat interactive, so you can try and tap them to make unique sounds or wait for a nice breeze to do it for you. In addition, you will find here other sculpture works from other styles, which blend perfectly with the stunning desert landscape.

If you have already arrived there, continue walking a little along the Israel Trail markings (white, blue, orange) and you will approach the cliffs of Ramon Crater, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the crater, one of the most beautiful places in Israel.

Giv’at Harut hike

For those who are not satisfied with a short stop but are interested in a short and exciting hike in Ramon Crater, we recommend the great trail leading to Giv’at Harut. It is a pretty easy circular route, which is about 2.5 kilometers/1.5 miles long (an hour to an hour and a half of walking). The beautiful hike is suitable for any age, although it also includes a short and steep climb to the top of the hill, which looks like a small volcano.

Lake Yeruham

Among the desert hills of the Negev mountain is the beautiful Yeruham Park, which is a nice oasis in the heart of the desert. The location of the lake right on Road 40 makes it a great stop on your way to Eilat.

Lake Yeruham is full of water all year round and receives its water from flood waters, which flow from Nahal Revivim and accumulate in the lake, thanks to a dam built in the 1950s which was meant to store the water for agricultural irrigation.

Around the lake, you will find a huge grove of pine trees, which provide shade to the many seating areas scattered in the park. You will be happy to know that the park also features play facilities for children, bicycle paths around the lake, toilets, and disabled parking. At the eastern end of the grove, there is a high deck floor from where you can get a wonderful view of the ducks swimming in the lake.

Tel Aviv to Eilat: stops on Road 90

Stargazing at Nahal Omer

If you are one of those travelers who prefer to take night drives, we strongly recommend stopping at one of the lookouts along the Arava roads and enjoy incredible stargazing. One of the best sops of them all is the observation point at Nahal Omer, located only two minutes of driving from Road 90.

Eilat Ornithological Park

On the only land bridge connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, adjacent to the border between Israel and Jordan, located just north of Eilat, is the Eilat Ornithological Park. This is a great place for bird lovers, as you can see here hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, which pass here every year on their way to cross the Sahara desert.

Visiting the park allows you to see up close the natural habitats of the impressive winged animals, as well as join guided bird-watching tours and nature walks. Entrance to the park is free at all hours of the day, but if you want to enjoy a powerful experience and see as many birds as possible, the recommendation is to arrive in the early morning or late evening.

Ein Evrona Reserve

Acacia trees, herds of deer, waterfowl, salt ponds, and special vegetation characterize the Ein Evrona Reserve, which covers an area of ​​about 40 square kilometers/25 square miles in the southern Arava, north of Eilat. The highlight of the visit to the desert reserve is the Dom palm, known as the coconut palm, a tropical tree that is typical of Caribbean regions and surprisingly grows here perfectly well in the heart of the desert.

For more information about places to see around Route 90, check our full guide to the Arava region.

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