As I wrote in the previous post, tickets to Eilat are currently at very bargain prices. However, Israel is a rather expensive country, the cost of food and accommodation, are much higher than in Poland. So what can you visit here for free? Where to eat and how much does a weekend trip actually cost?
The Red Canyon
Who said that the most interesting attractions must be expensive? If you want to see something amazing and completely for free, be sure to go to the Red Canyon. It is about a 20-minute drive by car from Eilat (road no 12). The road leads right at the very border with Egypt, along a huge wire fence. However, the biggest attraction of this route are the picturesque landscapes.
You can also access the Red Canyon by public transport. There is a bus no 392, heading towards Be’er Sheva. There’s no bus stop in the Red Canyon area, so tickets should be bought to Har Uziya junction and when approaching the canyon, signal the driver desire to leave. You can find the current schedule and price list here. From the main road you should walk around 1,5 km to the trail leading to the canyon.
The canyon is actually the dry bed of the Nahal Shani river. It looks like the famous Antelope Canyon in the United States. The resemblance is not coincidental, because both were created in the same way. Vulnerable rocks built from sandstone, are carved by water which flows through the canyon during the so-called flash floods.
The Red Canyon can be visited in two ways: a big and a small loop. A large loop leads along blue trail and is supposedly a bit harder, due to the steep approaches.
A small loop, also known as the family trail, is relatively simple and it’s about 5 km long. It’s marked by green trail which goes along the bottom of the canyon. The path to the gorge becomes more and more narrow with every meter, and the walls of the canyon are higher and more interestingly shaped.
This place delights with the amount of amazing, intensive colours. In the end, the width of the road allows, at most, to put one foot.
Further part leads through various types of ladders, buckles without which the passage of the main section of the canyon would be impossible.
After crossing the bottom of the canyon, the route continues along the black trail. This trail leads on the top of the canyon, which allows you to capture this place from a completely different perspective. The black trail is later connected with the green trail, leading to the parking lot.
When going to the canyon, it is worth to wear mountain shoes. Unfortunately I had only sandals, because my hand luggage had limited size.
Sunrise – the early bird…
I’ll admit that the perspective of getting up at 5 am on Sunday to see the sunrise over Eilat, didn’t sound good at all. However, with only a weekend at our disposal, we wanted to make the most of this time.
The selection of a spot for observations fell on Yoash Mountain, located on route 12 leading to the Red Canyon. The sun was slowly raising behind the mountains on the Jordanian side, giving the unbelievably intensive colour of the sky and the Gulf of Aqaba.
An additional attraction was an ibex family, who decided to make breakfast right next to our car.
Accommodation in Eilat
Israel is not a cheap country, that’s why it’s hard to find budget accommodation there. The situation in Eilat is even more complicated as it is one of the main holiday resorts in Israel. From the available accommodation options, I recommend Hotel Club in Eilat located near Eilat Coral Reef Nature Reserve.
The advantage of this hotel are large apartments with terraces equipped with a kitchen where you can prepare meals. As a welcome gift, guests receive a box of chocolates, a pizza with a drink and 2 cards of 2 GB of internet. There’s a large swimming pool, tennis courts, pitch, game room and a shop offering products at competitive prices in relation to ones in the city. The hotel offers a varied excellent breakfast, and during the day you can have dinner at a reasonable price in the bar located in the front of the pool.
If you are looking for a more comfortable accommodation than hostel, I suggest you check the accommodation on Airbnb. To lower the costs you can use special discount for the first reservation. Using this link you can save up to 30€, while I will receive 20€ as a bonus for your reservation, which will also be a form of gratitude for my contribution to write this post.
How much does it cost?
Costs of departure from 5 to 8th of December:
• Flight Warsaw Modlin – Eilat – Warsaw Modlin – 78 PLN (Ryanair with hand luggage) – around 20€
• Accommodation in Club in Eilat 880 shekels so around 220 € for 3 nights for double room (3-room apartment, breakfast included)
• Car rental for 3 days – 70€ / 2 people + fuel 30€ pln /2 people
• Entrance ticket to Timna Park – 49 shekels so around 13€
• 1 Falafel with fries 23 shekels – 6€
• Dinner at the hotel 30 shekels – 8€
Total cost per person : 207 €
Do you want to go to Eilat? Check the first post: