Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city located on the north tip of the Red Sea on the Bay of Aqaba. Most tourists know Eilat (population 48,000) as the starting point for tours to Petra, Jordan, which is only a two hour drive. Eilat is a popular beach vacation destination for Israelis and Europeans who come here for its excellent scuba diving, duty free shopping, fantastic weather and resorts. From Eilat you won’t need binoculars to see its sister city Aqaba, Jordan, and the border with Egypt.
Our day started early with a tour of Timna Recreation Park, about 20 miles north of Eilat. Timna Park is rich in copper and has been mined since the 5th century BC. The valley contains places of ancient Egyptian worship. Timna Valley is notable for its uncommon stone formations, and looks very similar to Moab, Utah. Original Egyptian hieroglyphs can be seen on Solomon’s Pillars. The park is ideal for camping, mountain biking and hiking. We hiked up to an arch and back down the slot canyon on the other side. Visitors should not expect the same awesome beauty of Arches, Canyonlands or Bryce—nor the number of formations-- but it is definitely worth a stop.