Eilat, Israel with its beach hotels, snorkeling, and ever hot weather is a very popular tourist destination. It is about a four-hour drive direct from the Tel Aviv area, which is quite a far drive by Israeli standards (Israel is a small country). Whether you’re driving down to Eilat, or Northern back home, here are some amazing places to stop along the way to help break up the long drive.
All of these places are super cool and definitely worth a visit, but they are best to just be included with other plans as it doesn’t take much time to visit any of them. They are great to break up the long drive and see some interesting places in the process.
Side note: The locations are listed if you are driving southward to Eilat but the order can easily be reversed if you are driving South-North.
If there was ever something that is the definition of a hidden gem, Nitzana is it. The rocks look like tall striking sand dunes, but in all reality, they are natural chalk rocks. Here you feel like you’re walking on the moon, not just because of the remoteness, but because of the empty, stunning beauty. Nitzana Hillocks is the technical name written on the signs of this awesome place on the Israeli/Egyptian border. In Hebrew it’s called “Hamukei Nitzana”. The rounded, smooth rocks were created by thousands of years of natural weathering from flash floods in the desert.
View the full post here: STUNNING GEM OF THE ISRAELI DESERT – NITZANA HILLOCKS | WHITE ROCK DUNES
Ever heard of Petra? I’m sure there are few of us who haven’t. Well, Petra is a very famous Nabatean city, the ancient Nabatean capital city per say. What most people don’t know is that there are many more such cities and Israel has four of them. Shivta, Avdat, Moa, and Nitzana. Shivta, one of the most beautiful and well preserved is an amazing place to stop in the Israeli desert. Along the ancient Incense Route you can see these incredible ruins. Full post about this location coming soon!
3. Ammonite Wall
One of the most interesting places just off the main road is the Ammonite Wall. Have you ever heard of ammonites? Before visiting here, I hadn’t! It’s a type of marine mollusc that went extinct around 65 MILLION years ago and this wall is covered with thousands of these incredible fossils. Honestly it’s one of the coolest places to stop on the way to Eilat, a little bit of ancient history.
4. Kibbutz Neot Semadar – Art Center
Perhaps one of the coolest locations in all of Israel, Kibbutz Neot Semadar (click here to learn what a kibbutz is) boasts an incredibly unique art center that dubs as a natural cooling system. In the desert any form of cooling system is greatly appreciated, especially when it’s constructed in a way that produces the cooling affect naturally. And not to mention that it’s a bright, Willy Wonka style pink and blue! Couldn’t be better for an art center! Stay tuned for a full post about this location!
5. The Hidden Lake
No one expects to see a bright greenish-blue lake in the middle of the desert. As you drive down to Eilat you will see endless dry and barren desert landscapes. That’s why this beautiful hidden lake is such a lovely surprise.
Just a few moments drive from Timna Park, this lake is a sight to see! Red, beautiful mountains all around. Desert. And then a greenish-blue pool of water. Amazing.
View the full post: TIMNA PARK – EXPERIENCE THE MAJESTY OF THE NEGEV DESERT | ISRAEL
6. Har Yoash (Mount of 4 Nations)
Have you ever had the chance to stand at the border of FOUR different countries? This amazing lookout (just a short drive from Eilat) is on the top of Har Yoash (Yoash Mountain). Jordan is right across the way, Egypt’s border fence is visible to the naked eye, and Saudi Arabia is just a bit farther down (most easily seen on a clear day). Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia just a stone’s throw away!
Check out our post on what to do in Eilat itself: 7 INCREDIBLE THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS ON YOUR TRIP TO EILAT | ISRAEL TRAVEL
Lots of love and safe travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters