a VirtualTourist member
Hi, I am driving from Jerusalem to Eilat with my 11 year old daughter on April 3 for a two night stay. We plan to go to the Dolphin Reef to swim with the dolphins and to snorkel. I also want to do some hiking. We have the day we drive down from Jerusalem, then the next day is a full day, then the day we leave-flying out at 4 pm.
My thought is to do the Dolphin Reef on the second, full day. So to fit in some hiking I am thinking about 2 things: 1. stop at Timna Valley on drive in to Eilat, or 2. go to the red mountains. I also read that the Nahal Gishron is the most beautiful hike in Eilat, but how much time do I need for that? I could hike on the day we leave, too.
So, if someone could let me know a little about Timna, Nahal Gishron and the Red Canyon, including how much time I need for each, I would really appreciate it!
I've spent a few weeks in Eilat in March/April birdwatching. Timna is well worth a stop for a few hours. There are several places to visit in the park, but it rather depends on what your interests are. Cave paintings and coloured rock are either things you look at for 5 minutes or spend hours enjoying (I'm the latter).
If you're planning on walking I assume you're well prepared. The temperature can be stupifying even in April. The light reflecting off the rock at Timna, even with sunglasses, can be painful by late morning. The other thing is to visit late or early as the light is so much better for enjoying the colours.
The area around the lake cane be very good for birdlife, if you're interested. A lot of incredibly illusive desert species have got used to people there and after hours of trudging the desert looking for them, they come to you. If you have a bird book, take it and try to identify some of the things you see.
Already has been said that you should be prepared. In April the temperatures are not the searing heat of summer, but still be prepeared to take a backpack with water, I usually take 6 liters per person. Also take sunscreen and a hat.
If you DO go into the desert, be sure that your hotel is aware of your plans AND your estimated time of return.
The following is a link that shows a few photos from Nahal Gishron.
The entire hike is about 25 kilometers, which would take a good hiker in those conditions about 10 hours at least.
The MUCH shorter Red Canyon is fun but is on its way to being ruined by over visitation, but the colors are still beautiful.
[original VT link]
There is an International birding station just on the outskirts of Eilat, just off the end of the airport runway going north.
Timna also has some nice hikes inside the park itself that you could check on when you visit. If you enjoy wildlife, visit the Hai Bar Wildlife Park, about 30 kilometers north of Eilat.
Also mentioned are Amudei Amram, similar to Solomon's Pillars in Timna, very nice but no need to visit both.
Enjoy your time in Eilat.