The red sea is one of the best diving sites in the world. Although the best parts of it are located in Sinai, Egypt, Eilat can still offer some very good diving sites. here is why you should be diving in Eilat:
Why diving in Eilat is so good?
The conditions and marine life:
- visibility is great – Most of the year it is around 30+ meter.
- Diving in Eilat is not too cold even in winter – The coldest it can get is around 21 Celsius. can be easily handled with a wetsuit.
- Diverse and colorful marine life – While diving in Eilat you won’t see gigantic animals (although once in a while there is a whale shark) but you will see a lot of colors. common to see: lion fish, clown fish, parrot fish, morena, octopus and much more…
- No need for a boat – The slope of the red sea bottom is very steep. Swim 50 meters and you are 40 meters deep! It saves a lot of time and logistics.
An impression of scuba diving in Eilat:
It is relatively cheap to dive in Eilat
if you are an experienced diver and want to go diving in Eilat, you can rent full diving equipment to a whole day for around 150 ILS. Some clubs will rent gear for 120 ILS and every tank will be charged for 10 ILS, some clubs will rent full gear with unlimited tanks for 160 ILS. Some will include boots ( which are recommended), some will include a computer. see my list of favorites diving clubs below.
A guided dive is around 120 ILS.
Learn to dive in Eilat -Diving Courses
Learning to dive in Eilat is cheap and you get an extra dive compare to other places around the world.
Open water course is around 1200 ILS.
open water + advanced is around 1800-2100 ILS.
courses usually include accommodation.
- Sea condition are very good all the year. I was assisting courses in Koh Tao Thailand and saw people on their first dive going into almost no visibility water, getting lost and having a bad experience.
- The regulations in Israel are stricter about diving. in order to get you out as a more experienced diver, you get and extra dive in the open water course.
- in most of the diving clubs, an integral part of the course is visiting the underwater observatory and hearing lectures about the marine life. No extra pay for that, and it is really awesome.
- Because of the above, open water course in Eilat takes 5 days and not 4 like in most places around the world.
Diving in Eilat is more strict.
In order to rent equipment or go on a fun dive with an instructor, you will have to:
- show a valid insurance which includes the activity of diving. If you don’t have one you can do it there. diving insurance in Eilat cost around 150-200 ILS for a year.
- Show diving certifications.
- If you didn’t dive for more than 6 months you will have to do a refreshment dive. it means you will go over the basic skills of diving (clearing mask, finding the regulator…) and go for a dive with an instructor. during the dive, the instructor check your buoyancy to see if you are a hazard to the coral reef. As long as you are not all over the place you will pass.
Have your log book if you want to avoid this refreshment dive.
Have diving booties. The shores are rocky and getting in and out with all the equipment barefoot is not fun, if there are waves you will have to crawl out of the water (first-hand experience).
Free diving in Eilat
As mentioned before, the Red Sea slope is very steep. The ship Wreck in the video is just 60 meter swim from the shore. A heaven for Free divers…
My 3 Best diving clubs in Eilat:
- Aqua Sport (PADI) – On the map.
One of the first diving clubs in Eilat, maybe that’s why they have the best beach in Eilat. there is a bar, a restaurant and accommodation option in the club compound. Diving in front of the club is beautiful, the highlight is a field of eels. There is also a tiny wreck in 30 meters.
- Marina Divers (SSI) – On the map.
Very good facilities and shop. Located next to one of Eilat’s most popular diving site, HaSatil. HaSatil is old warship which Israel stole from French…wait what?! Yes! You can read about it here.
- Palmida (IANTD) – On the map.
The big advantage of this club is that is located quite close to the city, right next to Mosh beach at the southern coastline. It is actually the only club there. The advantage is that you can just walk here from the city. The combination of Mosh beach and the diving club make it a very chilled place.