Eilat Bay sits at the northern tip of a magnificent coral reef which straddles the equator. The clear, warm sea (at least 20 degrees centigrade) provides the ideal environment for the coral to build their homes. The coral reef is as variegated as its inhabitants are: ichthyologists have identified over 100 types of stony coral and 650 species of fish in the Coral Beach Reserve.
The reserve is a utopia for snorkelers. The 1200-meter-long reef is only 20 meters from the shore, with a shallow lagoon lying between the beach and the coral. The black-quilled sea urchin is just one of the unusual animals that inhabit the lagoon.
A wooden bridge leads from the shore to the beginning of the reef. To enjoy the phantasmagoria, visitors jump from the four-meter wall or walk down the steps into the sparkling water. The lime secreted by the stony coral hardens into formations that resemble trees, shrubs, balls, and brains, to name just four. The reserve also is home to soft coral, whose fantastically odd shapes are reminiscent of, for instance, a head of cabbage, a mushroom, or algae.
The Coral Beach Reserve has an unusually wide variety of coral and fish clustered in a small area. The reserve looks totally different in the morning than it does in the afternoon. When the diurnal fish retire for the day, the nocturnal fish take their place, creating a brand new world.
The Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority will soon open a center with exhibits and films about the sea and the marine environment.
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Beach, Pool on site, Restaurant