Eilat Underwater Observatory
Eilat's Red Sea is home to a magnificent coral reef, which can best be viewed by the fully clothed in the city's Underwater Observatory. Part reverse aquarium, part nature reserve, the Observatory is a must-see on a tour of Israel.
The aquarium here is built so that you stand in its center and the fish swim around you on the other side of the glass. Some of the most colorful fish make their home in the Red Sea reefs. More than 1200 species of fish not found anywhere else in the world inhabit this area, and you can see many of them from this vantage point. Over-fishing is a serious problem in the Red Sea, which makes the conservation efforts of the Underwater Observatory extremely important.
The outdoor pools on the grounds of the Underwater Observatory allow you to observe sea creatures from above. One contains swimming sharks and the other is full of sea turtles and rays. But the highlight of a visit to the Observatory is the tower built inside the sea itself, which allows you to descend into the water (while staying dry) to see beautiful fish and the impressive reef from up-close. You can also take a glass boat ride, where you can observe the fish from the bottom and sides of the boat.
A special treat for children is the Oceanarium, a high-tech simulated "dive" into the Red Sea from comfortable seats in a small theater. The best time to visit the Observatory is in the morning, when the light is best and the sea is clear and calm.