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Israel Diving in The Red Sea

Situated at the southern most tip of Israel on the Gulf of Aqaba of the Red Sea, Eilat nestles between jagged red mountains and crystal clear waters, ruffled by nothing more then a gentle northerly breeze.

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Diving in the Red Sea

Situated at the southern most tip of Israel on the Gulf of Aqaba of the Red Sea, Eilat nestles between jagged red mountains and crystal clear waters, ruffled by nothing more then a gentle northerly breeze.
The year-long hot, dry climate attracts not only tourists from colder reaches, but also provides a haven for myriad coral and fish species endemic to the bay.


The city of Eilat is a great choice as a dive holiday destination. The Red Sea is a narrow and elongated stretch of blue water, bordered by mountains with an average height of 1,000 – 1,500 meters, with peaks over 2,500 meters above sea level. It is connected to the Indian Ocean at the strait of Bab el Mandab – the gate of tears and to the Gulf of Aqaba at the straits of Tiran. The shallow depths of the straits at only 134 meters are avoiding the accesses of cold waters from the deep Indian Ocean to the Red Sea.
Although the Gulf of Aqaba is very narrow, with 23.5 km at the widest point, it is very deep with a maximum of 1,829 meters at the deepest point – a fact that creates a very steady water temperature of between 22º to 28º Celsius all year long.
The coast of the Red Sea is bordered by coral formations with more than 1,200 species of fish and more than 250 species of corals. The desert climate of the area provides a long summer with many sunny days needed by the corals to maintain themselves.


At Eilat you can find world class diving. The local nature reserve hosts a reef of more than 1,200 meters long. It is the northern point at the world in which corals can be found. Divers from all over the world arrive to Eilat to view its wonderful underwater wonders.
Diving is very popular at this region, with more than 10 dive centers at Eilat and over 20 different dive sites, almost all of which are accessed from shore. Eilat is vary often used as a home base to divers traveling to the city of Aqaba at Jordan, or the Sinai peninsula at Egypt, but you will find no safer and diver friendly dive destination all around the world!

Eilat offers the best environment for dive courses and a few thousand certifications are issued every year. If you're interested in diving, there are a few options.

 

 As a certified diver you will be asked to show the following documents:

  1. Diving certificate – a card with name and picture from a known dive organization (such as PADI, CMAS, NAUI, SSI, IANTD, TDI, ACUC, and others).
  2. Divers log book – indicating you have been diving in the last 6 months. Divers who haven't been diving more than 6 months will be asked to join a refresh dive before they participate in other dive activities.
  3. Divers Insurance – specific divers insurance which covers recompression chamber treatment or any other necessary medical treatment for diving incident. One can be purchased at every dive center, or by the internet.

 

Certified divers can join the daily guided dives to one of the many dive sites in Eilat. Experienced divers with more than 20 dives can rent dive equipment and go by themselves for a dive in the area.

 



 


Four favorite dive sites are:


The Japanese gardens:

Situated close to the marine observatory the Japanese gardens have a beautiful drop off to more than 40 meters with lots of fish and corals. Dive site access by boat. A wreck lies at the deepest point of the drop off at about 50 meters.


The 'Satil' wreck: 
A grate wreck, more than 30 meters long, standing on its bottom in a depth of 24 meters at the bottom up to 12 meters at its mast. The wreck is an old missile ship from the Israeli navy that was sunk in order to create one more dive site. The wreck was sunk in the year 1994; its 70 meters from shore with its bow directed to north.


The caves:
Situated about 500 meters north of the border with Egypt, this magnificent reef offers a swim a very shallow depth of five meters. The so called caves are the home of hundreds of fish called sweepers which will swim very close to you as you pass from one side of the reef to the other.


The Dolphin reef:
At this magnificent resort divers can dive in a secured area with a pack of dolphins at their natural habitat. Most of the dolphins were born at the dolphin reef resort and are extremely friendly and familiar with the guides.

 

Visitors without any diving experience can participate in a dive course, or in one of the introduction programs. Eilat has a very friendly environment to offer for dive learning. The access to the water is right off the beach. The sea is always calm, with very light wind, and excellent visibility. One can participate in a dive course at the minimum age of 12 years old.

 

Courses range from a 1 day program to a full week course and longer


Introduction dive:
This is a one time experience for people from the age of 8 to 80 years old. Anyone can do it – all you need to do is go through a short briefing, and accompany an instructor for a short dive for a depth of up to 6 meters at one of the many local dive sites. The instructor operates all the scuba equipment and the diver only has to breathe and enjoy the underwater tour.


Discover scuba diving: 
This 1 day program is basically the first step in a diving course. Minimum age – 12 years old. The program includes one classroom session, one training session at a pool or very shallow confined water environment and an open water dive at one of the many dive sites.


Scuba diver course/ Open water diver course/ Advanced open water diver course:
3/5/7 day courses. Minimum age – 12 years old. This program includes knowledge development, confined water training and open water dives. The courses certify the divers for dives to 12/18 and 30 meters.


Divers who seek more advanced dive training will find it easily at one of the many dive centers in Eilat which train divers for all sorts of dive certificates including technical diving to a depth of up to 100 meters, and instructor courses.


We hope you will choose it as your next holiday destination.

 

 

Article and photos are courtesy of:
Manta Dive Center.  www.redseasports.co.il


 

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