Eilat, Israel’s premier vacation resort situated at its southernmost tip where the Red Sea meets the Eilat desert mountains, is known not only for its year-round sunshine, water sports, desert activities and unique tourist attractions, but also its packed cultural and sports calendar. Many tourists time their visit to coincide with one of the international music festivals that take place in the resort, while athletes and sports lovers converge on Eilat for the many international sporting events and competitions.
Here are some highlights for the diary:
12-15 May 2011: Eilat Pride Festival. Over 4,000 people from a dozen countries are expected to attend the 10th annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival with a full weekend of non-stop partying, activities and entertainment.
22-27 August 2011: The Red Sea International Jazz Festival celebrates 25 years of hot summer jazz with international and Israel jazz artists, ensembles and all-night jam sessions.
7-11 September 2011: The European Swimming Championships (open water). Part of the European Championships with participants from more than 30 countries swimming in the wave-free waters of the Red Sea.
14-19 November 2011: Epson Red Sea World of Underwater Images Festival is a leading international underwater photography competition, taking place for the 6th consecutive year.
January 2012: Red Sea Classical Music Festival. For the 11th consecutive year, Maestro Valery Gergiev is expected to return to the festival to conduct hundreds of musicians and soloists from the Mariinsky Choir, the Children’s Choir and the orchestra of the Mariinsky Opera Company (Kirov) from St. Petersburg for a weekend of classical music and warm winter sunshine.
January 2012: Winter Red Sea Jazz Festival. The winter version of the legendary Red Sea Jazz Festival featuring Israeli and international jazz artists and ensembles.
28-29 October 2011: Eilat Triathlon. Attracts hundreds of amateur and professional triathletes – the European Triathlon Championships will take place in Eilat in April 2012.
27 December 2011: Youth Sailing World Championship 2011. Taking place for the first time in Eilat instead of Los Angeles, this pre-event for the 2012 London Olympics is expected to attract about 2,000 people from Israel and abroad.
20-21 January 2012: Israman competition. Thousands of triathletes from Israel and abroad will take part in this triathlon ( 4 km swimming, 180 km cycling and a full 42km marathon), ranked as one of the world’s top ten best iron distance races in the world by USA Triathlete magazine.
19-22 April 2012: Eilat Triathlon European Championships 2012. The first time that the city has been selected to host the European Triathlon Championships in which thousands of athletes are expected to participate.