The city of Eilat came into existence when the modern state of Israel was established, although this region boasts a past that stretches back to antiquity. Biblical sources cite Eilat numerous times as one of the places people stopped off at on their Journey from Egypt. Today it is a popular Israel vacation destination.
The Timna Valley is located just a few miles distant from the city, where the remains of an ancient copper mine and temple can be seen today. They have survived for over 7000 years, when Nomadic tribes ruled the region. This coastal region served as an important Nebatean harbor during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Conquered by the crusaders in 1116, and subsequently by Salah ah Din in 1170, Eliat was then neglected in favor of Aqaba until the beginning of the 20th century. T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, led Bedouin warriors to victory in the region, conquering Aqaba and subsequently bringing the area under British control. After the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 it took some years before the population could be encouraged to live here. The first residents were a small group of immigrant families who established the village which went on to play such an important part in Israel tourism.
The road from Beer Sheba to Eilat was completed in 1958 which made getting to and from the city far easier. Eilat was home to just 6000 residents in 1959, with tourism becoming a huge factor in its success after 1967 following the Six Day War. Charter flights to Eilat were approved in 1975 which boosted visitor numbers. Thanks to its well preserved coral reef Eilat attracts many diving enthusiasts, while the year round hot climate and hotel and entertainment complexes ensure the resort continues to flourish.