The Hidden Wonders of Underwater Israel - Atlas Obscura
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The Hidden Wonders of Underwater Israel

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!

Some of the most beautiful wonders of Israel aren’t on the land at all, but under the waves that wash up to the shore. From scuba diving to underwater restaurants, here are some of the submerged attractions in the country. 

UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY

article-imagephotograph by Avishai Teicher

Want to scuba dive without getting wet? The Underwater Observatory Marine Park in Eilat offers just that. In addition to its aquariums with fascinating sea creatures, it also offers an underwater space for view the biodiversity of the Red Sea and its coral reefs. 

RED SEA STAR

Also in Eilat is a slightly different take on the underwater observatory, as here you can eat the fish, too. The Red Sea Star restaurant is located at the end of a pier and accessible by elevator. Below the water it offers 62 windows out to the sea to view the fish while dining, and the bar has its own periscope. 

ATLIT YAM

article-imagephotograph by Hanay/Wikimedia

The remains of ancient structures also populate Israel’s coasts, but perhaps none so mysterious as Atlit-Yam. Located near the village of Atlit, the ruins date back to 6900 BC and 6300 BC. These Neolithic remains include houses, wells, and even burial grounds, with skeletons including two of the earliest known examples of tuberculosis. Most curious is an arrangement of a stone semicircle of monoliths around a freshwater spring. Some have speculated this was the site of rituals involving water. As to why Atlit-Yam was abandoned, signs seem to indicate a devastating tsunami. 

article-imageThe well (photograph by Hanay/Wikimedia)

SCUBA DIVING

article-imagephotograph by iluxhave/Flickr user

For the intrepid, scuba diving in Israel is one of the best ways to appreciate its underwater topography. From the coral reefs of the Red Sea at Eilat, with its mild temperatures and clear waters, to the Mediterranean Sea with its caves and canyons, there is an incredible variety of options for underwater tourism. Keep an eye out for octopi and schools of fish, and even shipwrecks, for a stunning adventure in the submerged world. 


Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!