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.
photograph 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.
photograph 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.
The well (photograph by Hanay/Wikimedia)
photograph 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.