The travel options from Tel Aviv to Eilat are quite extensive, with buses, flights, shuttles, and private transfers all available to make the journey. By road, the journey from Tel Aviv to Eilat, takes between 3 and a half and 5 and a half hours depending on the means of transport. There are regular shuttles and buses from Tel Aviv to Eilat (5-6 hours), private tour buses, and private transfers (3.5-4 hours). There are also flights to Eilat throughout the day, which take around 1 hour between the two cities.
Many who travel from Tel Aviv to Eilat do so in order to meet a tour to Petra, or a tour to Egypt. Many of these tours have options to begin in Tel Aviv, which can work out cheaper than taking other transportation options.
Shuttle from Tel Aviv to Eilat
There is a shuttle service that provides travelers with a transfer from Tel Aviv to Eilat, as well as the Ovda Airport. Transfers are available every day of the week. A one way transfer costs $35. Shuttles must be pre-booked and tickets can be purchased here in English. Note that the Eilat Shuttle service runs seven days a week including Friday and Saturday, making it the only option to get to from Tel Aviv to Eilat during Shabbat.
Bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat
Typical Egged bus such as those used from Tel Aviv to Eilat
The bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat departs from the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station and takes between 5-6 hours to reach the southern city of Eilat. There are up to 10 daily departures on the route, which are spread between the day (on Sunday to Thursday). On Fridays, the buses run until around 4pm, and on Saturdays, they begin around 2pm (note that these buses do run slightly during Shabbat).
The bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat is unique as it is the only route in Israel that should be pre-booked. The bus schedule can be found here. Online booking is only possible in Hebrew, but you can book via the Egged call center (972-3-6948888). An adult ticket is aprox 82 NIS (aprox $25) each direction.
Private Transfer from Tel Aviv to Eilat
Arkia, one of the two airlines flying between Tel Aviv and Eilat
For the quickest journey, or a family or larger group, the transfer from Tel Aviv to Eilat can be made by private car or taxi. The journey time here would be 3.5-4 hours in most cases, and of course, pickup and dropoff will be from your private address.
The journey could also be arranged to stop-off on the way, for example, at Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev Desert or the Timna Park in the Arava Region, in order to break the journey and have some more travel experiences.
Flights from Tel Aviv to Eilat
Two Israeli airlines (Arkia and Israir) fly domestic flights from Tel Aviv to Eilat. Most of these flights begin in the domestic Sde Dov Airport in the city of Tel Aviv, but there are some flights from Ben Gurion Airport. Flights take around 1 hour, and passengers should be in the airport at least one hour before departure.
From Sunday to Thursday, there are flights once every one or two hours, between 6am and 9pm. On Friday flights run until the mid afternoon, and on Saturday, flights start in the mid-afternoon. Flights cost $100 per person per direction.