Getting from Tel Aviv to Eilat is surprisingly simple, with buses, flights, shuttles, and private transfers all easily available. By road, the journey takes between 3.5 and 5.5 hours depending on the means of transport. There are regular shuttles and buses (5-6 hours), private tour buses, and private transfers (3.5-4 hours). There are also flights throughout the day, which take around 1 hour between the two cities.
Many who travel this route do so in order to meet a tour to Petra, or Egypt. Many of these tours have options to begin in Tel Aviv, which can be cheaper than taking other transportation options. Here are the best options for making the journey:
Shuttle bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat
Taking the shuttle bus is the most convenient option. Available 7 days a week, including Fridays and Saturdays when other forms of public transport and flights are not available, the shuttle bus departs once a day and offers reliable and convenient options. The shuttle leaves Tel Aviv every morning and returns back from Eilat every evening.
Bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat
The public bus 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 (from Sunday to Thursday). On Fridays, the buses run until around 4 pm, and on Saturdays, they begin around 2 pm (note that these buses do run slightly during Shabbat).
This bus 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 approx 82 NIS (approx $25) each direction.
Private Transfer from Tel Aviv to Eilat
For the quickest journey, or a family or larger group, the transfer 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 at the airport at least one hour before departure.
From Sunday to Thursday, there are flights once every one or two hours, between 6 am and 9 pm. On Friday flights run until the mid-afternoon, and on Saturday, flights start in the mid-afternoon. Flights cost $100 per person per direction.