The Gulf of Eilat
The Gulf of Eilat is part of the great tectonic rift commencing at the northern end of the Jordan Valley and continuing to the Red Sea.
The mountain ranges on either side are mostly composed of crystalline granite formations and are rich in minerals. The Gulf is the north-eastern tongue of the Red Sea and is rich in fishes, corals and other varieties of Indian Ocean fauna.
It has a hot dry climate with prevalent dry northerly winds. Precipitation is almost non-existent.
The historical Eilat, in the vicinity of contemporary Akaba, is mentioned in the Bible together with Etzion Gaber. The Etzion Gaber of the Solomonic period was discovered rather more than a decade ago in the excavations at Tel El Kheleifi, where blast furnaces for the smelting of ore from the Southern Negev were found, dating from the time of King Solomon. Ancient Eilat was an important station on the desert trade route between Arabia and Egypt, known as the Kings Highway, and was a terminal point for caravans crossing the Southern Negev and passing through the Arava Valley.