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Overlooked by a pipeline, EAPC Beach does offer the best scenery for beach snorkeling. But make no mistake: it is one of Israel’s underwater gems. Its translucent waters are indeed visited by inquisitive bottlenose dolphins, and the many submerged pillars found near the beach support vibrant sea life.

EAPC Beach, Eilat
EAPC Beach pipeline.

How to get to EAPC Beach snorkeling spot?

EAPC Beach, also called Katza Beach, Pipeline Beach or Pipeline Open Beach, is located halfway between Eilat city center and the Egyptian border. From Eilat, drive about 3.5 km south toward Taba border crossing. Just after the Dolphin Reef, well signposted, a large parking lot on the left allows parking next to the beach.

You can also reach the location by bus (line 15 or 30). Mitsrayim Road/Dolfin Reef bus stop is the closest to the spot (100m from shore).

EAPC Beach snorkeling map, Eilat

Water entrance for snorkeling EAPC Beach

You can enter the water wherever you want from the beach, but if you want to explore the pillars or try to see the dolphins, it is recommended to get in the water at the north end of the beach (on your left when you face the sea), near the rocks.

EAPC Beach snorkeling exploration tips

EAPC Beach includes several points of interest:

1. The beach area (zone 1 on the map)

In front of the beach, you can snorkel shallow pebble areas in which wrasse, puffers, spinefoot and many other small fish abound (↕1-6ft/0.5-2m). On the right, a coral area is protected by a buoy line. In its surroundings, you may spot yellowtail surgeons, several species of butterflyfish, as well as small moray eels.

At a distance of approximately 30 to 50 meters from the beach, pebbles give way to a sandy slope. In the deepest areas (8-10m), you might spot garden eel colonies or a visiting stingray.

Geometric moray in Eilat
The sandy areas near the beach are sometimes visited by small moray eels. Here, a geometric moray.

2. The pipeline pillars (zone 2 on the map)

The pipeline pillars, covered with soft corals, hard corals and sponges, are called home by a diversity of fish and invertebrates. Swim from pillar to pillar to encounter a lionfish, a spotbase burrfish, or small groups of sergeant majors.

The swimming distance between the 1st pillar (↕6ft/2m) and the 5th pillar (↕30ft/10m), the last pillar included in the swimming area, is about a hundred meters. Near the shore, in the shade of the pipeline, clown coris, parrotfish, cornetfish and Sohal surgeonfish can be seen in shallow rocky scree (↕1-6ft/0.5-2m).

Spotted burrfish at EAPC Beach
Spotbase burrfish are frequently seen sheltering on the pipeline’s pillars.

3. The area visited by dolphins (zone 3 on the map)

EAPC Beach is visited by the bottlenose dolphins from the Dolphin Reef, the nearby dolphinarium. Initially kept captive, their enclosure is now partly open and the dolphins are free to come and go between the park and the open sea. As we do not recommend visiting Dolphin Reef, which is a controversial attraction as dolphins are fed and habituated to interacting with humans, EAPC is a great alternative to spot them without being part of the semi-captive dolphin business.

To get the best chances to spot the dolphins, get to EAPC Beach very early, around sunrise. It is at this time that the dolphins usually come out of the enclosure to wander around.

Lionfish at EAPC Beach pillars
The pillars support an important lionfish population.

The area visited by the dolphins extends between the pipeline and the Dolphin Reef enclosure (see map). It includes sandy bottoms punctuated by coral heads. About 50m from the pipeline, large pillars stick out of the water (↕26-30ft/8-10m). Their submerged part, encrusted with hard corals and beautiful examples of Dendronephthya, attracts lots of fish.

Closer to the Dolphin Reef enclosure, several pillars support a small platform on which you can see dolphin signs. The pillars and the adjacent structures (↕60ft/20m), covered with coral, are popular with wrasse, Red Sea clownfish, and schools of small fish hunted by voracious lionfish.

Bottlenose dolphin in Eilat
Encounter with a bottlenose dolphin at EAPC Beach.

It is in this deep area, around the pillars, that you will have the best chance of spotting dolphins. Used to interact with humans, the dolphins can be very inquisitive. It is forbidden (and dangerous) to enter the dolphin enclosure.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There is a large shaded area and a chemical toilet on the beach. The closest restaurants are 2 km north of EAPC Beach (in Dekel Beach and Mosh Beach), or in the hotel zone, 1.5 km south of the spot. The U Coral Beach Club and the Reef Hotel are the closest accommodations to the spot.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth65ft/20m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.