If you are one of the thousands of travelers wishing to travel to Egypt or Jordan after a visit to Israel, chances are, you may have to make a land border crossing for cheaper transportation costs.
After all, it is not that practical to fly to either countries from Tel Aviv due to the high cost of airfare.
Specifically, if you are visiting Jordan to see the majestic Petra and experience a nomad dinner under the stars in Wadi Rum, chances are you will have to cross the Arava border or what is now called Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal. There are other options for land border crossing such as Allenby but the Arava border is the most popular and hassle-free option.
And if you are crossing Israel into the ancient country of Egypt, then you are most likely to cross the Taba border.
Both the Arava and Taba borders are located in Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel. It is a popular resort destination thanks to the nearby Red Sea (yes, the one parted by Moses).
The Arava border is just three kilometers from Eilat and Taba is about 10 kilometers, so if you arrive in this city early, you can easily cross the border and get on with your onward journey either to Aqaba in Jordan or in Sinai, in Egypt.
However, most buses from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv arrive in Eilat late, at about 6 or 7pm and frankly, everyone is advised to cross the borders the following day due to security reasons.
So where can you stay in Eilat.
As mentioned, Eilat is a popular resort city and there are lots of hotel options ranging from expensive 3 or 4 star hotels such as Orchid Garden, Dan Hotels to the lowly backpacker hostels.
During my trip to Eilat this year, I chose to stay at a hostel since it was the most practical thing to do, given that I only needed a place to sleep at.
I stumbled upon Corinne Hostel which is a few blocks away from the main Eilat bus terminal.
Located along Retamim Street, Corinne Hostel is a homey, if a bit, country style backpackers hostel.
Corinne Hostel is a no-frills hostel. After the entrance, you get to see the simple and small lobby area decorated by wooden tables, and log cabin style wood decors.
There is a small communical kitchen where you can cook your food and you can use the plates, and other kitchen utensils for free, a basic service in hostels.
He offered me the hostel’s cottage rooms which are expensive, and I simply chose to stay in a dormitory.
I must tell you that Israel is not a cheap country and hostel rates are a bit steep. The 80 shekels I paid for a six-bed airconditioned dormitory is a bit pricey
But the rooms were newly renovated, the AC is super awesome, and the sheets were clean.
Each room has its own toilet and bath. Ours was surprisingly spacious and clean so I had a good shower.
Corinne Hostel will not win the best hostel award anytime, due to its basic services and amenities, but what I really like about it is its central location.
As mentioned, it is about 3 minutes walk from the central bus station, about 5-8 minutes walk to the Eilat airport and about 15 minutes from the beach.
It is also about 10 minutes away from the Arava border.
All in all, Corinne Hostel is somewhat pricey, but for weary travelers who need to rest after a long journey from Jerusalem and tel Aviv, this is the closest and most convenient backpacker hostel you can find. It is also the perfect jump off point for crossing the borders to Jordan and Egypt.