The warm southern Israeli resort city of Eilat won the No. 6 slot on The New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2019” list.

The entry noted: “Beneath the prismatic waters of this Red Sea resort on Israel’s southern tip lies a coral reef with hundreds of varieties of neon fish, sharks and stingrays. To get there, visitors used to have to catch a charter flight from Tel Aviv or brave the dusty drive through the 5,000-square-mile Negev Desert. But with the opening early this year of Ramon Airport, set in the dramatic Timna Valley and capable of handling four million international transit passengers a year, the world will finally get a direct route – with nonstops from Munich and Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and budget carriers flying in from Prague, London and across Europe.”

Indeed, the much-anticipated Ramon International Airport – named in memory of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and his son, Asaf, who perished in an air force training accident – is finally set to begin operations on January 21.

Perhaps the Times was influenced by our recent travel article, “12 reasons Eilat is a fabulous place to visit.”