The question of which are the best beaches in Israel is a question of great controversy, with over 100km of sandy Mediterranean coastline, plus beaches at the Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, and on the Red Sea, in Eilat. Israel’s beaches contrast hugely; from the urban beaches of Tel Aviv, busy with young Tel Avivians taking a break from city life, to the rural and quiet beaches of the Northern Coast in the Western Galilee. Some beaches are popular with surfers, others with dog owners, and some are still secrets. Every Israeli has their favorite beach, here are some of our favorites.
The beach at Jizr aZarqa. Undiscovered with wide plains of sand and a beautiful river estuary.
Tel Aviv Beach
Of course, the Tel Aviv beach, which stretches over 10km along the Mediterranean is a firm favorite. Divided into over ten individual beaches, each of Tel Aviv’s beaches has its own character and crowd, from the Tzur Beach in the far north of the city which is a favorite with locals and relatively quiet by urban standards, to the central stretch of beaches – Gordon, Frishman, Bograshov, and Dolphinarium Beaches which are always busy, to the Hilton Beach which attracts a gay crowd, or the beaches further south which attract hipsters and locals from Jaffa. Read more about the Tel Aviv Beach in our dedicated article.
Tel Aviv’s beaches are busy but by no means over-crowded even in the central beach strip.
The Caesarea Aqueduct Beach is a truly unique beach, about 50km north of Tel Aviv, just north of the Herodian port of Caesarea. The ruins of an ancient Roman Aqueduct mark the inland edge of the beach and the clean sands don’t attract hoards of visitors.
This beach gets busy at the weekend with locals and the breathtaking aqueduct is a stop off for many tour buses, however with no restaurants and promenade, it is something in between the almost forgotten beaches of the Northern Coast, and the busier beaches of the city. Because of the aqueduct, it’s a particularly great photo spot at sunset.
Caesarea’s Aqueduct Beach. Image Luzer via Flickr
Jizr a-Zarqa Beach
Far from the beaten track, Jizr a-Zarqa is an authentic Arab fisherman village on the coast just north of Caesarea. Other than a scattering of villagers, the beach here is almost deserted, and almost totally untouched, with wide plains of clean sand. A fish restaurant is open on odd days. Access the beach from the village of Jizr a-Zarqa, continuing about 500 meters along the dirt track to the sea. There’s also a stream estuary, a particularly beautiful spot.
The wide and empty beaches at Jizr aZarqa
Beit Yannai Beach
Just South of Caesarea is Beit Yannai Beach, a rural setting, with the beach located within a nature reserve meaning it is brilliantly maintained (entrance fee is payable for parking). Especially popular with watersport enthusiasts (kitesurfing in particular), the Beit Yannai beach is also the estuary of the Alexander River which runs across Israel from its spring in the West Bank.
The Alexander River at its estuary at Beit Yannai Beach.
Herzliya is an upscale neighborhood just north of Tel Aviv. Herzliya Beach is considered one of Israel’s best beaches, notably quieter than those in Tel Aviv but still getting very busy at summer weekends, yet still developed with lots of lifeguards, restaurants, beach bars, and even a mall at the Herzliya Marina end. The beach is lined with four or five large hotels and is popular with tourists, the locals of Herzliya and the many surrounding cities, and of course, surfers.
Sunset at the beach
Coral Reef Beach, Eilat
Coral Beach in Eilat is the best place to snorkel in Israel, yet is also a popular family beach for tourists visiting the sun-soaked city, and locals alike. The beautiful coral off the shore here can be easily taken advantage of with places to rent equipment for snorkeling, and, for those less adventurous, places to eat, sit, and relax and enjoy the sun.
Eilat’s Coral Beach. Image madmartigand via Flickr
Dolphin Beach, Eilat
Eilat’s Dolphin Beach is located within the Dolphin Reef in Eilat, famed for offering the opportunity to swim alongside dolphins. Pay an entry fee to enter the reef and you get access to a beach which is much quieter than most in the city. The beach has, of course, food and drink facilities and relaxation can be taken to the next level with the attractions music-infused relaxation pools.
Next to the dolphins, the Dolphin Beach in Eilat
Mineral Beach, Dead Sea
The Mineral Beach at the Dead Sea has a pool of ‘Dead Sea Mud’ you can soak yourself in, a natural Jacuzzi made from natural sulfur pools, and a freshwater pool. Totally unique, it owes its place as one of the best beaches in Israel by being a well-organized beach.
The Mineral Beach also has health treatments, a cafe, showers, and is located in the northern part of the Dead Sea. Of the handful of beaches at the Dead Sea, many consider Mineral Beach to be the best, and tours like this one to the Dead Sea visit this beach – The Mineral Beach is momentarily closed due to sinkholes in the area.
Looking across the Dead Sea
Summing up – the best beaches in Israel
Of course, these are just some of the great beaches in Israel, and in reality, not many beaches are ‘bad’. In writing this article we created a guide that includes a selection of different types of beach. Remember to stay safe and only enter the sea when a lifeguard is on duty. All of the beaches mentioned here are official beaches with lifeguards, but it’s important to make sure that they are open for bathing with a lifeguard present.
We hunted for the best beaches in Israel driving an amazing Smart Fortwo. It might seem like it’s only a car for the city, but it’s great fun when it comes to hitting the open road and driving longer distances. The car’s really nippy and everyone smiles when they see it! The Smart is a car that breathes the fun summer beach culture which we at Tourist Israel breathe!
Our Smart Fortwo