A Guide To The Beaches of Israel
Maya Nestelbaum-Guez is journalist and writer based in Israel. Previously the European Correspondent for Globes Business Magazine and a writer for Ma'ariv, an Israeli Newspaper, her first book is due to be published this year. She is a mum to one little boy and loves spending her weekends relaxing with the family on Israel's beautiful coastline. In this special guest blog post, she gives us her guide to the countries best beaches.
Israel is privileged to have beaches all along its west coast and even though it is a small country, and it takes only 8 hours to drive from the north to the south, its beaches are often so different that it seems that they are in different countries.
This difference is due to the people and the climate. The sun bathers in the north of Israel, Haifa for example, where it is chillier with less humidity, are different from those in Eilat, in the very south on the border with Egypt. Who in turn are, of course, different from those lying along the beaches in Herzliya, Tel-Aviv or Netanya.
I live in Tel-Aviv on the coast. Tel-Aviv is considered to be the "cultural capital" of Israel and is also known as "the party city". Indeed it sometimes feels like a huge beach party with locals and tourists taking advantage of the great beaches and board-walk cafes, bars and restaurants here. In order to escape from the crowd, last summer I discovered a new location to spend the mornings and afternoons- the beach in Herzlyia, a town just to the north of Tel-Aviv and the location of a wonderful beach.
My sister in law, lives in Herzliya and she introduced us to this beach, which is a wonderful wide strip of golden sand. Sitting at this beach feels like a vacation in an exotic location. The water is warm, blue and clear and protected by breakwaters so there are no waves. It actually feels like a Lagoon. There is a nice path that brings you form the car park right into the water, the menu of the beach front "Mona" restaurant is varied with salads, Israeli breakfast and light cakes, ice cream (and excellent coffee!) which ensures the kids (and their parents) are smiling.
My little one loves getting short drives on the carts that go around and along the beach. He sits with his little Sunuva blue pirate beachwear on and plays in the sun. Last summer he was known on the beach as "the little pirate" (and I, with a matching blue Sunuva beach dress, was known as "the little pirate's Mommy"). What makes this beach great is that as it is very wide the kids can play not far from the parents, but not too close, and they are still far from the water.
As it is like summer for most of 365 days of the year here in Israel, Israelis take advantage of their favourite beach and visit it as often as possible. Hence, they have their beach habits: some bring food from home such as chilled watermelons, melons, sandwiches and sliced vegetables and have a picnic in between swims. Others (like us) just bring sun protection, sun glasses, hats, water and wallets and have a daily feast in the beach's restaurant.