Israel is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with its borders situated along 170 miles of the glittering Mediterranean, the unique Dead Sea, and the tip of the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba. From serene white sand coastline to vibrant and active city beaches to shores dotted with impressive archaeological ruins, Israel has so many beaches worth spending the day at. Facilities vary from beach to beach, but they all offer stunning seaside views. Here are the top 10 beaches in Israel.
An attractive beach south of Tel Aviv, Palmachim was declared a national park in 2003 and is one of the last remaining stretches of coastline in Israel still in its natural state. As it's a bit removed from the city, it’s cleaner and calmer than Tel Aviv beaches for sure, but facilities are also fewer—although there is a lifeguard, some shade tents, and restrooms. Low cliffs on the southern end and views of Tel Aviv on the northern side are equally stunning, and the crystal clear water, soft white sand, and hundreds of seashells that wash up make for a beautiful seashore.
Hilton Beach, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv has 6 miles of Mediterranean coastline and 13 separate beaches, mostly connected by a boardwalk. There aren’t huge differences between them; though often crowded and loud, they are lots of fun, and all offer soft sand, warm blue water, and views of Tel Aviv or Jaffa’s old town.
Hilton Beach, which gets its name from the adjacent hotel on the northern end of the boardwalk, is a favorite due to its three distinct sections: the surfing area, the gay beach (marked by rainbow flags), and the dog beach. There’s also a breakwater that beachgoers can walk out on for exceptional views of the turquoise sea. Visit TopSea for kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing lessons as well as equipment rental. Hilton Beach is also lined with cafés and restaurants.
Achziv Beach, Kiryat Gershon Tez
A hidden gem beloved by locals, Achziv Beach is about 3 miles north of Nahariyya and 4 miles away from Rosh Hanikra and the Lebanese border. Quieter than the city beaches, Achziv is adjacent to Achziv National Park, where ruins from the Crusader and Ottoman periods can be seen from the shore. With coves, cliffs, and lagoons hidden among the rocky outcrops, the Mediterranean water is as clear as ever here. Sea turtles happen to like this spot, and you can catch them laying their eggs here between May and September. The rock pools are also home to anemone, urchins, starfish, and sometimes even octopi. During the summer, there are lifeguards, restrooms, and other facilities. Note: Entrance costs 33 new shekels for adults and 20 new shekels for children.
Caesarea Aqueduct Beach, Caesarea
Caesarea was an ancient Herodian port city on the Mediterranean coast, about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Archaeologists have uncovered magnificent ruins there, and its beach features one of their most incredible finds: an ancient Roman aqueduct. The massive stone structure with magnificent arches makes for an incredible backdrop to a day on the shore. Sunset here is absolutely breathtaking. Note that there are no lifeguards or other services here.
Dor Habonim Beach, Habonim
Known as one of Israel’s most picturesque beaches, these are actually two connected beaches 16 miles south of Haifa on the Mediterranean. The sea’s azure water is on full display here, and the rugged coastline is dotted with natural rock jetties. Most of the beach is part of a nature reserve, with several walking paths along a rocky part of the shore featuring more inlets than anywhere else in Israel. The Blue Cave and Shell Bay are worth checking out, in addition to a nearby shipwreck. There are no facilities here.
Dado Beach, Haifa
The northern end of the Mediterranean coastline in Israel is just as beautiful as the rest, and Haifa has several beaches worth checking out. Central to the city, Dado Beach is often the site of plenty of partying. There are several tasty restaurants lining the shores, and public dance nights always draw a crowd. It also has a lovely promenade and an amphitheater.
Mosh's Beach, Eilat
It's all about the super chill vibe here at Mosh's Beach. Eilat has several beaches on its coastline, thanks to its location at the tip of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. But locals flock to Mosh's to relax on the comfy cushions and indulge in the delicious food and alcoholic drinks that the beachside restaurants deliver right to your spot. The sand here can be a bit pebbly, but the water is clear and cool.
Kalia Beach, Dead Sea
A trip to the Dead Sea is not your typical beach experience, but it is a must when you’re in Israel. While Ein Bokek is where most of the big hotels and resorts are located, the beach there is extremely crowded. For a calmer scene, head north to Kalia. Slather yourself with the mineral-rich mud and float in the salt-laden waters before catching panoramic views of the turquoise waters and surrounding mountains from a terrace above the beach. There’s also a camping area, tented restaurant serving Bedouin-style meals, food stands, a spa, and the Lowest Bar in the World—right on the beach. Note: Entrance costs 60 new shekels.
This marine reserve protects incredible coral reefs—the only ones you'll find in Israel—as well as colorful tropical fish. Of course, snorkeling and diving are popular pastimes here, and snorkeling gear can be rented on site. For non-divers, bridges stretch over the shallow reefs, allowing you to see them from above thanks to the ultra-clear water. There’s also a strip of sand to relax on.
Herzliya Beach, Herzilya
About 9 miles north of Tel Aviv is the city of Herzliya, known as an enclave for the wealthy. Consequently, the beach there is lined with impressive oceanfront mansions. The beach is public, though, and its white sand, sparkling water, and sweeping views are ideal for a serene beach day.