Summer is in its prime, and the jellyfish aren’t too bothersome (at least until the next scourge). Calcalist went out for a day at the beach
Entrance to most Mediterranean Sea beaches in Israel is free, while the entrance fee at other beaches is replaced by (or included with) the parking fee. All boast blue water and yellowish sand, but here in Israel both may not always be clean.
The jellyfish still come and go, although you’ll be less likely to encounter them at beaches with breakwaters.
Calcalist selected beaches that are the most fun to spend with the family on a summer day, from north to south.
Israel’s northernmost beach is a nature reserve. Parts are sandy and others are rocky. This beach is simple and clean, with a restaurant-pub. Two islands – The Table and The Nachlieli – are clearly visible from the beach.
One can sail or swim to The Table, but visiting The Nachlieli is forbidden, as it is a nature reserve, and whoever approaches will likely be surrounded by the flock of seagulls that nests there.
Snorkeling and kayaking (Photo: Efi Sharir)
Rosh Hanikra’s ocean authorities offer beach tours, snorkeling, kayaking and rowing to the grottos. Children aged 10 and up may participate in the water activities. The beach also boasts a large water reservoir, where tours are given and activities are available for families with children over the age of five.
Details: Free entrance; NIS 250 (about $65) for a kayak for two hours. Tel: 972-52-379-8610
Those reaching Haifa from the Coastal Road know it as the turquoise-light blue strip accompanying them on their left. Haifa residents call it “the southern beach”.
Because this is the pure strip that begins past the municipality’s central beaches and ends at a closed beach at the naval base in Atlit, it is hard to say what the beach’s best spot is. The best advice would be to park your car and head south.
There are no lifeguards, umbrellas or restrooms, but instead you get the sea with no mediators, which is a fair exchange.
Details: Free entrance
The beach is part of a nature reserve and is overseen by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. This is a rocky beach, where the course sand ridges and water have created inlets and caves (the most famous of which is the blue cave).
The nature reserve boasts many shells, and its abundant plant life must contend with salty water and air.
Inlets and caves (Photo: Doron Nissim)
There is a restaurant at the beach, a camp site and special summer activities, including bringing in Shabbat every Friday at sunset, from 5 pm.
Details: NIS 30 ($8) per car, NIS 55 ($14) for those interested in camping on the beach. Tel: *3639
The Port Beach in the national park is Caesarea’s better known beach, and while it is closed for renovations (going down to the beach is permitted, though bathing is not), visitors should head to the lesser known, but better, beach, also known as the Aqueduct Beach.
Under the structures that once transported water, and within walking distance of the residential part of town, is a beach featuring nothing but sand, the sea and a lifeguard tower. The chances of bumping into dozens of tourists getting off a bus, taking a picture and moving on are rather high on weekdays.
Details: Free entrance
The Sea Village buildings promote the sea just as much as they do the apartments. Because the gorgeous complex surrounds the entrance to the beach, a slight invasion of privacy may be felt, but the highlight lies just south of the declared beach.
Fascinating beach (Photo: Dalit Shacham)
You can head south to the left of the lifeguard tower, where you’ll discover another fascinating beach that is rockier, featuring little crabs and coarse sand cliffs.
The beach is undeclared and you enter the water at your own risk, but splashing around and sunbathing are recommended. There is a playground for kids and shaded huts.
Details: Free entrance
Bay Yam’s beach strip is narrow, lined with restaurants and kiosks, umbrellas and chairs. There are few sandy patches where kids can build sand castles.
There is a huge sandy area on Tayo Beach, the southernmost in the city, and the restaurant – which serves meat, fish and seafood – is considered good.
Details: NIS 20 ($5) for parking; NIS 10 ($2.5) to rent a plastic chair; NIS 15 ($4) for a beach lounge chair. Umbrellas are free of charge.
This is the city’s northernmost beach, where the boardwalk begins. “Lee Gal Beach Culture” is a complex that includes a surfing school, a store for surfing gear and a bar that serves mainly fish and alcohol, managed by Gal Dahan, a young graduate of the Wingate Institute.
The surfing school offers private lessons for individuals over the age of five (NIS 200 – $52 for an hour an a half, or 10 hours for NIS 1,200 – $311), and courses are also available (starting at NIS 750 – $195, based on the number of hours). Kids can join the camp, which lasts two weeks (NIS 1,500 – $390) until the end of the summer.
Calma restaurant (Photo: Avishay Majar)
Those who are hungry after swimming in the sea can eat at the highly recommended Calma restaurant. There are shaded huts on the beach and wide stone benches.
Details: Free entrance. Tel: 08-854-0222. www.lee-gal.com
On the outskirts of the nature reserve, Nitzanim Beach was re-branded three months ago as Banana Beach, a younger brother to the beaches in Zikim, Michmoret, Tel Aviv and Achziv.
It boasts a beach restaurant with couches and chairs, and there is a campsite. Concerts are held at the beach over the summer.
Details: NIS 10 ($2.5) per person; NIS 10 ($2.5) to rent a plastic chair; NIS 20 ($5) for a beach lounge chair; NIS 10 ($2.5) for an umbrella.
Under the park housing the ruins of ancient Ashkelon is a small, well-kept beach. All services are provided by the park, which also allows camping. There is a restaurant, grassy expanses, restrooms, picnic tables and areas where grilling is allowed.
On Thursdays, camping must be arranged with a supervisor from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and a treasure hunt is held the following day, after a clue is given.
Details: NIS 25 ($6.5) for an adult; NIS 13 ($3.5) for a child; NIS 30-40 ($8-10) for those interested in camping.
Tomer Berda first Israeli to take home gold bracelet at Las Vegas tournament. Berda also wins $825,976
For the first time in history, Israel has won first place in the World Series of Poker. Israeli-born Tomer Berda proudly took home the first place gold bracelet, along with a considerable $825,976.
Berda began playing online poker as a hobby to keep him challenged. When his hobby grew to a full-fledged passion, Berda decided to sign up for the Texas Hold’em tournaments in Las Vegas. After enduring defeat 12 times, Berda has finally emerged a top winner.
But, success didn’t come easily. The game was intense from start to finish, with both players holding the chip several times. The score swung like a pendulum until Berda won with a slight lead.
This wasn’t Berda’s first success; he has had two final table appearances, and four cash wins at the World Series, but nothing compares to taking the gold.
Berda currently resides in California, where he owns a successful tech company. Now he will be returning home with US $825,976 and even more pride.