Fascinating and contrasting feelings and sights await those who visit Israel. Whether it is the beaches in Israle, the via Dolorosa, the Western Wall, or the Dome of the Rock, there is an indescribable feeling inside one of the holiest places in the world.
A melting pot of cultures can be seen as Jews, Christians and Muslims live in close proximity to each other and interact on a daily basis. Be prepared for modern nightlife in Tel Aviv, diverse landscapes and beautiful beaches as Israel borders the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea.
Despite its small size, Israel has over 100 kilometers of sandy beaches. That makes it difficult to pick a favorite. But that does not mean that we cannot come up with a list of the best beaches in Israel. Whether you want the urban vibe of Tel Aviv or a quieter beach in the north, there is a perfect spot for everyone.
Best Beaches in Israel: Banana Beach
Banana Beach is right by Tel Aviv’s city centre and joins the sand to the south of Jerusalem Beach. The endless Mediterranean horizon flows in front with Tel-Aviv’s hotel skyline stretching to the north.
This is one of the beaches of Israel that’s great for a relaxed experience as it’s perfect for reading a book, sunning, and generally hanging out. Banana beach attracts a mixed crowd, both locals and tourists, with young families and groups of friends coming for a chilled afternoon.
The beach is actually named after the cool 24/7 beach bar that provides good food, drinks, and shaded chairs. There’s also beach volleyball and a surf school which offers some fun activities or people watching depending on your energy levels.
The weekends can get busy but all in all, this is a peaceful beach option, a simple and sweet choice to eat, drink, play and take it easy.
Best Beaches in Israel: Coral Beach
Coral beach is located in the most southern city of Israel, Eilat, and the most northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. The area itself is interesting as the meeting place for four countries; Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudia Arabia.
This is hands down one of the best beaches in Israel if you can make the journey south. The desert panorama alone is remarkable with its crystalline blue waters and white beach, backed by purple-laced mountains.
The section of the Red Sea’s coral reef system below is what makes this spot a real treasure, reaching out 1,200 meters along the shore. Coral Beach is home to Israel’s only coral reef, that’s also the most northerly reef in the world.
Unsurprisingly, this beach is part of a nature reserve and an absolute treat for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Drift over the reef and observe a fascinating underwater landscape with deep canyons, shapes, and underwater plants. Many colorful fish and other sea creatures also live in the corals.
The beach area has been well set-up to spend the day underwater exploring and has changing rooms, showers, and a snack bar. In case you haven’t packed your own, snorkels, masks and fins are available to rent.
More on Eliat:
Eliat is a busy port and resort area at the southernmost tip of Israel. The offerings for visitors is vast, with water sports, snorkeling tours, and resort vibes. It has a desert climate and can often exceed 40C in the summer months.
Caesarea Aqueduct Beach
This is arguably the most unique and historical of all the beaches in Israel, set 50km north of Tel Aviv just passing the Herodian port town of Caesarea.
As you may have suspected, an aqueduct is the feature that makes Aqueduct Beach one of a kind. The ruins of this striking, ancient Roman structure emerge from the sands on the edge of the beach, gazing out to blue Med.
The arches have a mystery about them, as ruins do, bringing in movement from tours, stopping off to explore and take photos. It is busier with locals at the weekend too but despite this, Aqueduct Beach remains a calm and relaxing place to be.
A welcome surprise is that the beach is relatively quiet for a historical beach site and hasn’t been particularly built up, save some simple wooden shade structures and a lifeguard stand. This adds to the natural beauty of the panorama, with the crumbling aqueduct framing the still beach and waves.
Apart from their aesthetic contribution to the beach, the arches also provide some shade for you to duck into – ideally come prepared with some chairs and a cooler. There’s just something special about looking out to a blue horizon, tucked under the arch of a 1000-year-old aqueduct.
Best Beaches of Israel: Hilton Beach
Hilton Beach is just below the hotel of the same name, nearby Tel Aviv’s Marina, and right in the center of the city. If an exciting, fun and social atmosphere is at the heart of your beach visits, you’ll love it here.
The beach has a cove-like layout with a T-shaped jetty, jutting out for strolling and taking a different view of the surfers and kayakers. There’s also volleyball that’s fun to watch from sun loungers or get into with friends old and new.
Hilton Beach draws a younger crowd and is popular with the LGBTQ+ community. There is also the great inclusion of wheelchair-friendly changing rooms and an access road to the sea.
Thanks to its location near lots of bars and restaurants, this a perfect choice if you’ll be continuing the party after an afternoon on the beach.
Gordon Beach is part of the Israel beaches that make up the extensive Tel Aviv coastline. Just south of Hilton Beach and the Marina, this is the central-city’s main beach and so popular for good reason.
Both Tel Avivians and tourists come down to Gordon in the day to enjoy all it has to offer; sunning, swimming, workout equipment, a playground and the boardwalk hosting restaurants that dish out big servings of Israeli breakfast and fresh fish.
You also have the saltwater Gordon Swimming Pool nearby, well-stocked with sun loungers and umbrellas for an alternative salty dip by the sea.
In the evening, the beach bars start getting revved up. DJ’s, drinks and a gorgeous backdrop invite revelers to dance into the night.
Gordon Beach is a safe bet for all types of beach-bums due to its ample facilities and prime location in Tel Aviv. The crowds add to the atmosphere of this spot making it a fun hang-out with lots going on, and people-watching galore.
Alma beach is the southernmost piece of the Tel Aviv shoreline, on the border with the ancient port city of Jaffa.
This is mainly a local’s beach with none of the tourist fixings and while it does get quite busy, there’s a distinctively relaxed vibe.
It may not be the most obvious choice for a beach outing – the waves feel much stronger and there’s no lifeguard – but it’s a grower, especially if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet from the city.
It’s also a haven for dog walkers, and admirers, as furry friends are permitted without a leash. If your ears are pricking up, you may show up precisely for the cute puppies and dogs frolicking in the water.
The view south from the beach gives a tease of ancient Jaffa, catching your eye with the old clocktower perched on the waterfront. Combining a bit of down time on Alma Beach and exploring the old city makes a wonderful day out.
Looking to the north you can study the coastline and pick out the beach promenade and city-centre hotels. Alma is also known for its laid-back, magnificent sunsets over the Mediterranean Sea.
Palmachim Beach in Israel
Another of the best Israel beaches is located a little further down the coast in Palmachim, a kibbutz around 10 km south of Tel Aviv.
The majority of the beach here is part of a nature reserve, rugged and natural, with rolling sand dunes, a limestone ridge backing the sand and endangered sea turtles.
It’s one of the last untouched beaches and a lovely choice to escape the city and recharge. It’s worth noting that although Palmachim is somewhat of a secret gem, it does tend to get busy on Saturday’s. If you prefer your beaches on the quieter side it may be worth planning for a weekday if possible.
People come here for the natural beauty and stunning views, there are no restaurants or cafes so come prepared with a picnic and some drinks to take in the magic with refreshments.
More Israel Planning Resources
When planning your trip to Israel, there are plenty of things to keep in mind. If you are an avid photographer, have a read of the best places to take photos in Jerusalem.
Want to know whether to visit in the spring or fall? Is it too hot in the summer months in Israel? This post on the best time to visit Israel will answer all of your questions.
Planning a Visit to Jordan as well?
Otherworldly landscapes and history await visitors to Jordan. With a visit to Petra as Jordan’s biggest draw, visitors can spend days exploring this massive site before moving on to nearby Wadi Rum, Jordan’s red sand desert, where you feel so far away from Earth, and the pulse of major cities, that it is impossible to not be awe-struck by the stunning scenery.
Bedouin hospitality takes center stage in Jordan, where even strangers on the street, genuinely wish foreigners welcome to their country and they are proud that you have chosen to come to visit.
Jordan is the perfect country for an adventurer. Whether hiking, experiencing Arab culture, learning new cuisines or seeing ancient sites, the country is littered with things to do. On a Jordan tour, it is possible to experience Jordan’s main highlights, but an ideal itinerary is 10 days to see everything that it has to offer.
You will find that the best time to visit Jordan is similar to the best time to visit Israel. So why not visit both and see the wonders of Petra and Wadi Rum. If you happen to start in Jordan, it is easy to get from Amman to Jerusalem. Much easier than the other way around!
Travel Insurance for the Middle East
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel every day.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.