If you enjoy surfing then you’ll be pleased to hear that Israel has had an active surfing community since the 1950s and while on your gap year there will be plenty of opportunities for you to take to the waves. Here are some of the best surfing spots in Israel.
Right in the centre of Tel Aviv is the Hilton beach (just by the Hilton Hotel). There is a manmade jetty that protects waves from incoming currents and breaks the beach up into two breaks. This is known to be one of the better reef breaks in Israel and the waves here can reach the seven foot mark on occasion.
Just north of Tel Aviv is Bat Galim. Unfortunately this exposed reef break is not consistent but when the conditions are right the wave is known to create perfect overhead barrels. However, before heading out to sea it is best to ask a lifeguard or a local where the safest spots are as there are large rocks hidden just beneath the surface.
Continuing the journey north is Zvulun, one of many great breaks found in Herzliya. Zvulun is known for having longer rides than some of its counterparts and it is more consistent than some other spots in Israel. Furthermore, the sandy shorelines make it a favourite spot with locals. Try heading there early in the morning when the wind is most favorable.
In the other direction is Goote Beach in Ashkelon. It is considered to be the best surf in the south of Israel. However, the manmade jetties tend to kill the incoming swells and keep the waves smaller. Nonetheless, in the winter they are helpful at keeping the waves in.
If you find yourself in Netanya then checkout Lontiki and Sironit beaches. Because of an ever changing sand bar the waves aren’t very high performance but they are great beaches for other water sports such as sailing, paragliding and wind surfing.
If you are all the way up in Haifa then head to BackDoor, considered by many as one of Israel’s best reef breaks. It is protected by two jetties and produces an exceptional hollow right. Recently it has gained some notoriety as a high performance wave that is contest-worthy. The break is at its best during the winter but sometimes a summer storm may produce some amazing surf.
Also in the north, but not as far as Haifa, is Arubot Beach in Ceasaria. The break is located near a cluster of wind turbines that surfers pass when they make their way down to the beach below. You can be pretty sure that this break will be less crowded during summer months as it has a reputation as a mostly winter wave.
Back in South Tel Aviv is Maravi, the last sandy beach before you reach Jaffa. Maravi is broken up into two different breaks that are both consistent all year round. The breaks both work great either left or right and provide a fun wave for all levels of surfer to enjoy.