The Uniqueness of Israel
Israel’s Beautiful Beach Hikes
If you are hoping to spend time on your gap year in Israel strolling along the beach, then you will be pleased to learn that there are plenty of options. Many of Israel’s beaches are home to boardwalks and hikes that you will have the chance to enjoy.
You can simply start with the promenade in Tel Aviv. It has recently been renovated and is normally packed with people walking, running, on scooters, and so on. While enjoying the walk, there are plenty of places where you can stop off for a bite to eat, or you could even rent a bike and cycle the length of the promenade, from the Tel Aviv Port right up to Old Jaffa.
Of course, you may want to get out of the city, and you can travel north towards Zichron Yaakov, which lies just south of Haifa. There you will find the Habonim and Dor beaches (although they are often referred to as one), and you can start the hike from either of them. The path will take you along cliffs that overlook the beach. However, in places, it drops down into coves, and there is one that is packed with seashells. You will also pass a shipwreck and a lagoon known as the Blue Cave.
You can then continue slightly further north to Haifa and the Dao Beach. It has a long promenade packed with restaurants, cafes, and even an amphitheatre, so there are plenty of opportunities for refreshment. It is best to start the walk at the Hof HaCarmel train station (which takes very little time to get to from Tel Aviv) and then head north. You can combine the trip with a visit to the Shikmona Park, which is packed with fascinating archaeological remains.
If you are interested in archaeology, and there is plenty of it in Israel, then not far from Tel Aviv is the Apollonia National Park. It is home to remains from numerous eras including the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman, all on a cliff that provides beautiful views of the Mediterranean. There is a brilliant path that takes about 90 minutes to walk along and takes you through an old citadel, a moat, storehouses, and bridges.
It is more than likely that at some point you will head down south to Eilat, which is well known for its warm weather and sandy beaches. It too has a promenade that provides a lovely walk, and plenty of opportunities to do some shopping while you are there.
Those spending time in Jerusalem can head to the Ein Bokek beach promenade by the Dead Sea. It is four kilometres long and takes you right to the water’s edge. It is not much of a hike, but if you are in the area, you can easily visit Masada or Ein Gedi, both of which provide stunning views and trails.
In short, while there will be no shortage of opportunity to relax on the beach in Tel Aviv, if you make just a little effort, you can combine this with some beautiful walks and after completing one of them, the relaxation time will feel even more satisfying.