The multi-faceted and beguiling Tel Aviv Beach !
Young and vibrant Tel Aviv boasts some of the finest beaches not only in all of the Mediterranean, but also in the whole world, according to National Geographic. No wonder that Vogue Magazine recently advised its million plus readers to make Tel Aviv their next Mediterranean vacation. I was reminded of that Vogue article as I stared out the large window of our top floor suite at the luxurious beachfront Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, admiring the wide clean sandy beach stretching as far as I could see along the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. I had been waking up every morning to this glorious view and I just could not get enough of it. “Let’s spend a few hours this afternoon and walk and explore the whole beach”, I said to my wife, as I gazed at the wide pedestrian promenade along the beach.
I was about to discover that the nine miles of coastline in Tel Aviv encompass at least 16 different beaches, 6 distinct beachside promenades (there is a project underway to connect all the promenades into one continuous “Boardwalk”), a marina, the old port of Tel Aviv, a seaside park and the waterfront of the old port of Jaffa.
The Tel Aviv beach runs all the way to its border with its northern neighbor, the city of Herzliya, which is itself known as both a beach destination as well as the center of Israel’s Silicon Valley. By starting our walk just south of the Yarkon River, we missed the three most northern beaches of Tel Aviv.
We will have to go back to Israel to check out Mandarin Beach, which, according to the very informative Go-TelAviv website, houses a cool bar/restaurant on the beach called MeEver Laktaze, and facilities such as “neat lawns, benches above the beach, showers and changing rooms, walking paths, and an outdoor gym”. I really would like to see that outdoor gym on the beach! The Sun and Sea Beach also features a beach restaurant, while nearby Tel Baruch Beach, which Go-TelAviv describes as one of the cleanest and well kept beaches in Israel, includes at its southern end the “Tel Baruch Doggie Beach” catering to our four-legged friends.
We were so interested by the many restaurants, shops and fresh food market at the old port of Tel Aviv, just south of the Yarkon River, that we spent a good deal of time there before starting to walk south.
The section of the shore which we walked constitutes the main beach area of Tel Aviv, and runs from the old port of Tel Aviv all the way down to the Manta Ray Restaurant near Jaffa, a distance of about five kilometers or three miles. You could walk it in an hour but we did it in more than three hours, as our walk was frequently interrupted by the ever changing panorama and goings on around us.
Most of the buildings along this stretch of the coastline are beachfront hotels, and there are a lot of them, and several more under construction. There are also restaurants both on and off the beach.
We saw twelve different beaches on our walk, each one offering its own scenery, ambiance, facilities and clientele. Below is a short summary of what we experienced along the way:
Metzitzim Beach, for the younger crowd, with volleyball courts and an outdoor work out area.
Religious Beach, featuring separate bathing days for the men and for the women, of relevance to the ultra-orthodox Jews.
Hilton Beach, perhaps the most famous beach in Israel and very popular with celebrities. Hilton Beach encompasses three distinct areas:
Doggie Beach (Hilton Beach North) where dogs can run free and unleashed.
Gay Beach (Hilton Beach Middle), a very popular beach in the very LGBT-friendly city of Tel Aviv.
Surfer’s Beach (Hilton Beach South), a world class surfing locale, with a breakwater dividing two types of surfing experiences.
Tel Aviv Marina, a large and attractive marina located between the Hilton beaches and the Gordon Beach,
Lahat Promenade, the main promenade of Tel Aviv. Wide and paved with pebbles, lined with art sculptures, the Lahat promenade runs from the Gordon Beach all the way down to the Banana Beach.
Gordon Beach, a gorgeous beach, wide and sandy, but less crowded and with fewer facilities.
Frishman Beach, the stunningly beautiful beach right in front of our hotel, the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel.
Bograshov Beach, just north of the US Embassy.
Trumpeldor Beach, a very beautiful but also very quiet beach since there are no lifeguards or facilities.
Jerusalem Beach, right off Allenby Street, one of the main arteries going from the sea shore into the heart of the city.
Banana Beach (also called Aviv Beach and Drummers Beach), a place to relax with a good book or a game of backgammon, except on Friday afternoons when the drummers and dancers come to practice their skills!
Charles Clore Park, a beautiful seaside park which separates the Banana Beach and the Alma Beach. Two promenades line with several seating areas the shore through the park. A great place to come meditate by the ocean without having to take your shoes off!
Alma Beach, with its stunning views of Jaffa, and the locale for the Manta Ray Restaurant.
We ended our walk at the Manta Ray restaurant, where we had stopped for a late lunch and ended up lingering on to watch the stunning sunset over the Mediterranean Sea from our prime viewing seats on the terrace of the restaurant.
Jaffa Beach, which we never reached, is located south of the port of Jaffa and is said to be popular with both Jews and Arabs.
Our walk along the Tel Aviv beach made for a terrific afternoon, filled with a different experience of Tel Aviv life with each different section of the shore. That you can essentially choose a beach to match your mood or your needs or your whims on any particular day must be very liberating and exhilarating for the residents of Tel Aviv. We can’t wait to get back to Israel and enjoy a relaxing day or two on the Tel Aviv beach of our choice!
PS Interested in a nude beach? You will have to drive to Ga’ash Beach, about 20km north of Tel Aviv.
Stay tuned to BonVoyageurs.com for our writings about other Countries of the World as we share our joie de vivre from around the world. Luxury escapes, cruises and city breaks to Quebec City, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires. In Europe and the Mediterranean, places like Paris and Nice in France, Florence, Rome, Napoli and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Tel Aviv in Israel. In Asia, countries like China, India, Nepal and so much more!