A day at the beach is one of the highlights of summer for children and their parents. With 140 beaches boasting plenty of sand for digging, calm surf, warm water temperatures, and strong breezes for kite-flying, Israel is perfect for a sunny family day at the shore.
The best beaches for children must be clean, safe, and accessible with plenty of restrooms and places to buy food and drinks. Israeli parents also prefer beaches that are free from the dangers of matkot (Israeli beach paddleball) and jellyfish. Luckily, the last couple of summers have seen purple “meduza” flags alerting visitors to jellyfish close to the beach.
Nevertheless, here is Israel’s eight “sandy gems” suitable for the whole family.
1. Palmahim Beach
Palmahim checks all the boxes. Located 12 miles south of Tel Aviv near Rishon LeZion, it’s close enough to Tel Aviv without any of the heady madness of Tel Aviv beaches.
A gorgeous stretch of beach that is framed by steep cliffs and a national park, Palmahim is one of the only seashores that has remained virtually untouched. The beach has only one lifeguard, but there are showers, toilets, sunshades, picnic tables, and a first-aid clinic during the summers. You can even charge your phone in the lockers fitted with a USB port.
Lastly, don’t worry about bringing the kiddie pool with you. Over the centuries, the cliff rock has formed dozens of tiny natural pools.
2. Habonim Beach
Nestled behind Tel Dor National Park near Zichron Ya’akov, Habonim is another picturesque seashore. With more bays, coves, and inlets than any other beach in Israel, it makes for ideal toddler paddling. The sea in those areas is shallow and has almost zero surf. Just don’t venture out too far because there can be undertows and there aren’t any lifeguards. The northern part of the beach has toilets, showers, and a snack bar.
There are also two family-friendly nature trails in the area; the first is an hour long and passes through aqueducts and a dam while the second is double the length and runs along the Tninim estuary until reaching the sea.
More adventurous families can set up a tent and camp on the beach overnight. The nearby Dor Beach boasts a genuine shipwreck just off the shore and a lagoon called the “Blue Cave.”
3. Ein Bokek
Conjure up joyful images of children splashing in the surf and the Dead Sea doesn’t exactly strike a chord as an ideal fit. But there is plenty to do without siblings splashing each other with salty water.
A new four-kilometer promenade gives visitors full access to wide, sandy beaches, equipped with loungers, showers, canopies, sports equipment, and playgrounds. There are special deals for families to take a Segway tour along the promenade. You can even push a stroller right up to the water’s edge.
4. Tze’elon Beach
The Sea of Galilee has some great family-oriented beaches perfect for the ideal getaway from the boisterous noises on beaches closer to the major cities.
The kilometer-long Tze’elon is the lake’s largest beach and boasts glorious shady groves and vegetation with flora unique to the area. There are plenty of lawns, picnic areas, water fountains, parasols, toilets, showers, and a power station for charging phones.
5. Achziv Beach
The majestic Achziv Beach lies about 5 kilometers north of Nahariya. This beach is a must, offering much for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. The beach is a perfect place to discover endless treasures! From glittering stones to extraordinary shells, the beach is home to a multitude of sea anemones, urchins, and baby octopi hiding between the rocks.
During the summer months, turtles lay their eggs on the beach. The wild strip of coast is dotted with tiny pools and turquoise lagoons. Achziv’s Banana Beach area has plenty of facilities and green lawns for lazing, picnicking, or camping.
This beach attracts a motley assemblage of hippies, families and windsurfers. Only 40 minutes north of Tel Aviv, Michmoret offers ample, inexpensive all-day parking and a restaurant. The dunes at Michmoret turn dramatic shades of orange, pink, and red as the sun begins dipping below the horizon. The natural bays mean the sea is calm.
On Saturdays, there are recreational areas set up for children to get creative with arts and crafts. You’ll invariably encounter some sort of competition being held at Michmoret, be it a kite-flying contest or sandcastle building.
7. Mei Ami Beach
Ashdod’s latest attraction, an epic pirate park that opened last year in the city’s northernmost Mei Ami beach, boasts a giant pirate ship that has 35-meter slides and a climbing pyramid. Offering all-day fun both in and out of the water, this is a playground your children do not want to miss!
The beach itself is one of only 21 in the country to boast the international Blue Flag, an eco-label awarded to thousands of beaches worldwide that adhere to strict guidelines pertaining to water quality, safety, and environmental awareness.
8. HaTzuk (Cliff) Beach
A list of best beaches would be remiss if it didn’t include at least one from Israel’s most famous beach city, Tel Aviv. A favorite among locals and tourists, Cliff Beach (commonly known as Hatzuk) is the city’s northernmost stretch of coast that meets Herzliya.
The beach is easily Tel Aviv’s cleanest and best maintained, in part thanks to its now-obsolete entrance fee. Families come to Hatzuk for the green lawns, seaside café, playgrounds, and abundance of shady straw shelters. Older kids can partake in beach volleyball or even kitesurfing.
Originally posted at Israel21c.