Tourist Tip #349 / Thinking of Taking a Winter Swim in Tel Aviv? Beware!

It might not feel like it, but by the city’s schedule, winter has arrived.

Avshalom Halutz
Avshalom Halutz
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Avshalom Halutz
Avshalom Halutz

Summer is officially over, at least when it comes to safe swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. The swimming season on Tel Aviv’s beaches ended on October 1, and that means fewer lifeguards at fewer beaches.

Wind and rain will make the sea choppier, and anyone who still wants to swim must be aware that there are fewer lifeguards to watch over them — and that it will be a good deal colder.

Do note that the surface and currents in the Mediterranean are affected by more than the weather you can see from your hotel window in Tel Aviv: A storm in Turkey or Greece can revebrate here, too. 

During the winter season, lifeguard stations are staffed only at the following Tel Aviv beaches: Aviv; Jerusalem; Gordon; the “religious” Nordau Beach, where men and women swim on different days of the week; and Hatzuk Tzafon (northern cliff beach, well north of Tel Aviv proper).

The lifeguard stations at Aviv Beach will be open only until November 30.

Lifeguards are only on duty from 7:15 A.M. to 1:45 P.M. You’re on your own at other times, when it’s best just not to go into the water.

Be aware that all the lifeguard stations on all the beaches will be closed on October 15, when the municipality will be holding special activities.

And even when and where there are lifeguards on duty, keep in mind that the sea can be trickier, and more dangerous, than you might think. If you’re not accustomed to ocean swimming, you're advised to stay in shallow water and swim with a group.

The Tel Aviv beach in the winter. September 1, 2013.Credit: Moti Milrod
A man exercises moments before swimming in the Mediterranean sea in Tel Aviv, Israel, Feb. 27, 2013. Credit: AP