For those of you who enjoy the salty taste of the sea but prefer doing laps in a pool, Tel Aviv's Gordon swimming pool offers up the best of both worlds. Gordon swimming pool, which dates to 1956 and is something of an institution in the White City, underwent a complete overhaul five years ago.
Located on Tel Aviv’s renovated and beautiful promenade, the pool is surrounded by tall palm trees and overlooks the yachts and waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The facility includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, a children’s pool and a toddlers’ pool but, instead of typical chlorinated water, the three pools are filled with ground water drawn from a depth of 150 meters.
Every evening, after closing hours, the pools are emptied and then refilled with fresh, clean water. As a result, the water is particularly cold, even in the summer: You can often see shivering visitors wading their way in to adjust to the temperature. Regulars will tell you that the best way to keep warm is to just plunge in and start swimming. Note that it's fine to swallow the salty water as you swim, but you may find that it leaves a strong taste in your mouth.
Instead of itchy lawns or stone slabs that hurt your feet, the floor of the pool's sitting areas is a lovely wooden deck that includes sunbeds, broad plastic chairs with matching foot-rests and large parasols. If you've worked up an appetite doing laps, there is a cafe located just outside the pool, where you can enjoy an evening meal or a cool drink while gazing at the sunset through the boat masts lining the shore. Inside the pool area, there is also small kiosk where you can buy popsicles as well as prepared sandwiches and salads.
If you want a workout outside of the pool's lanes, the Gordon swimming pool is also home to a gym, which has a separate entrance and requires an additional entrance fee. The gym has modern equipment, yoga and spinning classes, wet and dry saunas and a Jacuzzi. There are also massage services and personal training for an additional fee.
If you're more into lounging and people-watching, that's fine, too: Locals and tourists who frequent the pool make it a point of wearing the latest swimwear fashions and breathtaking caftans that look like they just came off the runway. But don't worry, just because it looks glamorous doesn’t mean the admission fees will break the bank.
Opening hours: Sunday 1:30 to 9 P.M.; Monday-Thursday, 6 A.M. to 9 P.M.; Friday, 6 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. On Fridays, the pool’s lockers close at 7:10 P.M.
Entrance fees: NIS 55 for children, students and pensioners and NIS 65 for adults.
You can also buy a book of 10 vouchers for NIS 580 (excluding Saturdays) and NIS 665 (including Saturdays). Address: 14 Eliezer Peri St., Tel Aviv (on the Promenade, behind the Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel).
Telephone: (03) 762-3300