Fun in the Sun: Israel’s Best Family Beaches

Need to escape the heat? Here's a list of the best places to take the kids for a day of sand and sea.

Liron Vardi Geller
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Liron Vardi Geller

Shavei Tzion Beach: where the beach meets the pool

Shavei Tzion Beach near Nahariya attracts many families with its natural seawater pool. The small quiet beach is an ideal place to spend quality time together. It has a lifeguard station, shelters for shade, seawater showers and a snack bar. Other attractions include a spectacular view, diving center, marina for fishing boats and fishing pier.

Cost: NIS 12 (age 13 and up)

How to get there: Take Route 4 from Haifa to Nahariya. Before Nahariya, turn left to Shavei Tzion.

Achziv Beach: a complete maritime experience

Children easily fall in love with Achziv Beach, with breathtaking views in every direction and plenty of lagoons to splash in. A lifeguard station, restrooms, showers and large parking area are available. Fishermen gather at the southern end of the beach to cast lines into the water. What more could you ask for from a trip to the ocean?

Cost: Children (ages 5–14): NIS 20; adults: NIS 33

How to get there: Take Route 4 between Nahariya and Rosh Hanikra. The beach is located about five kilometers north of Nahariya.

Dor Beach: sweat before you swim

Dor Beach, also known as Tantura Beach, stretches from Moshav Dor to Moshav Habon. Inlets and natural wave breaks dot the shoreline, and fishing boats can often be spotted floating beyond the surf. A little island near the ancient site of Tel Dor is filled with hiking trails, meaning you can get some exercise before jumping into the sea. The challenging stretch between Habonim Beach and the southern bay is a good place to make the transition.

Cost: NIS 12 (age 13 and up)

How to get there: Take the old coastal road down the hill until you see the sign for Nahsholim–Dor. From there, follow signs to the beach.

Ma'ayan Tzvi Beach: a seaside nature reserve

South of the Carmel Beach, opposite Kibbutz Ma'ayan Tzvi, is a clean, quiet beach with no admission fee. Feel free to stretch out on the sand all day or even pitch a tent. Sand dunes and coastal vegetation lie just off this pillowy stretch of sand. Water trickles down to the sea from fishponds at the nearby kibbutzim Ma'ayan Tzvi and Ma'agan Michael, creating wet patches for children to play in. For hikers, there are a few islands – designated as maritime nature reserves – off the beach near Ma'agan Michael. Children are guaranteed not to be bored.

Cost: Free

How to get there: In a car, take the road that passes the fishponds. The road that goes through Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael is closed to vehicles.

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Artifacts from the Roman and Crusader eras are within view in CaesareaCredit: Daniel Tchetchik
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Breathtaking views and plenty of lagoons to splash in at Achziv beachCredit: Yaron Kaminsky
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The beach at Beit Yanai offers a colorful showCredit: Eyal Warshavsky

The Beach at Caesarea Port: relax, Roman-style

The well-maintained beach at the Caesarea Port is adjacent to the old city of Caesarea. The beach retains some Roman feel even today and features lawns, lockers, restrooms and places to sit and enjoy the spectacular view. There is a small area where children can go into the water – with parental supervision, of course! Ruins and artifacts from the Roman and Crusader period are within view.

Cost: Adults: NIS 27; children: NIS 21.

How to get there: Head north along Route 2 to the Caesarea Interchange. After descending from the interchange, turn west toward Caesarea. Pass the Orot Rabin power station and continue straight until you reach an intersection with a large anchor statue. Turn right and continue northward. Turn left at the third roundabout and continue to the end of the road.

Beit Yanai Beach: kites, surfboards and turtles

On especially sunny days, surfboards cover the beach at moshav Beit Yanai. When the wind picks up, kites fill the sky. In both cases, the beach, situated between the cliff of Beit Yanai and Tel Michmoret, offers a colorful show. Farther north lays the estuary of Nahal Alexander. In the summer, soft-shell turtle eggs are gathered and taken to special nesting areas to protect them from beach-goers and passersby.

Cost: On weekdays, NIS 23 per vehicle. From 19:30, NIS 14. On Saturdays, NIS 32. From 19:30, NIS 14.

How to get there: Take Route 2 to the Yanai Interchange and head down to the sea. If you are taking Route 4, when you get to Hefer Junction, turn into Kfar Vitkin and head straight toward the beach.

Tel Baruch Beach: as Tel Aviv as iced coffee

Tel Baruch Beach in Tel Aviv feels all the more calm and serene because it is so easy to get to. Sit on a beach chair under a parasol and sip an iced coffee while watching your children play on the edge of the sea.

Cost: For non-residents of Tel Aviv, from July: On Saturdays, NIS 7 per child; on weekdays: NIS 4 per child and NIS 7 per adult.

How to get there: Pass Sde Dov Airport and drive northward to the next junction. Turn left and continue straight until you reach the entrance to the beach.

Michmoret Beach: castles in the sand

Many Israelis have memories of the tranquility Michmoret Beach, which retains its relaxed vibe today. Wave breaks and inlets give it an exotic look and it now has clean restrooms and showers. For families who wish to stay for several hours, there is an arts and crafts section for children every Saturday. Once a month, there is an event involving sandcastle building, kite flying and sports for children and teens.

Cost: Free

How to get there: Take Route 2 toward Beit Yanai Junction and turn toward Michmoret.

Palmahim Beach: untamed beauty

Thanks to the efforts of environmental groups, Palhamim Beach is a wonderfully preserved destination for families. The water is deep blue, the sand is clean and there are no wave breaks. With beautiful and pristine scenery in every direction, children can see how beaches looked in an earlier era. There is a café and restaurant as well as picnic and camping areas. The official swimming area has a lifeguard station.

Cost: Free.
Parking: On weekdays, for cars: NIS 25 (subscribers: NIS 13). Weekends: NIS 30 (subscribers: NIS 15)

How to get there: Take the Ashdod–Tel Aviv highway and go past the first bridge. At the turn to Rehovot, turn right. At the Palmahim interchange, bear right with the road, go past the kibbutz entrance and proceed to the beach.

Zikim Beach: go green

Zikim Beach is a broad sandy expanse situated between the Ashkelon Power Plant to the north and the Gaza Strip to the south. To the east are the sand dunes of the Holot Zikim Nature Reserve sand, featuring abundant vegetation and local wildlife. The beach is clean, with comfortable, inexpensive sitting areas and nighttime lighting. As part of the plan to make the beach more environmentally friendly, containers for recycling plastic and glass bottles are located everywhere and the trash bags are biodegradable. Sporty families can play beach volleyball and surf the waves. Sleeping is permitted on the beach.

Cost: Free (under age 13); Adults: NIS 12.

How to get there: Head south on Route 4. After passing Ashkelon, turn right toward Zikim Beach.

Dor is filled with hiking trails, meaning you can get some exercize before jumping in the seaCredit: Itzik Ben-Malki