Israel might sometimes seem like some far-away land, but actually, it’s quite easy to reach. Airlines from all around the world fly to the main Ben-Gurion Airport, located in Tel Aviv. From Europe, there are flights from most major cities, and fares are being offered by low-cost airlines as well. A smaller international airport is also located in Eilat, the vibrant Red Sea resort.
Israel is definitely a great travel destination. It has warm year-round weather and offers activities for both beach-lovers and those who lead a more active lifestyle. The Middle-Eastern country has four seas. In the west, there’s the 200-kilometer long Mediterranean coast. In the south, you’ll find the warm waters of the Red Sea, and in the east, there’s the salty Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee (both of them are technically lakes).
Wondering which sea to choose for your next holiday? It all depends on your interests and needs. Find out more about 5 different Israeli resorts and pick the one that suits you best.
1. Tel Aviv
Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv is the Israeli capital of business and culture. The city is attracting different types of travelers, since here one can easily combine beach-vacation with an active lifestyle and big-city pleasures.
Tel Aviv beaches are always full of life. Israelis and tourists alike are doing sports, playing volleyball, kayaking or paddling on SUPs. The beach promenade connecting the city with the ancient Jaffa port is a lovely route for cyclists and pedestrians. Apart from the beach, Tel Aviv has plenty of museums and galleries, world-class restaurants, vibrant Middle-Eastern markets, and a buzzing night-life.
There are lots of temptations in Tel Aviv, and the prices are relatively high. A double room in a simple hotel might cost anything from 60-100 Euro, and a dorm-bed comes about 20 Euro or more. The weather in Tel Aviv is best from April to November (although August-heat might be unbearable for some), and winters are sometimes rainy.
Pros: Tel Aviv offers a lot of activities, great food, active night-life; good connection with other Israeli cities (for example, Jerusalem is only an hour away by bus).
Cons: accommodation prices are relatively high; in the summer, city beaches might be overcrowded and too noisy.
Located about 30 kilometers north from Tel Aviv, Netanya is a great choice for a more relaxing holiday. The city is proud of its 14-kilometer long sandy beach, considered to be one of the best and cleanest in Israel. Netanya has long been a popular holiday destination for senior travelers from France, Britain, and Russia. Nowadays it’s starting to lure younger crowds as well, although compared to Tel Aviv, Netanya remains a relatively calm resort.
Netanya’s spacious coastal promenade is full of children’s playgrounds, parks, and fountains. You’ll find live music shows in the town’s square, as well as lively bars, cafes, and restaurants. Compared to Tel Aviv, accommodation prices in Netanya are more appealing, and hotels offer tours to various tourist-attractions around Israel. Netanya is a year-round resort, although winters might be too cold for a beach holiday.
Pros: Netanya’s wide and clean beach is good for a relaxing family holiday; prices are lower than in Tel Aviv.
Cons: apart from relaxing at the beach, there’s not much to do.
Located in the south, Eilat is Israel’s window onto the Red Sea and is often called the Israeli capital of summer. The sun in Eilat is shining even in December, and seawater warms up to 23°C. Like Netanya, Eilat is great for a family vacation. Children will definitely appreciate the huge aquarium and the Dolphin Reef, that gives a unique opportunity to observe and swim alongside dolphins, living in their natural habitat. The southernmost Israeli resort is also a perfect place for snorkeling and diving. The Red Sea is world-known for its colorful reefs.
You’ll find plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants in Eilat. However, the resort cannot offer many tourist attractions or exciting activities. A few of the options include visiting the Negev desert or traveling to Jordan or Egypt for a few days (both country borders are nearby). Accommodation prices in Eilat are pretty pleasant: an economy double-room might cost around 30 Eur.
Pros: The weather is great year-round and the sea is always warm; the resort is suitable for family vacation.
Cons: Summers might get too hot; the resort is located far away from other Israeli tourist attractions.
4. Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek is a small resort, situated on the southern Dead Sea coast. If you’re longing for great health treatments and SPAs, look no further. The resort has a strip of luxury hotels, offering anything from psoriasis and arthritis treatments to skin procedures with Dead Sea mud and minerals. Ein Bokek has the best free beach in the area, with umbrellas, beach chairs, and showers, as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants. A number of shops along the beach are selling Dead Sea products and cosmetics.
Ein Bokek doesn’t have any tourist attractions, although there’s a possibility to visit the nearby Masada fortress or even go to Jerusalem for a day. Hotels in the resort are quite expensive (it might be 150-200 Euro for a double room) but very well maintained, and most have swimming pools. The Dead Sea climate is perfect for a year-round vacation.
Pros: great SPAs and health treatments; good year-round weather.
Cons: it might get oppressively hot in summer; accommodation prices are high; there’s only a small variety of activities.
Situated in the north, Tiberias is the biggest resort town next to the Sea of Galilee (the latter is also known as Lake Tiberias or Kinneret). It’s a great place for a relaxing holiday, as well as exploring the surroundings. Tiberias is a convenient starting point to visit plenty of Christian sites along the Sea of Galilee, some of the northern Israeli cities and the spectacular Golan Heights.
Sea of Galilee is Israel’s main fresh water source. It’s warm enough to swim in the lake from May to November, and one can also rent SUPs, boats or kayaks. Since summers in Tiberias are oppressively hot and winters might be rainy, visiting this northern resort is best in spring or fall. The town itself and the neighboring settlements offer lots of accommodation options, and prices start from 50 Euro for a double room.
Pros: There are lots of tourist attractions and places to visit; more green landscapes than in other parts of Israel.
Cons: the weather is not suitable for a year-round vacation.