It’s that time again (Tel Aviv summer). The 2017 Tel Aviv beach season has officially started today. Until mid-October, you can throw yourself into the waves and rest assured a lifeguard is keeping a watchful eye. The sun-tanned icons of Tel Aviv’s beaches sit high up in their wooden towers. Eagle-eyed, and with binoculars, they monitor what’s going on in the sea and whistle reckless swimmers back with a megaphone. There are tragic accidents every year, so it’s worth listening to the voice of the lifeguard.
But on which Tel Aviv beach are you going to put down your towel? Everyone has their own preference. Here, I’ll show you how different the beach sections are. You’ll certainly find one that suits you perfectly on your Tel Aviv travel.
Tourist hot spot beach
Frishman and Gordon Beach are packed with tourists from France, Germany, England and Italy. In August, you might think you’re at the Côte d’Azur, it’s just less formal. Instead of champagne, there’s cool Maccabi beer. I like the two beaches off season, going against the flow. The wide steps with their wooden deckchairs invite you to enjoy the sunset. You can play volleyball in the sand or strengthen your muscles in the outdoor weightlifting area. The renovated Lalaland Café offers relatively good and simple food, given it’s a beach location: salads, hummus, fries.
Drumming at Banana Beach
The bright yellow plastic chairs, shining in the sand, are already visible from afar. When you see them, you’re at Banana Beach. The beach strip is located in the south, halfway to Jaffa. It still has the flair of old Tel Aviv, when there wasn’t a chic wooden deck yet. Locals meet here for a watermelon and a beer. There’s a surfing school on the northern tip of the beach. The beach exudes a touch of boho. Locals take out their guitars, play backgammon or meditate. On Friday afternoons, you can listen to the drummers who meet at the cliffs to welcome Shabbat with drums, bongos and congas.
Swimming with dogs at the Tel Aviv dog beach
As a dog mom, something that lies close to my heart, of course. The beach section isn’t an eye-catcher but at least it exists. Here our four-legged friends can freely frolic around and jump into the waves. The narrow strip borders the fenced beach for religious people (yes, that also exists) and the gay beach with its rainbow-colored umbrellas. So, if you have a four-legged friend, or else just like to watch dogs swim, this is your place. Guaranteed tourist-free zone.
Small surfing paradises
There are three hotspots for surfers in Tel Aviv: the old dolphinarium, Gordon Beach bay and Hilton Beach. All over, you’ll see children and young people confidently balancing on top of waves. Surfers are part of the cityscape. They casually ride to the beach with boards under their arms. At Hilton Beach surfing school, you can rent surfboards, SUP’s or kayaks and be introduced to the art of surfing.
Mezizim Beach bay
Mezizim Beach was named after the 1970’s cult movie of the same name by Uri Zohar. That’s to say, a piece of history and nostalgia. The bay is situated between the religious beach and the harbor boardwalk (Namal). Students and families meet up here during summer holidays. Those who are hungry can snack on something at 9Beach restaurant, although I generally advise against eating in beach cafés. Rather get a juice or a sandwich from the nearby farmer’s market at Namal.
So, now I’m curious. On which Tel Aviv beach would you put down your towel? Or is there an altogether different Tel Aviv beach which you particularly like?
Write it in the comments section….
Translation by Catherine Bradshaw