Israeli Beaches with Historical Significance
In Israel, it often seems that every rock on the ground is laden with history and meaning. The same can be said of the grains of sand on Israel's many beaches.
Enjoy the sunshine at the following sites, presented here in alphabetical order, with the knowledge that there is that much more to the beach on which you tread!
Ashkelon National Park – Located in the center of the ancient city of Ashkelon, just southwest of the modern city, the Ashkelon National Park contains discoveries going back as far as the Bronze Age, including the oldest mud arch in the world (1800 BCE). The park is surrounded by a wall from the mid-twelfth century and includes a series of sixty wells, bordering one of the finest, tranquil, beautiful beaches in Israel, open for public swimming in the summers.
Caesarea – A visit to Caesarea means a visit to a Roman amphitheater and a Crusader fortress-port that face the sea. A prime example of the antiquities in the area, the arena is also used for contemporary performances of the arts, sporting events, and the like. Leave the theater, and you will find yourself on a stretch of Mediterranean beach that will lead you back to “civilization” – shops, and a multimedia presentation on the history of the area under the Romans and since.
Jaffa Port – The waterfront in Jaffa is relaxing and bustling at the same time. Take a harbor cruise, and have a fish dinner overlooking the sea, while appreciating that quaint little Jaffa predates just about everyone – the port has been in use for 7,000 years and was the point of departure for the biblical Jonah before he was swallowed by the famous giant fish.
Kursi Beach –Unlike these other sites, Kursi Beach doesn’t offer you the Mediterranean; what it offers instead is the deep blue-green waters of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), at the spot where Jesus is said to have walked on water. Surrounded by the mountains of northern Israel, on the eastern side of the Kinneret, Kursi is a well-kept beach, where camping is welcome and amenities are present.
Palmahim Beach – With a mix of stretches of sand and rock formations, Palmahim is small, beautiful and has great views to the north, south, and out to sea. Near Rishon Lezion, the area has recently been zoned as a nature preserve, which will both enhance biodiversity on the beach and keep the waterfront out of the hands of developers. Palmahim is a landmark kibbutz founded by Palmach veterans in the months following the War of Independence.
For those times when fun in the sun just doesn't cut it on its own, check out these beaches for a recreational experience drenched in history.