Nahariya is a small, provincial town in northern Israel, located near the northern border. Local residents say so about their city – Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv makes money and Nahariya sun-bathes. This is true because many tourists come here to relax on the beach or take a course in healing and rejuvenating procedures.
There are not so many attractions in the city, but some still exist – the embankment, the crusader castle, caves, and the Holocaust museum. You can also go diving in Nahariya.
Nahariya began to develop relatively recently – only in the 1930s. At this time, the local population, which was predominantly engaged in agriculture, lost ground to the Arabs, since their products were much cheaper. Now the main source of income is tourism.
Photo: Nahariya, Israel
Tourist information about the city of Nahariya
The city of Nahariya is located on the Mediterranean coast in Israel, 9 km from Lebanon. The name of the settlement comes from the word “nahar”, which means river in Hebrew. This refers to the Gaaton River, which flows through this village.
In the past, an Arab family owned the territory. In 1934 it was bought over by private individuals who founded a farm here. The village formed in February 10, 1935, when two families from Germany came and settled here.
Nahariya is on the list of the most beautiful resorts in northern Israel. It offers tourists comfortable beaches and a rich underwater world. There are excellent conditions for snorkeling, diving, surfing, you can visit the sauna, relax in the pool. Achziv Nature Park is very popular with the residents.
Scuba diving lovers can explore the sunken ship Nitzan that lies off the coast.
What to see in Nahariya
Of course, the northern part of Israel is not as rich in sights as the central part of the country, but there is also something to see and do. It is best to start exploring the city with a walk along the promenade.
1. Walk along Nahariya Embankment
This is a typical resort promenade with a beach on one side and a number of cafes and restaurants on the other. Walking along the promenade, you can admire the moored yachts, the ramming waves of waves and the beautiful Mediterranean blue. There was a place for fishermen, whose constant companions are cats, they patiently wait for their prey.
There is a breakwater on the embankment, pet owners, cyclists, athletes heading in one direction, and admirers of leisurely walks in the other direction. Along the promenade there are flower beds, benches and even sports areas with exercise machines.
2. Visit Grottoes Rosh HaNikra
In Hebrew, the name of the attraction means the beginning of the grottoes. This natural formation is located near Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast, a little north of Nahariya.
The picturesque cave was formed naturally, as a result of leaching of the rock from Mount Rosh HaNikra.
There is a tunnel formed in the mountain. According to legend Alexander the Great commanded his soldiers to dig it.
The truth is that in the beginning of the 20th century, this tunnel was built and paved in it for the passage of the British army. After two decades, a railway track was laid inside to connect Palestine and Lebanon. However 6 years after the tunnel was blown up.
To go down from the top to the grottoes, it is best to use the cable car, which consists of two wagons with a capacity of up to 15 passengers. The cars descend at an angle of 60 degrees and this is the coolest descent in the world.
Today, Rosh HaNikra is a nature reserve protected by the state.
The grottoes periodically flood with water, especially when the sea is choppy. It is necessary to wait until the water subsides, and only then go on. It is believed that it is in the Rosh haNikra grottoes that the mountains and the sea meet, that this is their love story. Don’t be surprised to see some rock rabbits who like to bask in the sun and pose for pictures.
3. Explore the Achziv National Park
If you are tired of relaxing on the beach, you can visit Achziv national park. The beaches of this national park are considered the most romantic in the world with rocky bays and picturesque lagoons. In addition, there are natural and artificial pools filled with sea water. There are both deep basins for adults and shallow ones for the children.
In addition to a beach holiday in the park, you can visit the ruins of a fortress built by the crusaders and admire the green lawns. The coastline here has a rich underwater world – sea anemones, octopuses, sea urchins and turtles live can be found.
Achziv used to be a port city ruled by King Tyr. The main source of income is the production of purple paint from snails that were collected on shore. Later, the Byzantines built a fortified settlement on this site.
Today, the ruins of the fortress are preserved in the park. The monarch Baldwin III presented the fortress to the knight Humbert as a gift. At the end of the 13th century, the fortress was conquered by Sultan Beibaras.
Along with the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Achziv disappeared, and an Arab settlement appeared in its place. In the mid-20th century, Arabs were forced to leave their home as a result of the Arab-Israeli war. From the old settlement what remains is a small museum complex – a mosque and the headman’s house.
- the cost of visiting – 33 shekels for adults, 20 shekels for children;
- opening schedule – from April to June, in September and October – from 8-00 to 17-00, in July and August – from 8-00 to 19-00;
- how to get there – drive along highway 4 in the north direction from the city for 5 minutes.
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Relax on Beaches in Nahariya
1. Galei Galil
This is the official beach in Nahariya. It is recognized as one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in Israel. Entrance to the beach is free. In the warm season, a complex of paid pools is open to the public. Tickets are sold at the box office near the entrance. The complex consists of a sloping pool, a children’s pool and a pool for toddlers. There are tables for visitors nearby. Also at the entrance there are canopies installed on the lawns, where you can enjoy relaxing in the shade.
- changing cabins
- rescue towers
Nearby, there are archaeological excavations of an ancient fortress dating back to 2200 BC.
2. Achziv Beach
Another picturesque beach in the northern city of Israel is Achziv. It is part of a national park, consists of several lagoons. Due to the shallow depth, the water warms up quickly. There are no waves here, so families with children often come here. The beach is paid and the entrance costs 30 shekels.
From Achziv Beach, you can scuba dive to explore the depths of the sea near Nahariya.
Diving in Nahariya
The north coast of Israel is suitable for diving and snorkeling. You can go diving and snorkeling in Nahariya all year round as the water temperature varies from +17 to +30 degrees. Admire the picturesque underwater landscapes, cliffs and grottoes and see the rich underwater world in Israel.
Hotels and Restaurants in Nahariya
Nahariya does not have a huge selection of hotels. The best are traditionally presented in the center and near the sea. In addition to hotels, there are also comfortable guest houses, and you can rent a villa or an apartment.
Good to know – renting an apartment will be several times cheaper a few kilometers from the center.
A double room in a middle-class hotel with amenities will cost from 315 shekels. Accommodation in an luxury hotel will cost from 900 shekels a day. For such an amount you will be offered a room with a view of the sea landscape, a jacuzzi and a balcony.
As for food, the cuisine in Nahariya is influences by Arabian and Mediterranean styles. The restaurants offer a large selection of meat, fish dishes, rice, couscous and a variety of sauces. A wide selection of first courses, desserts, hummus is common. You can also choose pizza, vegetable salads and seafood dishes.
Coffee shops are common in Nahariya. Pastries and cakes are served here. The city has a large selection of fast food restaurants.
The cost of a full meal in the restaurant will cost from 70 to 200 shekels. But a snack in a budget cafe will be much cheaper from 20 to 40 shekels per dish.
Best time to visit Nahariya
Weather in Nahariya is influenced by the sea. The climate throughout the year is mild, with a high level of humidity. In summer, the air warms up to 30 to 35°C, in winter, as a rule, it is never colder than +15 degrees. Water temperature in summer is 30°C, in winter it is around 17°C.
The main issue in the winter is a strong wind and frequent rains, so you need to take waterproof clothing on your trip and an umbrella. Locals usually carry a windbreaker and waterproof sneakers in the winter months. Roses and many more varied vegetation comes to life in this season.
In Nahariya, there is no central heating in the houses, so when booking a hotel room, check whether the room is heated or not.
In spring, you can already take shorts, T-shirts and slippers. The only thing that can overshadow the trip is the Sharavs which is a hot wind from the desert.
In the summer it is hot and dry, there is no rain, so you can not do without sunscreen and headgear.
Autumn, especially the first half, is perhaps the best time to travel to Nahariya. The season of festivals and holidays begins, the weather is quite mild and you can swim in the sea until winter.
How to get to Nahariya from Ben Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv)
There is a direct railway line from the airport to Nahariya. On the official website of the Israeli railway, you can pick up a suitable date and time of departure, book a ticket. The cost of a full one-way ticket will cost 48.50 shekels. You can also purchase a ticket for a different number of trips.
To Nahariya once a week on Thursdays buses leave from the central bus station located in Jaffa. The journey takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The most expensive and at the same time the most comfortable way is a taxi or a transfer. The trip will cost from 450 to 700 shekels.
Facts and Tips about Nahariya
- The land where the city is located was bought by the famous engineer Joseph Levy, who later became an outstanding farmer. In 1934, the state issued permission to establish the city.
- According to one version, the settlement was named after the Gaaton River, which flows through the city. However, there is another version that Nahariya comes from the name of the small Arab village of Al-Nahariya.
- Initially, the city was created according to the agricultural model, but there were not enough funds, and local residents began to open hotels, guest houses and earn money from tourists.
- About 53000 people live in Nahariya.
- Today, Nahariya is the capital of western Galilee, such a decision was made, since the city plays a central role in the life of the entire region.
- The inhabitants of Nahariya love sports – there is a basketball club in the city, three football teams, water sports associations, as well as an aircraft club.
- Bus traffic is well developed in Nahariya. As an alternative to a bus, sherut minibuses ply around the city. For travel, it is best to purchase a Rav-Kav card which is sold at railway stations and bus stations.
- Parking in the city is paid, with the exception of parking at restaurants and hotels.
- You can rent a bike or bike, pay by credit card in the machine. If you do not return the transport in a timely manner, a large fine will be charged automatically from the card.
Nahariya, Israel is a small, hospitable town in northern Israel. Comfortable beaches and fascinating sights await you.