• Amos Ravid

The most beautiful beaches in Israel (part 1)

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

Some people come to the sea to surf, others come to swim or walk, the majority comes for the fun, and there are those who come for the views. To take photos of it, to be more precise. Here is my personal version of the most beautiful beaches in Israel.

(This is part 1 of an Hebrew version which was published on ynet - the most popular internet site in Israel)

Beaches are amongst the most popular and beloved subjects for landscape photographers all over the world. No wonder. The dramatic scenery, the combination of the rocks and the water, the intensity of the waves and the spectacular sunsets provides fine raw materials. Our Mediterranean coastline is not rich with wild bays, spectacular sea stacks or steep cliffs rising out of the water and yet, there is no shortage of magical locations worth getting to know. So here is the list of the most beautiful beaches in Israel, at least for me. And even if you are not really into photography, it is still advisable to come and enjoy all this beauty that nature gives us. Just please remember to keep it.

Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve

Undoubtedly the king of the beaches. The coastal strip between the villages Dor and Habonim is a paradise for landscape photographers, for nature lovers and in general. This is a declared nature reserve that includes endless magical spots and landscape formations that provide great photography opportunities. Some of them have already become iconic locations on an Israeli scale. In between, you will also find some secluded and beautiful sandy beaches. No matter how many times you come here, it is never boring and with each visit you discover a new corner or a new angle of view. You can start the route from the northern entrance (Habonim) and go south, or from the southern entrance (Dor/Nachsholim) and go north. Just walk along the shoreline, enter the rocky areas that reach the waterline, and most importantly open your eyes wide.

Dor Habonim Beach. Every visit reveals a new spot or a new angle of view.

A paradise for landscape photographers, nature lovers and in general. A dramatic sunset at Dor Habonim beach

The ship 'Nets' was swept here on a stormy night in 1970. Since then it has been used mainly by children. And photographers

Dor Habonim Beach - magical spots, some of which have already become iconic locations on an Israeli scale. Long exposure on a cloudy evening

Dor Habonim Beach. Endless opportunities created by the sand stones and the water

Fire in the sky. A spectacular sunset at

Dor Habonim Beach

How to get there: for the northern entrance, turn from Road 4 west to Moshav Habonim, cross route no.2 above the bridge and just before the entrance to village turn right. Surround the village from its west side, cross the railway and reach the reserve gate (entrance with the vehicle has a fee).

For the southern entrance, turn west from route 4 in the direction of Dor and Nachsholim and continue till you get to the parking lot of the declared beach.

On Waze: Habonim Beach Nature Reserve or Dor Beach

Note: The place is a declared nature reserve - the rules must be followed.

Achziv - Rosh Hanikra Sea Reserve

Israel's northernmost coastline is also one of its most beautiful. The reserve stretches for about 6 km, from north of Nahariya to the foot of the Rosh Hanikra cliff. Along it you will find many rocks formation, small lagoons and coves. The most interesting and beautiful part, in my opinion, is the northernmost, just below Rosh Hanikra cliff. there is a paved walkway along the coast but the real fun (and the most beautiful) is to walk right on the waterline.

Israel's northernmost coastline is also one of its most beautiful. Rosh Hanikra Beach

How to get there: From Highway 4 turn to Achziv National Park (left for those coming from the south) and continue north on the scenic road. All along the way are neat parking bays where you can stop and walk down to the beach. Continue to the last square, park in the regulated parking bay and walk down to wander the magical beach.

On Waze: Achziv National Park

Note: The place is a declared nature reserve - the rules must be followed.

Olga Beach

The shore strip between Moshav Mikhmoret and Givat Olga is less familiar to those who are not residents of the area and offers great beauty within a short walking distance from the regulated beach of Givat Olga. Huge sand rocks that have detached from the cliff embed the water front in a variety of shapes that create a playground of nature. If we forget for a moment where we came from and where we are, we can easily imagine that we are on some remote beach in a remote country. At some points the path between the water and the cliff is no more than a few meters wide. Elsewhere the beaches are wide, sandy, and comfortable. Do not miss a walk on the cliff above the beach for a beautiful view of the sunset. Just be careful not to approach the edge of the cliff as the ground in some places is unstable.

Olga beach reserve combines sandy beaches with impressive Sand rocks. Here after a few days of heavy rain.

Olga Beach. Huge sand rocks that have detached from the cliff create a natural playground

Do not miss a walk on the cliff above the beach for a beautiful view of the sunset. Mediterranean Wild Thyme flowes on the hills above Olga Beach during July with it's wonderful aromas. The Aromatic Beach"

How to get there: Park the car in the parking lot of Olga Beach, go down to the beach and walk south.

On Waze: Olga Beach

Note: The place is a declared nature reserve - the rules must be followed. Do not approach the edge of the cliff.

Tips for beach photography:

When to get there: Unfortunately the sky in our part of the world is clear and boring on many summer days. So winter, fall and spring are usually the best seasons for landscape photography here. Another advantage of winter is the small number of people on the beach. That does not mean you should not shoot in summer, just take into account that some beaches are crowded and sometimes it takes a lot of patience, flexibility and stubbornness to have a good photo.

At what hours: The best time for photography on our beaches is sunset hours (from about 45 minutes before sunset to about half an hour after). As always, it is recommended to arrive at least an hour, preferably even two hours before sunset to allow enough time to get to know the place and find an interesting composition.

What to bring: Mosquitos repellent, sunscreen, water. Comfortable walking shoes for walking on the rocks. If you are going to get your feet wet then sandals or shoes for walking in the water. In winter high boots or a fishing suit.

Photography equipment: Wide lens to emphasize the rocks and the foreground, a stable tripod, a GND filter can be useful as well as ND for longer exposures and a polarizer. Shutter release cable or a wireless shutter release trigger is also recommended and a dedicated cloth and cleaning solution for your lens in case of spraying.

General notes: It is important to be very careful when you are on the rocks or in the water - take care of yourself and your equipment. Be ready for unexpected waves and watch your steps. And, of course, keep nature.

The original article (in Hebrew) is here

To be continued

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