After the 74th Independence Day: These are the beautiful beaches of Israel that must be known

Israel is one of the most important strategic points the world has known. For thousands of years, many powers and armies have settled here, and quite a few wars have taken place here, as evidenced by spectacular archeological sites that are unique in their beauty and heritage values, including the historic mounds.

These are elevated trapezoidal land areas, created as a result of building a city in the same place for many generations, with each generation building over the ruins of the previous generation. Thus the surface level rises and the mound is formed with historical strata from different periods. There are about 200 such areas in the country in various strategic locations, three of which (Megiddo, Hatzor and Be’er Sheva) are remembered for recognition as World Heritage Sites.

Since we are heading into the hot season, and we like to combine our trips with a dash of water, here are recommendations for four such mounds that are on the shoreline so you can take a refreshing dip in the cool sea water.

Tel Ashkelon National Park

Tel Ashkelon National Park is without a doubt one of the natural gems on the coastline. Beyond the breathtaking view of the dunes and blue water, a site from the Middle Canaanite period was found at the site. The exposed old city was surrounded by a embankment for protection and opened an impressive gate.

Historically, the southern city has been of strategic importance when it comes to maritime trade. Ashkelon actually connected Jerusalem with the merchants and goods that came from overseas, another point on the ancient road. Add to that an abundance of water, pleasant weather and quality agricultural land, and it is an ideal city.
It is advisable to start the route, of course, at one of the most important points exposed: the “Canaanite Gate”. The ancient gate is near the entrance and from there you can set off to the other points of interest on the site. It is estimated that the Canaanite gate was built sometime in 1850 BC, and is therefore unique.

After being impressed by the gate, you can ascend with the path that surrounds the gate complex to the first observation point that offers a panoramic view of the beach and the northern part of Ashkelon, the outline of the dirt and wall embankment. From there you will go to the center of the garden. From here you can descend to the regulated bathing beach, or overlook the strip of sand and the kurkar cliff, which protected the city from the sea. With the trail you can walk to the rocky beach – a beautiful rocky beach. Please note, despite the temptation not to enter the water here – the sea here is stormy and there are unexpected currents. Instead of dipping, look at the horizontal marble pillars embedded in the wall. Although they are reminiscent of cannon barrels, it is not known what the function of the pillars really was. Here you can end the tour, go back and sign the tour at the regulated beach.

How to get there: Turn west at the Ashkelon junction and drive to Ben-Gurion Street until the end. Arrive at the T-junction and turn left.

Tel Dor National Park

On one of Israel’s most beautiful beaches, in the area of ​​the national park that sits right on the shoreline, is Tel Dor. The impressive mound sits on a kurkar ridge south of the Carmel coast. The ridge, whose bays attract photography enthusiasts from around the world, has been the raw material of residents since ancient times. Because it was easy to quarry, a port city flourished around it from the Bronze Age to the Roman period. If you try to imagine, you might be able to see and hear the ships that stopped in the natural bays throughout the glorious history.

Over the years Dor has become a bustling city, and the remains of it can be seen in the huge walls that surrounded it. At Tel Dor there is an easy walking route that starts at the foyer. With the regulated path go west until you reach the ridge path. The trail takes us near the shoreline, to the first point of interest – a picturesque bay with small pools of water that serve as a home for a variety of fish.

Tel Dor National Park (Photo: Vassi Ozen, Nature and Parks Authority)

In the past, an entire industry operated in the pool area that produced the color crimson. From here continue with the path to the remains of the Roman temples. The remains are the only evidence that the city of Dor was conquered by Alexander the Great (Hellenistic period) at the height of its prosperity. From here the trail ascends to the edge of the ridge, and to a spectacular vantage point, from which you can see the remains of the ancient harbor, the blue lagoon of Surge Beach and the endless horizon. After you breathe clear air and enjoy the magical views, you can retrace your steps back to the vehicles.

How to get there: From Highway 4, turn west toward Kibbutz Nachsholim. Pass the entrance to the kibbutz and continue north on a comfortable dirt road towards the Nachsholim cemetery. From this point the signage is followed.

Palmachim Beach National Park

The Palmachim Beach National Park covers an area of ​​about 221 dunams. The beach was declared about 20 years ago, and you can find one of the most impressive mounds in the country. Among the garden’s points of interest are a pristine beach, a kurkar ridge and the remains of the port city of Yavne-Yam.

The route of the garden is suitable for all ages, and it starts with a path arranged right after the entrance box office. From the checkouts, turn south onto a path (600 meters) that leads to the Yavne-Yam cliff. The cliff is actually a large rock that juts out of the sea in the southern part of the garden. The rock is a remnant of the Old City. A city dating to the Middle Canaanite period. Back then, the city nicknamed the “Diminin District” (the port of Yavne) was surrounded by a huge embankment that protected intruders. Not many know the story of the city, but evidence shows its great importance and that many pilgrims passed through it.

From the rock you can continue with the path (north) on the top of the cliff, so that while walking you can enjoy the view of the coastal strip. In addition to the beach views, you should pay attention to the unique vegetation that grows on the cliff. On the ridge grow, among other things, sea urchins and the coastal night candle. In general, it is impossible not to be impressed by the wonders of nature at this stage. On one side the high cliff on which you stand, on the other the roar of the sea and the waves that meet the rocks.

Palmachim Beach National Park (Photo: Moshe Fishergan)Palmachim Beach National Park (Photo: Moshe Fishergan)

And as you can probably imagine, the richness of the rocks means the happiness of marine animals, so do not be surprised if you see one of them roaming it. At this point you will be able to decide whether to retrace your steps or go down for a walk along the beach. If you choose the second option, know that the walk will lead you, among other things, to an ancient embankment located in the northern part. Here too you can climb on the battery and enjoy another vantage point.

How to get there: From Road 4, turn at the Gan Raveh interchange to Road 4311 in the direction of Palmachim. On the way to the national park, you pass Nahal Sorek and the paratroopers’ grove, passing the entrance to the kibbutz and the parking lot.

Gored National Park and Nature Reserve

Between Olga Hill and Mikhmoret, the National Park and the Gedor Beach Nature Reserve await you. Much has been said about the beautiful fenced beach and its clear waters, and now this is a wonderful opportunity to get to know another facet of it. The most prominent archeological site in the reserve is Tel Gador. The mound is located on top of a cliff more than 30 meters above the beach. On the eastern and northern slopes of the tell, archaeologists have found fragments of pottery vessels that indicate a settlement from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages.
Three stone courses of a structure made of dressed kurkar stones were also found at the top of the mound. Pottery fragments were found near the building, some from the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Islamic period. It is estimated that the building served as a guard tower.

Our route begins at the parking lot of Olga Hill Beach. From here we will head south into the reserve. The walk is near the shoreline and on the ridges. Please note, unlike other sites, here you can choose which of the trails to go, when they all lead to the same point – the top of the cliff. If you are a sea lover, you will not be able to ignore the breathtaking view of the coves at the foot of the cliff.

Hof and Tel Gador (Photo: Yaakov Shkolnik)Hof and Tel Gador (Photo: Yaakov Shkolnik)

After a walk of about a kilometer, you will see an old building from the days of the British Mandate, which operated in it from a firing range. A few minutes walk from the building you reach Tel Gador. When you reach the summit, be vigilant, because there is a real danger of deterioration and fall. From the tell you can continue further south to the “Gulf of China” – a magical and quiet bay. From here, after enjoying the view, the silence and the immersion, you can head back.

How to get there: Southern entrance: From the Yanai interchange, turn to Mikhmoret. Pass the entrance to the trap and continue north for another 300 meters to the parking lot; Northern entrance: Olga Beach parking lot.

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