Ashdod: the southern port city that decided to bring Barcelona and Paris to us

As tourists, we will sometimes travel considerable distances to see some singing fountain or other attraction. Now that a trip abroad is no longer on the horizon, Ashdod – yes, the southern port city – has decided to bring Barcelona and Paris to us.

Recently started operating in the city “Ashdod Lights”– An audio-visual hiking trail about 800 meters long. The exhibition combines video art projections, lighting and laser effects, water screens and holograms. The route begins at the City Hall building in a performance that tells the story of Ashdod, the sea and the port. From there, accompanied by effects of light, continue to the Monart Museum, where a display of diving to the depths of the sea is projected. From the museum, continue in the direction of Ashdod Sea Park, where a video art exhibition will be projected on a huge water screen. The performance begins at 8:30 p.m., all days of the week (except Friday), and at no cost.

Although we arrived following the rumors about the light show, we started the visit to one of the most exciting places in the southern port city – Ashdod Yam Fortress. The shoreline of Ashdod is one of the most beautiful in the country in my eyes. Many come to the shores of the city to enjoy the open spaces, surfing and sailing, but not many know that not far from the declared beaches, a beautiful fortress is hidden.

Ashdod Yam Fortress is an ancient structure built in the early Arab period. The fort has recently undergone a conservation and development project, and is now open to visitors, free of charge. The works in the citadel included strengthening the supporting walls, removing sand, casting a floor and paving paths that make the citadel accessible, shading and lighting work was carried out, and a thin balcony overlooking the beach was erected above the citadel structure.

Beyond an independent tour of the fortress you can also watch an audio-visual show projected on its western walls. The exhibition, saturated with effects, moves on its walls and tells the story of Ashdod throughout history.

The performance is screened on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 8 p.m.
Ticket price: NIS 10 per person.
Pre-register on the website:

Ashdod Lights (Photo: Mike Edri)

A few steps from the citadel is the Ashdod Sea Citadel Ecological Park. The park covers about 300 dunams. The park has three walking trails: the beach, the orchard and the deer. Each includes information signs describing the route of the terrain, vegetation and animals that found refuge in the park. One of the trails also leads to secluded yoga positions, which have signs with recommended exercises.

The park is open all week, free of charge, so anyone can come to it and choose to go on a tour of one or more of the trails. Recently, the guide Alex Epstein began to conduct combined evening tours, which begin at the fortress and end at the ecological park. His tours depart every Wednesday with pre-registration at the Ashdod Tourism Site.

In the heart of Ashdod, the Lachish River flows. The stream has undergone a process of restoration and purification in recent years, and once again boats can be seen floating in it. The older generation can still remember how 50 years ago or more the creek water was clean. Today, as the decontamination work progresses, pedal boat rentals have begun. The boats will operate and sail on a route of about 1.5 kilometers – from the surroundings of Etgarim Park, which is on the river route, to near the estuary to the sea.

The cruise operates throughout the week, until October – from 09:30 to 18:30.
Ticket price: 60 shekels for half an hour of sailing. The price is for a boat.
Additional details: Ashdod Tourism’s Facebook page, and on the “Challenges Park” website.

Ecological Park-Ashdod (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Ecological Park-Ashdod (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Nahal Lachish promenade provides more attractions, and in fact from the morning you can see dozens of hikers walking along it. Those who want to increase the pace, can do so with together – family bikes.

The bike is suitable for a maximum of four people, and they make it possible to combine light sports activities with quality family time. With the bike, you can take a route that begins at the Challenges Park and continues along the Nahal Lachish promenade. In total, it is a two-kilometer drive, while on the way you can enjoy the views of the stream, birds that stop to rest in nature, the animal corners along the promenade and art sculptures. Stops with a riddle script were also placed along the promenade.

The activity takes place throughout the week.
Price: NIS 100 per hour for bicycles (up to four places).
Tickets at the Ashdod Tourism website.

Lachish River (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Lachish River (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

If cycling sounds too relaxed for you, you can go on an off-road ride on electric ATVs. Here, too, the starting point is a challenges park, and from there you go out accompanied by a guide to a challenging route that ends at the Moreshet Ad Halom site. Riding is very easy, and it is done on stable tools. Since it is a trip on a relatively flat terrain route, the trip is very suitable for parents and children. Duration of the route: about an hour.

Price: NIS 100 per car.
Orders: 053 – 7506599.

Even if you start the morning in Ashdod and even if you travel there at sunset, you should stop for coffee and a snack at “Story Garden”. The cafe chain, which started about eight years ago in a garden in the city of Holon, has a branch in Ashdod Yam Park – right on the lake. The cafe overlooking the water is a good starting point for any trip in the city. At sunset, you can also watch the “Orot Ashdod” exhibition, which is displayed on the lake’s fountain.

The cafe has a rich dairy menu, where the dishes are named after children’s stories. The menu includes classic breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, focaccia, pizzas and desserts. The food is fresh, delicious and served generously and generously. Most importantly, they welcome small children so that the families who come can relax and downshift.

Mafkura 1, Ashdod Yam Park. kosher.
Open Sunday-Friday, and Saturday.

Gan Gan Story (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Gan Gan Story (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

We stay in the atmosphere of the dairy menu and hop to “Barberini” – an Italian cafe that specializes in Neapolitan pizzas in the oven. Barberini sits on the ruins of Casa Ono, one of the oldest Italian restaurants in the city. The restaurant has a special location, not far from the coastal road – and already at the entrance you can feel its relaxed atmosphere. The place is made up of two spaces, the main space where the oven is located and another space with a wooden balcony that looks out.

The highlight of the place is of course the pizza, which is made of great dough, in Neapolitan style. The menu includes more than 15 types of pizzas with unconventional toppings. For example, pizza with corn cream, pizza with smoked salmon and more. In addition, the menu includes mini salads, oven-baked vegetables, wonderful pastas and more.

Rogozin 74, Ashdod.
Phone: 08-8554545.

Barberini (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Barberini (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

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