Beach Travel

Where to Find Blue Flag Beaches and Blue-Ribbon Views in Tel Aviv

All year round, but especially in the sweltering heat of summer, Tel Aviv’s white, sandy, Mediterranean beaches are where the locals go to relax, play and party. A promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and hotels stretches from the city’s southern edge at the ancient port of Jaffa to the Tel Aviv Port, a bustling entertainment and shopping district in the northern part of the city.

There are 13 beaches along this promenade, with nine of them recently receiving Blue Flag designations for sustainable development. The stylish Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel lies in the heart of the sun-soaked beaches and promenade — as well as all the area’s after-dark, waterfront action.

In addition to the sound of waves lapping the sand, the city’s beaches are also bathed in the rhythmic knocking sounds of matkot, a popular local paddle-ball game.

Tel Aviv’s beach life doesn’t stop when the sun sets on the Mediterranean. Numerous bars and restaurants, with tables spilling out onto the sand, fill up at night with both locals and tourists sipping wine and cocktails, indulging in local food and dancing.

GORDON BEACH

This bustling central sandy strip attracts everyone in Tel Aviv, from tourists to locals, young and old. While many simply soak up the sun here, this is also the best place in the city for water sports.

Awarded a Blue Flag for its environmental standards and cleanliness, the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean are especially inviting here. Sailboats fill the nearby marina, and sports centers offer equipment rentals and surfing and windsurfing lessons.

The lively atmosphere spills over to the promenade, home to weekly folk dancing, a constant stream of walkers, joggers and cyclists, and beachside cafes with stunning views day and night.

tel aviv beaches
You’ll find a lively atmosphere at Gordon Pool. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gordon Pool

This Olympic-size saltwater pool just off the promenade offers lap swimming with sweeping views of the sea. Recently renovated, it also includes a fully equipped gym and pools for children, along with plenty of umbrellas and lounge chairs on the wooden deck for those who want to relax.

Tel Aviv Marina

At the southern edge of Gordon Beach, the marina is packed with yachts, and views of the cityscape rise in the background. Rent boats, water scooters, diving gear and other equipment to enjoy and explore the Mediterranean. There are also sailing, windsurfing and scuba-diving lessons.

Beachside Dining and Drinking

Sit on the shaded and elevated deck at Gordo, and indulge in seafood while watching beach volleyball games. At Lala Land, tables are set on the beach so diners can bury their toes in the sand while dining. At night these eateries turn into lively bars, with music and special evening drink menus.

Sunset Dinner and Drinks

Just steps from Gordon Beach, the Olive Leaf Restaurant inside the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel offers a creative dinner and drinks menu based on local ingredients. Indoor tables look out at the sea from panoramic windows, and diners can watch the sun set over the sea while enjoying fresh artichoke tortellini, chicken baked with sun-dried tomatoes, or slow-cooked lamb with okra. There are plenty of local wines to choose from, along with desserts like warm chocolate cake with coconut sorbet.

tel aviv beaches
Enjoy sunset drinks from the outdoor bar. (Photo: Courtesy of Sheraton Tel Aviv)

At the hotel’s outdoor Veranda 115 Sunset Lounge take in the Tel Aviv beach scene the way locals in the know do — sip a classic Mai Tai or mojito cocktail and order plates of sushi in an exclusive upscale, Tiki-style space. A full- time DJ keeps the vibe both relaxed and lively, providing the perfect soundtrack for watching stellar sunsets over the Mediterranean.

Veranda’s tucked away location and lack of signage have made it a hidden gem, and snagging a seat at this see-and-be-seen hot spot is coveted by both locals and visitors. A reservation is recommended to guarantee a table at the lounge, open Wednesday through Saturday.

Folk Dancing

tel aviv beaches
Kick up your heels on the promenade. (Photo: Getty Images)

Join locals Saturday afternoons for free Israeli folk dancing lessons on the promenade. Dancers of all levels and ages perform choreographed line and partner dances from the 19th century, when the first European Jews began to settle here, along with modern routines set to contemporary Israeli songs.

FRISHMAN BEACH

Frishman Beach’s wide, white sands lie just south of the towering Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel. Like all Blue Flag beaches, the azure water is pristine. Wooden gazebos providing shade from the intense Mediterranean sun welcome those who want to relax, while playground equipment on the sand provides fun for young children.

The water, with a long shallow entry, is calm here and free of surfers — a draw for many local families. Still, Frishman attracts all kinds, including sporty Tel Avivians playing volleyball or matkot.

Get Active on the Sand

Sneak in a set of pullups on the bars in the sand here, part of a series of outdoor fitness parks that stretch along the city’s beachfront. Beach volleyball courts are available for pickup games and practices.

Dining and Drinking

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, renowned Tel Aviv chef Omer Miller’s Calypso restaurant serves fresh Mediterranean-fusion dishes to diners sitting at tables on the sand. There is a nightly DJ in the summer. Nearby London Restaurant serves a variety of grilled burgers, along with sandwiches and salads, at seaside tables.

Biking with a View

Rent a bike from the city’s Tel-O-Fun bike-sharing program from the beach’s station, and ride south along the promenade. Take in views of the sea while pedaling past the beaches and cafés. Experience the past with glimpses of Jaffa, the ancient port city dotted with church and mosque spires, winding alleyways and a flea market, at the city’s southern edge.

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