As the capital of Israel and a holy site for all three of the major Abrahamic religions, Jerusalem is a bucket list city for many different people – and for many different reasons – but it’s probably not the first place that you would think of when you picture beautiful, sandy beaches.
In fact, the city itself is a bit of a distance from any large body of water, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a relaxing day by the water if you are visiting.
Even though there are no beaches in Jerusalem itself, you might be surprised to find out just how many coastal and seaside spots there are within a short drive of the city. In less than an hour, you can be relaxing by the water and taking in some incredible ocean views of the Mediterranean – or you can find yourself along the waterfront of the famous Dead Sea.
If you want to know where these exciting opportunities are, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover some of the most popular beaches within a short distance of Jerusalem, so that you can experience them for yourself.
Check out our article on 8 Best Beaches in Istanbul Turkey.
Beaches In Jerusalem
Tel Aviv Beach
As you can tell by the name, this beach is actually located in Tel Aviv, on Israel’s western coast. It is an absolutely beautiful location that has a lot to offer, right near the heart of one of the most exciting cities in the region.
You can get to Jerusalem beach by car within about an hour from Jerusalem, and it is well worth the trip. It is very spacious, which makes it a great choice for families, and there are many bars and restaurants right on the beachfront.
There are lifeguards, chairs, and canopies so it is both safe and comfortable, and you can take part in a lot of fun activities here too – like kite surfing and ocean kayaking. Another reason why visitors love this beach, in particular, is because it is always very clean and well-maintained.
Journeying in the opposite direction, you will find a very different kind of waterside experience. Instead of traveling to the Mediterranean coastline to the west, you can head east, to the Dead Sea.
Kalia Beach is one of the most popular spots for experiencing this incredibly famous world landmark, and it is easy to see why. There are not many locations around this salty inland sea that are as spacious and well-serviced as Kalia. You will find chairs and umbrellas, as well as access to experience the incredibly buoyant waters and the healing mud.
There is a charge of around 50 ILS ($15), but you can also get food and drink here, and visit the gift shops to find a souvenir to take home with you.
Beach Shimshon Sheva
South of Tel Aviv, you can visit the sixth-largest city in Israel: Ashdod. It’s not just an interesting and modern town, with some absolutely fascinating architecture around the port, but it has some beautiful beaches as well.
One of the most popular in the region is Shimshon Sheva, a little to the south of the city. As you travel to it, you will drive past the incredible Eye of the Sun art installation by Motti Mizrachi before you arrive at the beach itself.
Shimshon Sheva has great parking, but the beach is actually often very quiet and peaceful. It is a little distance away from the main hub of the city, so it is a great option for those looking to avoid the crowds.
If you want to have a truly unique beach experience, the Ein Gedi reserve is possibly the most special locale on our list. It is located on the western bank of the Dead Sea, just over an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, and the park itself has its own internal beaches, waterfalls, rivers, and hiking trails.
It is truly a remarkable place to be, and you can stay on-site, as there is both a hostel and a bed ; breakfast located right inside the reserve. You can even get there by bus, which travels between Ein Gedi and Jerusalem several times a day.
Although you can explore Ein Gedi on your own, many people do recommend taking one of the guided tours, as they will take you to the best bathing spots and the most scenic vistas.
Ashdod has a number of beautiful beaches to explore, and Ashdod Beach itself is one of the most popular. Unlike Shimshon Sheva to the south, this beach is located right alongside the city and it is spacious, accessible, and great for families.
The parking is free, it is rarely crowded, and there are lots of options for shade on the sand. If you’re looking for a city beach but you don’t want to brave the traffic of Tel Aviv, this is definitely a top choice.
There are also many restaurants, bars, hotels, and cafes that overlook the sand and the sea, so it is very easy to grab a bite to eat at the end of a long, relaxing day.
Bar Kochba Beach
If you travel a little further south again from Ashdod, you will arrive at the smaller city of Ashkelon, which is home to the fantastic Bar Kochba Beach. It is just north of the city’s marina, and quite a special place to enjoy the sea.
The space itself has a really interesting design, with curved sandy beaches enclosed by short sea walls. It can get a little crowded, as it is not the largest beach in the area and it is close to the city, but it is still a wonderful place to visit.
If you travel to Ashkelon at the right time, you will also get to see some of the incredible sand sculptures, created by sand artists for the International San Sculpture Festival, which are a truly impressive sight to behold.
Back in Tel Aviv again, there are such a large number of beaches that some of them almost slip under the radar. Alma Beach is a well-kept secret, with an incredible atmosphere, great food and drinks, and a lovely promenade.
It is a little tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv itself, so it is usually less crowded than Tel Aviv Beach to the north, but it is still very easy to get to and well serviced by bars, restaurants, and cafes.
While you’re at the beach, you should definitely take a look at the early 20th-century Ottoman clock tower and the peaceful beachside Abrasha Park.
If you’re looking for a pure and unadulterated beach experience, Nitsanim is where you want to go. It is located between Ashkelon and Ashdod, within the Holot Nitsanim Reserve. It may be a little trickier to get to, but when you arrive you will find a truly magnificent sandy paradise.
The beach is wide and open, usually free from larger crowds, but it still has lifeguards, toilets, and even a restaurant.
Not to mention the reserve itself, which is a wonderful place to spend hours of the day exploring the dunes and wildlife on foot.
Rishon LeTsiyon Beach
South of the main Tel Aviv metropolitan area, the beach at Rishon LeTsiyon is lively, spacious, and a hotspot for great cafes and restaurants. It is also a really good location for trying out paragliding, and it’s close to some seriously major attractions.
A stone’s throw from this beach, around Rishon LeZion lake, you will find the Flybox levitation experience, Superland amusement park, and the massive Yes Planet cinema.
This beach is a great starting point for a full-on day out.
If you venture a little further north, away from Tel Aviv, you can find the secluded marvel of Ga’ash. It is a little more adventurous of an option, as the journey to get there does require a little walking and there are a few rocks in the sea, but the trip is certainly worth it.
The beach is actually located on the Israel National Trail, so it is a really good place to stop as part of a long day of hiking.
It is also one of the few places in the area where you can’t see any city buildings from the sand, which is a big plus when you’re looking to get away from it all.
Summary: Beaches In Jerusalem
So, what are the beaches like around Israel’s capital city? Well, although there are actually no beaches in Jerusalem, it is only a short journey by car or bus to reach some truly beautiful and charming waterfront locations.
You can travel west around 50km to visit some of the stunning beaches along the Mediterranean coastline, or inland to the Dead Sea, where you can float in its famously buoyant and salty waters and heal yourself in its medicinal mud.
Have a look at our article on 10 Best Beaches in Jeddah.
Are there any beaches in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel and there are no beaches within the city limits. It is, however, situated on the hills halfway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, so there are a number of beaches within driving distance.
What is the nicest beach in Israel?
There are many beautiful and scenic beaches in Israel, but among the most popular and attractive are Habonim-Dor Beach, an hour from Tel Aviv, Alma Beach, on the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, and Kalia Beach on the Dead Sea.
How far is Jerusalem from the ocean?
Jerusalem is about 50 km distance from the Mediterranean – or around 30 miles. In terms of time, it generally takes about half an hour to reach the coast by car. The city is actually closer to the inland Dead Sea, which is around 25 km away, which is about 16 miles.