Achziv Beach (Banana Beach)
While Jerusalem may be enticing from an antiquities perspective, any visit to Israel should include at least a day out on one of its many magnificent beaches. In this respect the lush verdant hills and pristine beaches in the north of Israel have a lot to offer. Here, we check out Achziv Beach, a lovely strip of sand on Israel’s northern coastline some 5 kilometres / approximately 3 miles north of the city of Nahariya. This follows the coastal road leading to Rosh Hanikra and eventually the Lebanese border.
Achziv Beach will most definitely appeal to the beach connoisseur as it offers magical coves and enchanting lagoons set within natural surroundings of the Achziv National Park, quite a contrast to the more ‘fleshy’ beaches down Tel Aviv way. Here, you can witness turtles making their way safely to the ocean - they even lay their eggs along Achziv Beach in the warmer summer months between May and September.
While some may object to paying an entrance fee to enjoy the beach, few would mind the donation to experience the main Achziz strip. Apart from the pristine sand and the inviting clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, you can search out beautiful sea anemones, urchins, starfish and even young octopi in and around the rock pools. Visit the ruins of the ancient settlement of Achziv date back to the Talmud times of Israel between the second to the fifth centuries CE.
In the 1970s Achziv was firmly established on the hippy trail with visitors coming from all over Europe to party on the beaches here. In those days Achziv was well known for ‘Achzivland’, a plot of land here owned by Eli Aviv who declared it an independent nation - you could even get your passport stamped on entry. Well, Achzivland still exists and you can still get your passport stamped but now-a-days there is a hostel and museum here too.
If you are considering camping overnight, you will find well-kept lawns and all the facilities you would expect, including good beach access - it will cost around 60 shekels per adult. If you enjoy walking, the promenade leading to Rosh Hanikra provides an excellent vantage point for the incredible sunsets for which Israel’s western coastline is so famous.
Lifeguards are on duty on Achziz Beach in holiday season and visitors will find plenty of eateries closeby, or you can hire local BBQ facilities to grill your favourite meats to perfection. Are you ready to commune with nature?
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