Israeli Beaches and Beyond

Netanya, Eilat and the Dead Sea region offer more than just beaches By: Brittni Rubin
Visitors to EIlat have opportunities to view dolphins. // © 2011  Israel Ministry of Tourism
Visitors to EIlat have opportunities to view dolphins. // © 2011  Israel Ministry of Tourism

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It is easy to get a taste of Israel’s natural beauty — beach, after beach, after beach. However, year-round, the stunning coastal regions offer more than just tanning and swimming. By seeking out the less typical activities during visits to the seaside, clients can experience popular beach destinations in a completely different light.

Riding Along the Coast of Netanya
Between endless sightseeing, museum-hopping and food sampling, it is sometimes difficult to find time to just relax in the Holy Land. However, there is no better place for clients to take a break from their packed schedules than in Netanya. Secluded from the hustle and bustle of prime metropolises, the northern city is a nine-mile stretch of beaches along the Mediterranean Sea and home to a large population of English-speaking immigrants, making it an ideal location for tourists.

An increasingly popular way to explore Netanya’s coastal beauty, while simultaneously making the most of relaxation time, is to do so by horseback. There are several ranches in the area that offer this activity. Cactus Ranch, one of the most famous and versatile, allows travelers to see Netanya from a different perspective on one- to four-hour horseback rides along the beach. Group tours, guided tours and lessons are available for first-time or skilled riders seeking an interactive adventure. There are also family rides, which provide ponies for children, as well as romantic rides during sunset. Clients should reserve in advance with Cactus Ranch, which is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

See Creatures in Eilat
Eilat is an Israeli must-see — the city’s beaches, nightlife and desert landscapes make it one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. While in Eilat, many people tend to spend a significant chunk of their time under the sea enjoying Eilat’s crystal-clear waters and extraordinarily diverse sea life.

For travelers looking to spice up their ocean encounters, the Dolphin Reef gives visitors the unique chance to meet and observe dolphins in their natural habitat. Visitors can enjoy the dolphins from floating piers and observation decks or get up close and personal during a guided snorkel, swim or dive.

An ecological site, the Dolphin Reef staff does not restrict the dolphins’ sea boundaries or lure them over with food. Rather, the extroverted creatures are known for being naturally curious and friendly with their human neighbors. Dolphin Reef, open daily starting at 8:30 a.m., is an ideal Eilat activity for anyone willing to get wet.

Invigorating Life at the Dead Sea
Most visitors to Israel travel far below sea level in order to enjoy the naturally therapeutic phenomenon known as the Dead Sea. Rich in minerals and vitamins, the water and earth moisturize skin, detoxify one’s body and even alleviate joint pain.

Now, due to the high volume of spas in the region, clients can pamper themselves and learn how to use the Dead Sea minerals to their fullest potential.

Ein Gedi Spa, located on the shores of the Dead Sea, ensures relaxation for a health conscious traveler. As a good alternative to baking in the sun or shivering in the cold, the spa is indoors and can be enjoyed year-round. It includes such features as thermo-mineral water pools, resting rooms and massage facilities. The spa also collects mud directly from the sea, which can be applied to the skin for a restorative sensory experience.

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