Dramatic cliffs, unique flowers, and a great food scene, in the underrated city of Netanya. Go off the beaten path, and discover some of the best beaches in Israel, amazing french bakeries, and a vibrant multicultural city.

Netanya: "The Israeli Riviera".

Just 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv, lies the beach city of Netanya, famous for its dramatic coastline and great climate. With a very diverse population, including big jewish communities from France, Ethiopia, Libya, and Russia, Netanya features a terrific food scene, vibrant nightlife, and great accommodation options, alongside its magnificent beaches.
Poleg Beach, Netanya
Netanya's skyline, Central Israel
Iris Atropurpurea, Netanya, Israel

Netanya may not have the public relations of Tel Aviv, but it is nonetheless stunning. It posses a beautiful coastline, a great food market, wonderful nature sites, and a delightful combination of city and nature. During your visit in Israel you can enjoy Netanya’s unique local experience in a great location. With plenty of activities and some of the most beautiful beaches in Israel, it really is a site not to be missed. Here, you can find everything you need to know about visiting Netanya, including the best things to do, the best accommodation options, and more:

The History of Netanya

Netanya, the eighth largest city in Israel, lies on the coastal plain in the Sharon region. The city was founded in 1929 and until 1948, when it gained the status of a city, the place was used as a settlement for orchardists, as many orchards had surrounded the town. As the city had continuously grown through the years, it is now the biggest city in the Sharon Region and is known as “The Diamond City”, due to its previously successful diamond industry. Today, it is more commonly known as “The Israeli Riviera”, Thanks to its beautiful and popular coastline.

Netanya’s best places to visit

Netanya Promenade

Netanya’s stunning promenades, including the “The Kings Promenade,” stretch from the Carmel Hotel to the Vert Lagoon Hotel. This scenic walkway, a local favorite, captivates with its breathtaking coastal views. Israel’s coastlines provide delightful walking experiences year-round, perfect for any non-rainy day. We highly recommend the Kings Promenade for its spectacular vistas, refreshing sea breezes, and pleasant pathways, especially for an enchanting sunset stroll.

This pedestrian street, shaded and pleasant, features shops and cafes. The boardwalk connects an impressive strip of boardwalks from north to south, along with special access roads leading to the beach. The boardwalk runs along Netanya’s coastline, offering more than just amazing views. It provides a wide range of seating areas, play areas, lawns, artworks, environmental sculptures, and paths for cyclists.

Poleg Beach and Reserve

If you are looking for a beach that is not in TLV and a little less crowded we highly recommend Poleg beach in southern Netanya. It features a stunning coastline, with dramatic cliffs, clear waters, and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. The beach is also very popular for several kinds of water activities, as you can regularly see surfers, kite surfers, fishermen, SUP enthusiasts, and more, along the magnificent coastline.

Located Between Netanya and the Wingate Institute, lies the Polg Reserve. This reserve splits into two differently named areas:

  1. East of the coastal road near Yakum and Odim lies the Poleg Nature Reserve.
  2. The Nahal Poleg Nature Reserve, primarily on the beach, sits west of the coastal road.

Our focus is on the beach area: Poleg Beach reserve offers organized bathing with toilets, showers, lifeguard services, a restaurant, and accessibility for the disabled. People also refer to it as ‘The Green Beach” The beach extends a significant length, starting near the restaurant and ending at a “natural disaster” – a sand wall appealing to extreme sports enthusiasts. Some of us tackled it during special units selections in the IDF or the fitness test in the officers’ course.

At the beach’s south-eastern end, you’ll find Polag river, where sand blocks its end during the summer, preventing polluted water from reaching the sea. We advise to climb the river’s bank to the wilder part and enjoy views of the beach and the Poleg neighborhood in Netanya. For those seeking solitude, a 10-minute walk east will take you to one of the largest dunes in the country. On our recent visit there, we encountered a family of deers!

Iris Atropurpurea Natural Reserve

An urban reserve with an amazing bloom of the iris Atropurpurea, which blooms every year from the middle of January to mid-March. The reserve stretches between two kurkar hills, which are one of the last remnants of the natural landscape of Israel’s coastline, as the area is surrounded by tall, modern buildings.

The trip to the reserve is very easy, with several regulated paths for walking between the dunes and the flowers. The main path, marked in blue, will lead you to the beach. This is also a part of the Israel National Trail in this section. A walk to the seashore will give you a chance to also see poppies, the beach sedge, beautiful Mercia, Senecios, sea alfalfa, and many more coastal plants.

Right at the entrance to the reserve, you can see all optional trails on the map. There are 4 routes, and you can combine walking between all of them or only some of them. Here are the 4 different trails in the reserve:

The red trail (“Blossom Trail”) – a short route that can be started from the southern part (Uzi Hitman Street) of the reserve. This path leads all the way to the eastern side of the reserve, close to the pedestrian bridge.

The yellow trail (“The Beach Path”) – starts in the southern part of the reserve (Uzi Hitman Street) and continues south along the coastline.

The blue trail  (“The Cliff Path”) – a longer route that partly goes along the yellow route and continues north on the Kurkar cliff and ends on the eastern side close to the pedestrian bridge (Ben Gurion Boulevard).

The green trail (“The Dunes Path”) – a trail that passes through the heart of the reserve in the sand dunes, around seasonal flowers.

Netanya Market

A visit to the Netanya market is a journey back in time to the days when the market was the main shopping center of the city and a culinary and anthropological journey to the most authentic market in the Sharon Region. If you are looking for a rustic local market like the old days, this market is the best option for you. Here, you get the feeling of a place where time stood still and authenticity was preserved, as the Netanya market remains what it used to be, with charm and potential that has not yet been absorbed by the winds of the times. Some of the best culinary options here include great Burekas, sandwiches, and many other options. Around the market, you can also find great street art, made by the international organization Artists 4 Israel.

Herzl Street

With Special boutiques of tailor-made fashion shops, French bakeries with an intoxicating smell, art galleries, street artists and painters all around, Herzl Street is the main street of the city and a great place to hang out in the evening, or on a typically busy Friday morning in the city.

Most recommended hotels in Netanya

Island Hotel Netanya

The prestigious Island Suites Hotel offers luxury suites with huge balconies facing the spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel has a beautiful swimming pool that Faces a spectacular view, a spacious spa, a sauna, and a Turkish bath, as well as a well-equipped gym.

Vert Lagoon Netanya

One of the most luxurious hotels in the city, which includes 15 floors with 273 suites and rooms with balconies overlooking the sea, provides its guests with a luxurious hospitality experience, with a personal and beloved service. The hotel is conveniently located right on the Netanya Promenade, which will enable you to easily access most of the attractions of the city.

Leonardo Plaza

A luxury hotel in the city center, within walking distance of the sea. Leonardo Plaza Hotel Provides exceptional accommodation and is suitable for couples and families seeking an exclusive vacation. The hotel offers Fine meals made from high-quality ingredients, a rooftop swimming pool overlooking a breathtaking view of the sea, a wooden deck and sunbeds around the pool, a professional gym facing the sea, a beautiful conference hall, and an elegant business lounge overlooking the sea.

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