September 12th 2010
Sea turtles, beaches, the ancient Jewish tribe of Asher and overnight camping all come together at Achziv National Park. Located along the northern coast, a five minute drive from the city of Nahariya and on the way to Rosh Hanikra, Achziv was an ancient city. It is mentioned in both the Talmud and the Mishna and is believed to have been inhabited for at least 3,000 years. Ruins of the ancient city, including a Crusader-era castle known as Casle Umberti, are available for exploration.
Today, visitors to Achziv mostly come for the gorgeous stretch of beach that’s both quieter and more charming than the one in Tel Aviv. Achziv National Park is primarily a section of beach surrounded by cliffs of rock. The area is synonymous with relaxation and fun. Spotted with both manmade and natural seawater pools, private coves, lagoons and large grassy areas perfect for camping, visitors can stroll through the paved path near the coastline and drink in the sites of the Mediterranean. At the end of the day, be prepared to witness dramatic and romantic sunsets.
Achziv beach is known for the sea turtles that come to lay their eggs during the summer and for the sea anemones and other sea creatures that can be spotted hiding between the rocks. The park is also a local fishing hole and there are people fishing throughout the day. Across the Mediterranean from Achziv are a cluster of small islands known as The Islands of Achziv Beach. Flocks of seagulls inhabit the islands and you should be able to spot them from the beach.
There are three sections of the beach from which to choose. The section known as Betzet Beach is free. The nearby Banana Beach and Achziv Beach within the national park itself charge admission. If you decide to camp overnight, there is an additional fee for access to the campground. If you plan to camp overnight, be aware that Banana Beach is known for its late night parties and karaoke events. If that’s not your style, the campground in Achziv National Park is a better choice.
The best time to visit is in the summer when there are lifeguards on duty and first aid services provided. Showers, a modest café, an onsite playground and public restrooms are available as well.