6 Beautiful Places to Go Swimming in Israel

January 23rd 2019

Given the country’s warm Mediterranean climate, it’s not surprising there are many beautiful places to go swimming when visiting Israel. The coastal plains and the Galilee region enjoy hot and dry summers and mild-to-cool rainy winters. In the far south, the Red Sea coast sparkles under hot sunshine pretty much all year round.The landscapes of Israel are varied and there are several different bodies of water that present different types of swimming experiences. Each have amazing visual backdrops and are ideal for people who love to swim in nature, especially during or after exploring the local culture and history.

Some of our favorite places to swim include:

Israel’s Mediterranean beaches

The amazing sandy beaches of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline stretch nearly continuously from Nahariyya in the north to Ashkelon in the south. They include the world-famous beaches of Tel Aviv where surfers can be seen riding the waves, as well as the resplendent beaches of Caesarea, Herzliya, and Ashdod. There are lifeguard stations in the most popular swimming locations and during the months of summer and early fall, the sea water is delightfully warm.

Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)

The Sea of Galilee (known locally as the Kinneret) is a large fresh-water lake in the north-east of Israel. It’s a popular place to visit with both foreign tourists and Israelis alike. There are many beaches where people can paddle, boat, and swim in the relatively calm waters of the lake. It’s important to swim where there are lifeguard stations nearby as the underwater currents can sometimes be deceptively dangerous, especially the further out you go.

Dead Sea

When it comes to easy swimming then the Dead Sea is the place to be. In fact, you don’t really need to swim at all. You literally just float. The lake, which borders the country of Jordan to the east, is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water (nearly ten times saltier than the sea). This high salt density makes it very easy to simply lie on your back and float, while even reading a newspaper. The climate of the area is hot, and the water is bathtub warm.

Golan springs and pools

The spectacular rolling green hills and valleys of Israel’s Golan Heights feature a variety of freshwater springs and pools. These are often hidden in woodland areas and can be discovered via walking trails. Many are safe for you to swim and paddle in, and this can be especially rewarding during the hot summer months. Locations where these springs/pools can be found include the Banias Falls Nature Reserve, the Tel Dan National Park, and the Hamat Gader Hot Springs.

Red Sea in Eilat

In the far south of Israel lies the vacation city of Eilat. Situated in the Negev Desert, the climate of Eilat is hot nearly all the year. The Red Sea is a popular place to go swimming and includes areas where you can swim with dolphins and a variety of colorful fish. There’s also a coral beach nature reserve where you can explore the beauty of the seabed with guided scuba diving tours.

Ein Gedi National Park

Situated close to the Dead Sea, the Ein Gedi National Park is an oasis of greenery in an arid rocky desert. The main highlight of the area is a large waterfall. Visitors can walk along family-friendly pathways and swim in the clean clear streams and waterfall pools along the walking routes. It’s an amazing juxtaposition compared to the desert heat and the surrounding barren landscape.