Tel Aviv's sandy shoreline runs for miles and is home to a host of dog owners, Matkoters, volleyballers, sailors, surfers, tourists and everyday locals. From sunup to (breathtakingly beautiful) sunset, the stream of beachgoers seems to be as endless as the ocean itself. Given all the different atmospheres on offer, it can be hard to know exactly where you should unfurl your blanket and lather on the sunscreen. So we're here to point you in the right direction. Whether you're looking for a party vibe or want to relax with the crashing waves of the Mediterranean as your only music, there's a sunny spot beckoning.

Jaffa Beach

Photo by StateofIsrael via Flickr

It’s only fitting that the most southern beach in Tel Aviv also happens to be the most chill. Unlike the more central beaches, Jaffa Beach is nestled in what is basically its own alcove, without any wave breakers and without most typical beach distractions. The relaxed atmosphere and often windy conditions make it the perfect setting for big waves (and big-time surfers). 


Alma Beach/Alma Dog Beach

You know dogs are man’s best friend. But that bond is even deeper for Tel Avivians who frequent Alma Beach and Alma Dog Beach, where canines frolic among humans. Plop yourself on the sand, let your furry buddy do the same, and be grateful for the companionship of your pup on a quiet stretch of shore that's not crowded with plastic chairs, sunbeds or lifeguards.


Banana Beach

Photo by Mike Norton via Flickr

Named after its cafe, Banana Beach is the perfect place to peel off your cover-up and lie out on the sand or unwind in the shade of the cafe, drink in hand. Similar to the laid-back yet happening vibe of the cafe, the beach itself is rather nice and simple, but gets pretty crowded (especially on the weekends). Attracting groups of friends and Matkot players, Banana Beach is your go-to when you're looking for a lively atmosphere that’s not overwhelming or overcrowded. 


Jerusalem Beach (Geula Beach)

Although it’s most often known as Geula Beach because of its location at the end of Geula Street, the officially named Jersualem Beach was presented as a gift from Tel Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat to Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek on a famous TV show. Beyond the intriguing story of how it got its name, the beach doesn’t have much to distinguish it. If all you want is a spacious sandy destination and it's not too far away, Geula's got what you need.


Gordon, Frischman and Bograshov Beaches

Gordon Beach. Photo by Benjamin Linh VU via Flickr

If you want to throw yourself straight into the bronzed belly of Tel Aviv, these beaches are the way to go. Going from south to north, Bograshov, Frischman and Gordon beaches provide plenty of white sand to host the hodgepodge of tourists and locals vying for a spot to tan or a space to conquer the game of Matkot (and the game of “my music is better and my speaker is louder than yours”). If you want a beach experience that could double as a daytime party, the younger crowd that amasses here will ensure it happens.


Hilton/Topsea Beaches

Located just north of Gordon Beach, Hilton Beach is popular for its surfability. A reef just offshore creates a wave chaser's paradise (and is home to the Topsea surf club). But Hilton isn't known just for its aquatics  it also hosts a relaxing waterside bar-restaurant with beach chairs that practically beg you to lounge and shady umbrellas that lull you into an afternoon nap. Order a drink or meal and have it delivered right to your chair. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves or catch some zzz's, Hilton Beach beckons.


Gay Beach

Missed the parade in June? Not to worry. Gay Pride goes on all summer long at Tel Aviv's aptly (and unofficially) named Gay Beach. Rising decibels of dance music and rainbow umbrellas make it hard to miss, creating a lively experience for everyone, regardless of your sexual identity or orientation.


Hilton Dog Beach

Walking your dog on a scorching summer day can be brutal (especially for the dog), but in Tel Aviv it doesn’t have to be. Do yourself and Barksy a favor and stroll over to the finest dog beach northern Tel Aviv has to offer. It's possible we're in a friendship triangle with dogs — because it's pretty clear the ocean is their best friend.


Religious Beach

In Tel Aviv, even the most observant folks want to take full advantage of the sandy spaces, and at the religious beach, visitors can do just that while adhering to their values. A high wall separates this beach from the others surrounding it, and there are days of the week designated for the respective sexes. It’s also not uncommon for nonreligious women to sunbathe nude on the designated female days, unharassed by men. This place may not be for everyone, but hey, to (b)each their own. 


Metzitzim Beach

Metzitzim Beach, on the other hand, really is for everyone. Walk along the lively boardwalk at Tel Aviv’s most northern beach and spot families playing and people of all ages lounging, swimming and chatting. Metzitzim offers all the beachy essentials, including a popular outdoor bar-cafe that dispenses beer and cocktails to parents who need a little assistance on the relaxation front and a playground where kids can run around and burn off all that insane kid energy. Win-win.