There’s nothing like (scuba) diving head first into Eilat’s Red Sea when it’s 40 degrees celsius on a cold day down south; or catching the perfect wave at one of the best surf beaches in Tel Aviv; or even embracing the land and going for a water hike in the Golan Heights or a rock climb at Park HaYarkon’s outdoor wall. The Holy Land is more than tourist attractions, it’s rife with exhilarating summer sports to get your blood pumping. Stretch those hamstrings and hit up Time Out's most exciting summer sports.
A round up of summer sports in Israel
A unique way to see Jerusalem is by rappelling off the side of the Tayelet or Gei Ben Hinom, with a view of the Old City. The guide, Yaakov, a rock climbing champion, is patient and experienced, making him the perfect person to show guests the ropes. If your kids can’t stop climbing walls and trees, why not take them on an adventure they won’t soon forget? Yaakov knows how to make the excursion accessible for all, so bring the whole family! Suitable for children ages four and up, with younger guests snappling with the guide.
Israel in general is famed for its many hiking trails winding their way over breathtaking heights in the north and lunar-like lows in the south. The routes are a fantastic way to see the country's beautiful landscape, and they all link up to form one giant hiking path that traverses the entire country, known as the Israel National Trail. Its northern end is at Dan, near the Lebanese border, and it extends to Eilat at the country's southernmost tip on the Red Sea. The trail is marked with three stripes (white, blue and orange) and has been named by National Geographic as one of the world’s best hikes.
This area of Park Hayarkon is dedicated to getting active. With multiple basketball courts and football fields to a state-of-the-art rock wall overlooking the Yarkon River, you are guaranteed to find a wide range of activities. Commonly regarded as some of the best sports facilities in Israel, grab some friends and a ball and head to the court for some pickup. Or, head over solo and jump in on a game of pickup with the locals. The highlight of the Sportek facilities is no doubt the huge rock climbing wall. With experienced and professional instructors and multiple routes to reach the top, this wall is suitable for all levels while providing a thrilling climbing experience. Try to reach the top for views of the park from a different perspective.
Surfing is more than just a pastime, it is a lifestyle, and we understand just how important location is when trying to catch those waves. That’s why we’ve combed the beaches in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and farther, in search of the absolute top five surfer’s oases. And guess what? We found them. So grab those surf boards, slip on those wetsuits and get ready for an amazingly active day at these beaches in Israel.
The southernmost city in Israel, Eilat, has been blessed with a spectacular coral reef. The Eilat coral reef, the northernmost reef in the world and a unique Israeli attraction, is the beating heart of the one-mile long nature reserve that stretches across the gulf of Eilat. Diving or snorkeling near the reef, you will see colorful coral gardens home to a variety of multi-hued tropical fish: parrotfish, butterfly fish, giant shellfish and a wide selection of intriguing species that only come out in the dark. About a ten-minute walk from the Egyptian border, you’ll find the southernmost scubadiving club in Israel, a small venue with plenty of peace and quiet. The club offers an introductory underwater excursion for those who have no previous diving experience.
Located in the Golan Heights at the base of Mount Hermon, the Dan River is a wonderful destination for nature lovers with abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. For those in the mood to relax, rent a tube and float along the cool waters. If you have a thrill for excitement, kayaking or white water rafting provide a great adrenaline- boost. Whichever you choose, a trip down the river makes for a lovely summer’s afternoon. A true highlight of the area is the famous Dag al HaDan (fish from the Dan) restaurant, which is nestled amidst the trees on the river serving freshly caught fish and a delectable array of refreshing Israeli salads. Nearby, located on the ruins of the biblical city of Dan, the Tel Dan National Park is a remarkable place to experience nature and archaeology all in one place. Visitors are offered a glimpse into ancient life through ruins and artifacts. In addition, the reserve also offers dozens of streams and hiking trails.
Adventuring through rock formed passages less than two meters wide yet hundreds of meters high, the Eilat Mountains offer visitors a unique and stunning desert experience. Whether hiking or biking, advanced or beginner, an experience awaits every visitor. In great weather conditions, one can see Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia from the top of mountain, making this experience uniquely Middle Eastern!