The city of...
Netanya is one of Israel’s most popular tourist destinations, and taste of "côte d'azur", the famous french riviera in France.
The co-owner of the famous department store was the philanthropist Nathan Straus, who gave the city its name.
This vibrant and sunny city boasts many high-tech companies, beaches, hotels, and beautiful promenades.
Netanya is a city in the northern part of the coastal plain, and is the capital of the surrounding Sharon region. It is located 30 km (18 mi) north of Tel Aviv and 56 km (34 mi) south of Haifa.
Five Great Reasons to Visit Netanya:
• Netanya has 14 km (9 mi) of pristine beaches, running the length of the city, and many offer amenities such as on-site restaurants and water sports like surfing, beach volleyball, snorkeling and paragliding. All along the beachfront,
the city also boasts some beautifully styled and well-manicured promenades, one of the longest in Israel and part of the Israel National Trail (see Captain's Tips).
• As a large city and tourist destination, Netanya hosts a number of museums:
The Well House is devoted to the early history of Netanya. It is located in a farm established in 1928 and one of the earliest buildings in the city. The city is also home to Tribes of Israel Pearl Museum, telling the story of the Yemenite Jewish Heritage, and to a number of art galleries, such as the Gosher Gallery, Abecassis Gallery and Fourth Gallery.
• Mintz Street in Netanya holds an unlikely surprise for visitors: a huge Ficus tree around 600 to 1,200 years old! The tree is 8 m high, with a canopy of 25 m in diameter. This beautiful tree commands a well-kept municipal garden, and at its feet is a painting of the very same tree from 1873. Moses and Judith Montefiore are said to have rested here, and even the soldiers of Napoleon before them, on their way to Acre.
• Tel Poleg is a nature reserve, very close to the Wingate Institute. Here you'll find 125 acres of beautiful plant life, such as tulips and irises, and various trees native to the land. And very close by is another gem, Yakum Park, home to a lake with geese and many adventure sports.
• Utopia Orchid Park in Kibbutz Bahan is a truly enchanting tropical rain forest, with thousands of orchids, carnivorous plants, birds, fish and water plants. Outside the fully roofed and air conditioned Orchid Park is a shady outdoor park, with benches and hammocks dotting every corner.
The Netanya Winter Pond Park, not far from Poleg Junction, is a real treat.
On weekends, this sanctuary is busy with visitors, though you can still find peace and quiet around the pond, which sometimes covers 75 acres. The Winter Pond is home to ducks, and you can stroll along a circular walking trail, with many hidden corners and picnic areas. Alongside it are exciting amusement areas for children and even an outdoor gym.
The Shefayim Water Park, 16 km (10 mi) south of Netanya, was the first of its kind in Israel. It has 26 slides, 8 different sections, and loads of fun attractions for children and adults alike - a Flying Circus, a Wave Pool, a Fantasy World, a Tropical World, Tubing and much more.
The Alexander Stream is one of the few perennial brooks on the northern coastal plain. It is located north of Netanya, and is home to soft-shell turtles, some of them weighing up to 50 kilograms.
On a hill nearby is an ancient ruin, Hurvat Samra. Archeologists believe this may have been an ancient customs station for goods transported down the Alexander Stream. Every spring, the hill is carpeted with wild flowers, such as anemones and buttercups.
Marrakesh is a traditional, kosher Moroccan restaurant and a great place for meat lovers - though there are some vegetarian options.
El Gaucho (at Carmel Hotel) is a kosher restaurant affording spectacular views of the sea in addition to its top quality South American style meat specialties.
Taipei is chinese restaurant very appreciated by the tourists. Located in the city center near the Netanya's hotels.
Alpina is a French restaurant, overlooking the promenade and the Mediterranean Sea. The décor is very chic yet inviting, and the typical bistro fare includes many fish and seafood dishes, as well as all-time favorites such as steak, cordon bleu and beef stroganoff.
Murphy's Pub at Poleg is a very much a piece of Ireland, and the place to be, whether to quench your thirst, have a hearty meal or watch a game of soccer on TV.
Av Basar is a well known grill restaurant in the Poleg Industrial Park. The décor is retro-chic, the soundtrack pure Israeli nostalgia, and the meat is cooked to perfection. There are also salads and pasta dishes for vegetarians.
Pomodoro, also in Poleg Industrial Park, is a charming Italian trattoria, with a fine menu of authentic dishes, made with imported ingredients and simply presented.
Netanya has quite a few shopping malls and outlets such as the Sharon Mall, in the heart of the city, the Big Center, in the Industrial Park on the outskirts of town and the new big shopping center of Ir Yamim in Poleg neighborhood. One of the biggest draws in the area for shoppers is the huge IKEA store, one of two branches in Israel.
If you're looking for something more unique, Jacobs Farm is a wonderfully quaint dairy farm in Kfar HaRo'e, outside Netanya. The farm was established in 1936, and today you can make a day trip out of it, and
combine a tour at the farm and shopping for cow, goat or ewe cheeses with a trip to Hefer Valley.
Back in town, you can visit the covered Netanya Market, especially on rainy day.
This authentic Middle-Eastern market offers fresh produce, fish and meat, as well as a few stands and stores that offer spices, as well as lovely delis specializing in North African, Russian or French delicacies
Tips and trips
Looking for a place to relax, rest and enjoy a massage, come to the Gaash Hot Springs, a thermo-mineral spa. You enjoy to the high pressure sulfur jets, dry and wet sauna, swimming pool, kosher restaurant and coffee shop, and a full treatment int the spa center.
• The Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel in Hebrew) is a hiking trail that crosses the length of Israel and passes along Netanya's seafront. It starts near the Lebanese border in the far north, and extends all the way to Eilat,
at the southernmost tip of Israel, a length of approximately 940 km (580 mi).The trail is marked with white, blue and orange stripes, and will take you about 45 days to complete.
Netanya has a truly amazing shoreline, with wide sandy beaches with cliffs in the distance and breathtaking views.
The city has 14 km (9 mi) of beaches, with bars, restaurants and cafés dotting the long promenade, water sports centers and loads of activities. If you're looking for an unspoiled stretch of beach, visit Nahal Alexander, a river that's just a ten-minute drive north of Netanya, and enjoy a lovely walk and a picnic on the beach.
Poleg Beach has a water sports center and surf club, and Herzl Beach is fully accessible (an elevator will take you down to the beach) and well equipped with water slides, a floating bridge, a playground and much more.
Youth Beach (Onat Beach) is a happening place, with a nice restaurant and dance bar, and loads of sports facilities; whileTzans Beach is for the Ultra-Orthodox - with separate hours for men and women, and a Glatt-Kosher kiosk.
And if you're a serious hiker, Netanya's coastline is also part of the Israel National Trail.