Netanya lies a few kilometers to the north of the Tel Aviv metropolis on the coast, and a few kilometers south of Haifa. It is the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain.
Netanya may not be as large or as crowded as nearby Tel Aviv — and that may be a good thing, especially on the not-so-crowded part. And there are other reasons why you should put a check on Netanya in your Israel travel bucket list.
“Netanya” literally means “God’s gift” — when you visit the city you will know why this city is “blessed” in so many ways! First of all, it’s the dramatic beaches spanning from north to south — a-14 kilometer (or 8.7 meters) stretch of nothing but nice sandy beaches.
Netanya was named in honor of Nathan Strauss, a Jewish-American entrepreneur who co-owned the Macy’s department store chain.
It has expanded rapidly over the past few years, but remains a much smaller city — almost town-like. Netanya is considered the city of Jewish immigrants — it is home to many expatriates so expect to find more English, French and Russian here than Hebrew.
Although the town is smaller than its big neighbor to the south; Netanya’s beaches are magnificent. Netanya itself is built on the top of some impressive cliffs so any trip to the beach is down.
There are several places to hit the beach – right from the middle of town by Independence Square (with an elevator) and also to the north and south of the square along the Netanya Tayelet.
There is a great tayelet (promenade) along the top of the cliffs – perfect for strolling and enjoying the sea air without the salt and the sand. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments along the way. To the south there is a place to fly parasails and towards the end of the northern section a crazy golf course.
One of the prominent beaches in Netanya, Poleg Beach was once closed and abandoned for many decades. Nowadays, it is dotted with plenty of facilities such as shades, restrooms, plenty of restaurants and a buffet. It also a lot of activities for the beachgoers, such as flying kites, surfing or jet ski.
Have you ever taken an elevator to the beach?
With its long stretch of sandy beaches, it comes as no surprise that Netanya has its own beach elevator. Yes, a beach elevator! The city is separated from the beach by a 15-meter-or-so cliff that, while giving you stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, otherwise makes it quite inaccessible to anyone who who want to go down to the beach and go back up to the city proper. While there are stairs, those who happen sitting on a wheelchair might find themselves looking harder for other ways to reach to the shore.
Good thing there is now a beach elevator, which anyone can use!
In Sironit Beach (which lies on the southern end of the city) it has an elevator with glass walls. It will transport pedestrians from the city center to the beach in no time.