Presentation of the destination
Herzliya is ideally located just 20 minutes away from Israel's capital - Tel Aviv and it has evolved into a popular summer destination for both locals and tourists. Initially, Herzliya was a small agricultural community of Israelis and newly arriving immigrants founded in 1924 and named after the World Zionist Federation and Jewish State founder, Theodore Herzl. Its main attractions are the fact that it is a beach front town, close to Tel Aviv and has top quality beaches, resorts and nightlife to cater for all visitors. Herzliya soon evolved from a farming community into a financial, commercial and technological centre therefore providing jobs for its population of 95,000 locals and new immigrants. Its centre consists of impressive glass office buildings, malls, and lots of ongoing cultural events and activities. The mild Mediterranean climate contributes in a positive way to the overall visitor's experience as summers here are warm and dry, ideal for beach holidays. Local time in Herzliya is UCT +3 hrs and the currency used is the Isreali Shekel (1ILS=0.20€).
Points of interests / things to see
To clearly understand Herzliya's historical background and come to terms with its origins and social structure, visitors need to make their first stop at Beit Rishonim which used to be the house of Baruch Chizik, an agronomist who lived here during the first years of Herzliya's establishment and which has been turned into the town's Municipal museum with permanent exhibitions and a very respectable documental archive on the city itself. The Museum strives to depict an audiovisual timeline of Herzliya's founding, its growth and its establishment as a city in its later history. The exhibits consist of photographic collections, letters, documents, cinematographic material, posters, pamphlets and numerous items and objects of historical importance. The building itself, being the house of an agronomist, boasts spectacular gardens in the surrounding exterior, ideal for relaxing strolls and outdoor acitivities. The museum offers guided tours for the general public. It is located on 8, Hanadiv street and its opening hours are from Monday 08:30-12:30 and 16:30-18:30 and on Tues-Thurs. from 08:30-12:30.
Apollonia National Park is a wonderful day spent outdoors admiring the magnificent views the park offers with hiking routes under its hanging rocky cliffs looking out onto the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea, taking in the scent of the herbs and flowers growing in the surrounding region and coming face to face with history itself as you pass by and explore the ruins of past conquerors that left their mark on this land. Apollonia National Park is a heritage site and a natural treasure at the same time and this because, scattered here, visitors will come across the remains of a Crusader city and its dominating fortress, a Roman villa, walls, a moat and even a glass furnace left behind by the many passersby. Situated north of Herzliya, the Park also has several wineries and lately more signs have been put up along its two hiking routes offering further explanation as visitors go past excavation sites and ruins. As it is ideally located at a height from where views are breathtaking, make sure you visit during sunset hours as the views of the sunset are one of a kind! Keep in mind that the park has few spots offering shade, hence, come equipped with hats, caps, sunscreen, good walking footware and enough water as dining and refreshments are not available here.
As you head north towards the Apollonia National Park, you enter a somewhat different terraine in relation to the rest of Herzliya. You begin to notice the dominating Karkur (sandstone) cliffs rising high up along the shores and the beaches get more beautiful as you go along. Before this beautiful land became the settling site for newly arriving Jews, it was the site of an Arab village known as Al Haram which gradually was depopulated by 1948. Hence, out of the low cliff rises a lonesome Mosque, known as Sidna Ali and which, although stopped functioning numerous year ago, it began service again some twenty years ago and today serves the few left Muslims in the region. The Mosque is of great importance as it has been standing here since the 13th century and was built in honour of Saladin's lieutenants (Saladin was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and led the Muslim opposition against the Crusaders), who had led a hard struggle against the Crusaders but who unfortunately lost their lives right on the hill upon which the Mosque stands today. The Mosque houses a shrine in their memory and also serves as an islamic religious school. It is worth visiting both the Mosque and the Nof-Yam, as it is otherwise known, beach as it is less busy and more picturesque than the rest of Herzliya's beaches.
The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1965, is not only dedicated to Israeli artists but also to international ones. The Museum is one of the most renowned contemporary art museums in Israel and concentrates on art that manages to communicate with the viewer and depicts the social and political struggle and instability that the country has been dealing with in past decades and presently. Its aim is to preserve the artistic wave through difficult times such as these and preserve it for future Israeli generations while offering a platform where artists, young and old can project their works in a space and an institution that respects art born out of times of social instability. The Museum hosts four exhibitions throughout the year and every exhibition is dedicated to an Israeli artist. It also hosts 50 solo shows which are always related to current affairs and events and seek to raise discussion through artworks interpreting the events taking place in society and therefore raising questions and rendering into deeper meanings while striving to engage politics and art in a magical and unique manner. Visiting hours are Tuesday, Thursday 16:00-20:00 while on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10:00-14:00 and Sunday the museum is closed. Further information can be found on the Museum's official website http://www.herzliyamuseum.co.il/
The surrounding tranquility, the sound of the waves and the majestic views of Apollonia National Park are undoubtedly breathtaking and so are the ancient ruins found here of Tel Arshaf or Apollonia Castle. Don't be fooled by the the peaceful surrounding though, as this site has been the setting for numerous battles in history and a land conquered and inhabited by many invaders. The earliest settlement here dates back to the Iron Age and after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians and Phoenicians settled here in 722 B.C. and this space enabled them to establish an important port and fort protecting what now belonged to them. The Phoenicians named it Asruf and then came the Greeks who called it Apollonia after their god of arts and archery, Apollo. During the Byzantine years, Apollonia reached the height of its success and the port became one of the major ports of the Mediterranean. Over the years it became a target for many, eventually falling under the hands of the Crusaders who erected the fort at a height of 30 meters looking out at sea, in 1241. The fort still contains a number of rooms in its interior, but more impressively, it still has kept some original steel ballistae balls. Unfortunately, in 2003, the site of Apollonia was declared endangered by development of the surrounding city of Herzliya by the World Monuments Watch. Keeping that in mind, it is a site that must not be missed when visiting Herzliya as it might not be preserved in the years to come.
Herzliya's state of the art marina is a cosmopolitan magnet attracting both thousands of visitors each year as well as luxury yachts and super yachts form all over the world. Locals and visitors flock here during the summer months to admire the grandiose yachts and their wealthy owners while taking a relaxing stroll along the marina. It was constructed in 1995 and it takes up to 680 yachts of 60m in length each. The marina has great facilities for those arriving to Herzliya by yacht and wishing to stay for a while but also caters for those who simply want to relax and have a drink or dine by the sea admiring the beauty of the yachts, catamarans and sailing boats quietly sitting in the marina.
Another great way to spend a warm summer day in Herzliya is taking advantage of the water sport facilities available at this beach city. Much of Herzliya's life revolves around its beaches especially during the summer season which has helped in raising the quality standards of available services in this sector of tourism. One of the top places for any sort of water-based sport such as diving, surfing and kayaking is the Reef Diving and Surfing Club found at Don Accadia hotel situated at Accadia beach, one of Herzliya's most popular beaches.You may take a full course in diving or surfing or simply a day-lesson with its professional, English speaking trainers at very visitor-friendly prices! More information can be found on http://www.roninbar.com/reefseacenter.html
Usually, when you hear the word swamp, mud and mosquitoes pop into mind and rightly so. So why would anyone want to visit Herzliya's swamp? The reason would be that Herzliya's swamp is a sanctuary for wildlife and especially for the bird population of the region making it an ideal site for bird watching as well as wild life spotting such as mallards, toads, cattle egrets and much more. The swamp has been a source of life in the region but a pain for most settlers arriving here. Its creation is the outcome of the natural landscape since the calcareous sandstone or kurkar as the locals refer to this rock, block the rainwater's path from flowing from the surrounding valley towards the sea. As much of a problem as it may be to locals, the swamp offers an exciting opportunity to see wildlife from a close proximity and is worth visiting.
If days out sightseeing and sunbathing by the beach have exhausted you and you are on a family holiday with young children then an alternative choice for an enjoyable day outdoors is the Herzliya Park. The park caters for young and older children offering an array of playgrounds with different types of games and structures for our little friends to exhaust all of their energy reserves in while parents can keep their eye on them as the relax at the park cafe. Moreover, there are several walking trails within the park and a beautiful lake with plump fish as well as bicycle trails for the more active visitors. The playgrounds are well maintained and safe for children while you may have a picnic in the several picnic shades available around the lake.
Vacation rentals in Herzliya (Tel Aviv District)
How to get there ?
The city of Herzliya is ideally located just 12km directly north of Tel Aviv, hence there are numerous ways to easily reach it once you have flown into Ben Gurion International Airport. Firstly, there are many international airlines flying into Tel Aviv from all four corners of the world therefore, check with your carrier and get further information for flight details from the airport's website on http://www.iaa.gov.il/. From the airport, you may take a train directly from there, heading north and the ticket will cost you approximately 4.30€. The journey only lasts half an hour and takes you right to Herzliya. Keep in mind that from the Herzliya's rail station, you might need to take a taxi or bus into Herzliya Pituach as it is quite isolated and out of the main city. Buses from the train station to the centre leave frequently and all of them go towards the centre. Alternatively, if you wish to reach Herzliya from Tel Aviv by bus then you will have to hop on to Route 90 departing from central Tel Aviv taking you into Herzliya in less than 30 minutes. On Saturdays, small vans known as 'sherut' carry out the same route and you can share them with other fellow passengers as a cheaper alternative. Finally, if you own or rent a car, from Tel Aviv you may drive along Highway 2 towards Haifa and you will be there in no time! Enjoy your stay!!
Herzliya city hall
Hotels in Herzliya (Tel Aviv District)