The city of Ashkelon on the southern coastal plain is the most western geographically in Israel!
For sun and beach lovers, it is the ideal experience, but in addition to that, Ashkelon has a variety of things to offer every hiker.
The origin of the name Ashkelon – from the word ‘shekel,’ which is more identified with the State of Israel’s currency, but shekel is also known to be an ancient Jewish measure of weight. The city was formerly one of the oldest port cities in Israel, where trade was active – and the shekel served as the unit of measure. Today, the busiest port in the area is Ashdod’s port, in the nearby big city – while in Ashkelon, the beloved and fun marina, quiet and beautiful beaches, its unique atmosphere, and other surprises – that will make any trip there an experience!
The city of Ashkelon – history, nature, and sea
Of course, there is no better way than to study history, than to get to the place where it happened and look at the archaeological excavations from different periods. When you add to this the unique landscape and the open-air – the experience is even better!
Therefore, the first site we recommend is the ‘Tel Ashkelon National Park‘, operated by Nature and Parks Authority.
On a kurkar ridge overlooking the sea in the southwest of the city is the ‘Tel Ashkelon National Park.’ The many peoples who ruled the city in the past – Canaanites, Philistines, Byzantines, Crusaders, and more, certainly left a mark on the entire city and the national park. Next to the Canaanite gate and the Canaanite earthen dam, the medieval walls – built by Fatimid Muslims to stop the Crusaders.
And, wells, most of which are from the Byzantine period and many fascinating archeological treasures!
During the bathing season, the declared and beautiful bathing beach in the place is active – with rescue services, showers, toilets, and everything the beach has to offer!
For a cooler time of the year, like rainy days, will be best to visit the ‘Khan Museum‘, also known as the ‘Ashkelon Museum‘, which is housed in an impressive building that was once a large and magnificent mosque. The museum’s exhibition focuses on Ashkelon and its history from the War of Independence to the present day. You can see and listen to the city’s story in a unique audio-visual performance – in Hebrew and English, as well as enjoy cultural activities held in the museum courtyard – which are recommended to be ordered in advance.
The marina in Ashkelon is considered a new marina and is one of the most beautiful in Israel. The marina was inaugurated in 1995, in the presence of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The marina is intended for mooring 650 vessels – and its vision is clear: to attract to the beautiful city of Ashkelon, yacht owners, and vacationers from the various ports of the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, near the marina – hotels, Restaurants, places of entertainment, a pleasant promenade for walking, a shopping center, and more – they are enjoyed by the city’s residents, the travelers, yachts, and vacationers alike.
Holidays in Ashkelon are great
It is impossible to talk about the city of Ashkelon without mentioning its spectacular beaches!
The city has six bathing beaches:
‘Bar Kochba Beach‘ (southern and northern), ‘Delilah Beach‘ (southern and north), ‘National Park Beach‘ – also known as ‘Samson Beach‘ and a separate beach for the religious public – where bathing is intended for men on even days and women on the odd days.
Apart from the national park beach, all the other beaches in the city have food and beverage buffets, rent umbrellas, chairs, and sunbeds under the municipality’s supervision so that the price is uniform and convenient for every pocket. During the bathing season, rescue services are, of course, on-site. Bar Kochba Beach and Delilah Beach are also accessible to the disabled, with the possibility of reaching with a wheelchair right up to the water.
For example, I enjoyed walking along the ‘Bar Kochba promenade,’ with a stunning view of the sea, impressive sculptures, and various sports facilities, which will ensure a pleasant walk and a fun way to keep fit in the open air.
A variety of luxurious hotels near the city’s beaches – such as the Regina Goren Hotel, the Leonardo Ashkelon Hotel, and the Harlington Hotel. Two other guesthouses are not far from the sea: ‘Ganei Shimshon Guest House’ and ‘Lakes Guest House.
‘For the religious public, the ‘Golden Tower Hotel’ in the city center offers glatt-kosher cuisine, and the hotel has two Synagogues.
So the possibility of a vacation in Ashkelon – definitely exists and is recommended!