How to Spend the Winter in Nahariya, Israel
Most people like to hang out on the beach during the summertime but, while I love the sea, I prefer the cool breezes and solitude of a winter’s day on the beach. Luckily, I have a friend who lives in Nahariya, Israel, and am able to combine a visit with a few days of rest and relaxation in Nahariya at least once every winter.
Nahariya itself is a unique little town. It was established in the ’30s by a group of pioneers who visualized it as an agricultural community. It turned out that the area wasn’t particularly suitable for farming but German Jews, fleeing Hitler in the late ’30s, were drawn to Nahariya because they decided that it would be the perfect location for their industrial enterprises. Ever since, Nahariya has enjoyed a reputation as a quaint, European-type seaside town with a “Yekke” (German Jewish) work ethic and boardwalk relaxation.
On sunny days, I bring my disc player out to the beach and get a bit of exercise by walking along the Promenade Beach, which stretches southward towards Acco. I’ve never yet made it as far as Acco, which is located about 10 kilometers south of Nahariya, but one of these days….For the rest of the day you can generally find me at the Galei Galil Beach with a good book. (During the summertime, the Galei Galil is a free beach while the Promenade Beach has an entrance fee.)
It turned out that the area wasn’t particularly suitable for farming but German Jews, fleeing Hitler in the late ’30s, were drawn to Nahariya because they decided that it would be the perfect location for their industrial enterprises.
Another sunny day activity to which I look forward involves a walk around Nahariya’s Botanical and Zoological garden in the Rosco neighborhood. The gardens feature multiple species of Western Galilee fauna and flora. The zoo itself is small but there are 12 enclosures where you can see pelicans, coatis, giant deer, lemurs, raccoons, meerkats, tortoises and more. There’s also a reptile house with snakes and an aviary with multiple types of birds. Kids generally enjoy the petting zoo at the edge of the zoological garden park but I’ve been known to wander in too to pet some of the baby animals.
Winter being winter however, one has to plan for rainy days. The municipality on Soskin Street just off Weitzman Blvd. devotes its top floors to exhibitions of art and archaeological finds from the region. The area was once a center of Phoenician trade and there are many relics that have been discovered from the time of King Solomon.
The art section features modern art of Nahariya residents–both professional and amateur artists–and other notable artists of the region. I also like to pay a visit to the Ruskin Museum/Lieberman House, which showcases Nahariya’s history.
Kids generally enjoy the petting zoo at the edge of the zoological garden park but I’ve been known to wander in too to pet some of the baby animals.
The Ruskin and Lieberman families were German Jews who settled in Nahariya in the ’30s. Their descendants created the Ruskin-Lieberman House in a building that was one of Nahariya’s first permanent dwellings. The museum features pictures, documents and other memorabilia of Nahariya’s early days, including its important position as a designated landing site for ships, which were bringing illegal immigrants to Palestine both before and after WWII. The museum is located on G’dud 21 Street in the southern part of the city.
Years ago, if you kept kosher, you would have your work cut out for you to find a kosher eatery in Nahariya. Today the town has several wonderful kosher eateries which allow me the opportunity to treat my host during my trip. The Bordeaux is a dairy restaurant with wonderful fish and pasta dishes. It’s located in the center of the city.
Sheitel Restaurant, an elegant meat restaurant, is situated at the southern edge of town, along Route 4. Other pleasant kosher restaurants in Nahariya include Mukpatz Thailandi (meat, Asian food), the Lantern (dairy restaurant located along the Promenade Beachfront), Shato Bar (Asian food), Sendvich bar (sandwiches), Mom’s Burekkas, Maggie’s (dairy), Capri Pizza, Classic Coffee, Greg’s Coffee, Hatikva Skewers, Café Café and Kapulskys.
How to Spend the Winter in Nahariya, Israel photo by Unsplash.