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Bask In The Sun On The Dor HaBonim Beach

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With more than 100 km of beautiful, sandy Mediterranean coastline and numerous beaches spread all across the Sea of Galilee, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Israel could make any beach destination in the world jealous. If you only have time to explore one of the beaches here, it should probably be Dor HaBonim. Considered the most beautiful coastal stretch in the country, the beach is perfect for tourists who love to take long walks on sandy, breathtaking beaches during any season. The trail is also suitable for passionate swimmers and snorkelers, as well as explorers eager to discover new coves colored in eye-catching shades of blue. Speaking of blue, don't forget to check out the Blue Cave which belongs to the Dor HaBonim Beach Nature Reserve, another top tourist attraction in the region. The Nature Reserve is in fact a gorgeous beach on a coastal strip that hosts lots of bays and inlets – more than anywhere else in the country. Get ready for the wild scenery, unique coves and perfect snacking spots you are bound to discover. 
  • Hiking distance: 8 km (2.5 km short hike version)
  • Type of climb: flat
  • Level of difficulty: easy 
  • When's the best time to hike: all year round 
  • Availability: 365 days a year
Important note: The hike can be completed all year long, summer included. However, if you plan to conquer the entire trail during a scorching hot summer day, we recommend you to get started as early as possible to avoid the discomfort caused by the high temperatures. If you love sunsets, start your walk past 5PM and thank yourself later. You'll have a chance to take in the breathtaking sunset right on the beach and capture its beauty in unique photos. 
Starting point for the full hike: To get your scenic beach walk started, reach the parking area located west of Habonim (1).  Follow the unmarked dirt track for about 150 m (going west). You should briefly come across a road junction and notice a secondary unmarked dirt road (2).
Turn left here and keep following the unmarked dirt road for close to 2 km. You should then reach an intersection with another unmarked dirt road (3).

Side note: Keep in mind there are several dirt track crossroads along this walk. We warmly advise you to closely follow the GPS file to stick to the itinerary and avoid getting lost. 

Next, follow the trail to the point it continues right and get on the unmarked dirt track you will soon see for around 220 m, until you reach a T-junction. Continue going left here and then go right in just a few meters. Do not get off the unmarked dirt road for the next 600 meters. At the end of this portion of the trail, you should see the gorgeous beach coast. Look for a footpath marked with Red trail signs. (4)

Finally, continue going left once the Red trail signs are in sight and enjoy the rest of your walk to Tel-Dor. (5) (about 350m)

Brief hike version: Park your car at (7), then follow the Green trail mark until you reach (6) and return along the Red trail signs. 

Hiking with two cars: Park the second car at Nachsholim Beach. Start walking north along the beautiful beach until you reach (5), then follow the main road and reach the end of the hike.

Tel Dor
Tel Dor (dor = generation, habitation) is a fascinating tourist destination due to its important archaeological value. The headland located at the north side of a protected inlet next to modern-day moshav Dor has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and abandoned around the year 630. Recent excavations have revealed crucial findings from different historical times here. Today, Dor has one of the finest camping beaches in the country. If you would like to witness the region with your own eyes, climb on top of the hill and get ready to take in the majestic beauty of the coastal stretch and the ancient site. 500 m south of the Tel Dor site you can find the Glasshouse Museum in the Nasholim Kkibbutz. The building now hosts the Center for Nautical and Regional Archaeology at Dor. Check out the displays highlighting the archeological finds from Tel Dor, an important manufacturer of crimson and azure color dyes using sea snails. 

Go back to (4) and keep following the Red trail marks along the coast. There is an inviting succession of rugged coves similar to canyons spread all across the area that you are going to love. Pull out your snacks and have an unforgettable ad-hoc picnic or go for a quick swim in the crystal clear water. Get ready to see the water frantically go in and out the coves and watch the fish springing every direction like dart arrows. 

About two kilometers down the road you should reach a junction marked with Green that should take you to another a marked trail (6). Look for the fascinating Ship Wreck close to the shore and get ready to take some cool photos – how often do you get to see a real ship wreck? If you happen to be a big fan, you should know Israel has thousands of shipwrecks off its coast, dating back thousands of years ago. 

Next, follow the Red signs straight along the coast and get ready to come across even more coves and swimming spots. Walk another kilometer and you should reach the popular “Blue Cave” cove (7). This natural cave was formed by erosion and it is one of the favorite spots of most tourists who get here, together with the Seashell Bay. 

Walk for another 500 m closely following the Red trail signs until you finally reach a new dirt road and the parking lot at the Habonim Beach. (8) Here, turn right and continue your walk in the direction of the unmarked dirt track for 750 m, then reach (2). You should see your car in the parking.

Final Thoughts 
Plan your hike here in March during the Tulip blossom season for an even more enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing trail. If you are looking to discover one of the most captivating nature reserves in the Middle East, the Dor HaBonim Beach should definitely be on your itinerary. 

Get a Detailed Hiking Map and a GPS file for this hike for just $5.
Detailed Hiking Map of the trail optimized for A4 paper printing or browsing on smartphone.
Zoomed in Maps for sensitive areas (when necessary).
GPS track files for easy navigation on your iOS/Android App.
Map Legend and labels (in English)
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