The Achziv beach had the reputation of one of the most romantic places in Israel. It was once free and wild, and the combination of the ruins of the old village of Achziv and the picturesque beach was unique.
For years now the beach is part of the Achziv National Park, which means it is not free and not wild, but still a unique beach. There are shallow lagoons, ideal for lazy relaxation in the sun and safe for children to play in. There is a deep lagoon, also protected from the waves, ideal for swimming. The ruins of the old village on the hill make an impressive background.
The beach can be accessed either through the national park or through Eli Avivi's "State of Achziv" immediately north of the park.
Come to the Achziv beach in late afternoon, and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in Israel. The magic of Achziv lives on!
Aliyah Bet ("Ha'apala") was the struggle for immigration to Palestine of Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors in the 1940s, during and after WWII, against the rigid restrictions set by the British mandate authorities.
An assortment of vessels brought the refugees as illegal immigrants to the shores of Israel, and the immigrants were met by agile Palmach underground members, who quickly and quietly took them to safe hiding places in nearby villages.
Some of these brave actions took place on the shores of Nahariya. The sculptor Yechiel Shemi, a member of kibbutz Kabri, erected an impressive monument on the shore of Achziv commemorating the Ha'apala operations in and near Nahariya.
Eli Avivi settled in Achziv, on a hill overlooking the beach, as early as 1952. He rented and rennovated two houses in a very personal style, and made it into a museum displaying the history of Achziv from Biblical times (the Phoenicians were there, extracting dyes from molluscs) onwards. The museum's eclectic display houses Avivi's personal collection of archeological artefacts from Achziv, fishermen's equipment and other items which give the place an informal, personal touch with a unique character. The exhibits have been arranged in a "natural" setting, rather than in glass boxes.
In 1971 Eli Avivi declared the "State of Achziv" protesting against the decision to make Achziv a national park, which he felt would destroy the wild and beautiful character of this place. He even wrote a "constitution", chose a suitable flag (with a mermaid's figure) and "national anthem" (the whisper of the waves), and stamped tourists' passports, which was a huge gimmick.
For NIS 30 you can visit the museum, meet the mythological Eli and Rina Avivi, and have access to the Achziv Beach below. The "State of Achziv" also has a cafe and accomodation for those wishing to stay longer in the "free and wild" Bohemian atmosphere on this hill.