This is the central beach of Bat Yam, and the big rock which gave it its name can be seen from a distance. A wavebreaker which connects to this rock creates a quiet lagoon, ideal for families with children, but suitable for all ages. The nari cliffs with the beach promenade on top create a scenic backdrop. Access is easy, there are 4 trails descending to various parts of the beach.
In the summer months there are many activities on this beach. Sports instructors organize activities in the early hours of the morning. Various stalls are open, and clowns keep the children happy. Beach restaurants and bars are open 24 hours a day.
The best part of Bat Yam is its long sandy beach. Different segments of the beach have their own character and distinction.
The most northern beach is the Jerusalem Beach ("Hof Yerushalayim"). The most active and well known segment of the beach is the central part, called "Rock Beach" ("Hof Ha-Sella": see separate tip). Low nari cliffs with the promenade on top create a scenic background.
Further to the south you'll find "Dugma Beach", which also has a swimming pool next to it.
The more southern segment is called "Marina Beach", although there is nothing even remotely resembling a marina in sight. This part of the beach is the widest, the terrain is flat, and the beach is one big open stretch of sand.
The last part of the Bat Yam beach is the "separate beach" ("Hof Nifrad"), used by religious orthodox Jews, where entrance is restricted to men only on certain days and women only on other days.
There are lifeguards on duty from April to October. Several beach restaurants, cafes and bars have their own character, some of them more casual and relaxed than others, some playing louder Mediterranean music, others playing soft chillout music.
Last time I strolled along the Bat Yam beach was in the early morning of a spring day, before the official bathing season. A few fearless elderly big-busted Russian ladies braved the cold water. Solitary anglers cast their fishing rods and looked aimlessly at the water, whiling away the morning hours. Energetic middle aged couples played beach bats, quite professionally I must say. Runners and joggers with a determined expression on their faces appeared from time to time and disappeared again.
The Bat Yam beach is a great place to spend a relaxed day of sea and sun. Entrance is free.
The Bat Yam promenade runs from the Colony Beach Hotel in the south to the border of Jaffa in the north. In its southern part it starts at sea level, then gently rising along the low nari cliffs in the north.
Well kept lawns, a wide path (also accessible to the disabled), a sculpture here and there (see photo), and the local Bat Yam population which gives this promenade a distinct local character.
A lot of Russian can be heard from the older people, who occupy the many benches along the promenade; I came across an old man whose jacket was decorated with at least a dozen of medals he had received as a high-ranking officer in the Red Army in days long gone.
The younger Bat-Yamese go in couples and in groups, enter the cafes and bars, or at other times go jogging.
The promenade is a gem, well worth a visit.
During the August Bat-Yam Street Theater Festival I stopped in "Gargerim" for a bite of hummus and falafel. It's conveniently located on the Bat Yam promenade, I enjoyed the breeze and watched the world go by on the promenade, while enjoying my food.
The Middle Eastern staple foods were served in nice modernly-designed dishes which seemed to come out of a trendy sushi bar.
The service was friendly and efficient. The price: quite inexpensive.
On the whole: a good choice.
Just came back from a day out on the beach and the view from this restaurant was superb. The menu is pretty basic local fare but the service was great and the view totally awesome.
They also have some great freshly squeezed juice. We just had a salad and a plate of chips but they do also have some fresh fish..
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The ARena shopping mall is a modern building with three floors of shopping pleasure.
Mo-Th: 10AM - 9PM
Fr: 9:30AM -3:30PM
Sa: Sunset - 11:30PM
Su: 10AM - 9PM
Walking along Rothschild St. in Bat Yam I saw a modest bakery shop with the sign "Georgian Bread", in Hebrew, Russian and Georgian. I always find ethnic bakeries hard to resist, so I went in.
The variety of products was limited: Georgian pita bread, fried bread with meat stuffing. and a few other interesting foodstuffs, including the traditional Georgian sweet "chorchahella", made of flour, sugar, honey, nuts and grape juice.
The friendy baker was happy with my purchases and the show of interest, and said he was sure I would visit his shop again. Probably right!
Once a year, in the last week of August, the city is transformed: The Street Theater Festival is on! The dreary apartment blocks are shrouded in a different, magical atmosphere.
Lots of short theater shows are on in every corner of the promenade and in every municipal park, most of them from Israel, some from overseas. And they are all free. Free for the hard working, blue collar population of Bat Yam; free for visitors from Israel and abroad.
Ben-Gurion Street, the main street by the promenade, is closed to traffic, and throngs of local people and visitors are out on the streets. They are all seeking some respite from the hot, humid weather, they enjoy the mild breeze, the atmosphere, the shows, the stalls, the food and drinks...
For me, this is the time to come to Bat Yam!
If you are a chess player, and want to test your skills against the local champs of Bat-Yam, go to the beach promenade and look for the chess corner. Or look for the metal sculpture in the photo, which will guide you to the chess table.
Many of the players are immigrants from the former USSR, with a long a glorious tradition of chess.
Good luck! (Or else checkmate!).