GIVAT ALIYA BEACH in Jaffa is seen from the balcony of the Peres Center for Peace.
(photo credit: DANNY SAVILLE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Summertime in Israel might be here sooner than expected after the Interior Ministry decided to begin the summer bathing season early at a number of beaches.
Although the 2016 bathing season – when lifeguards and rescue services are available at beaches – does not begin until May 9, Interior Minister Arye Deri instructed several municipal authorities to open their beaches starting in April.
The move is intended to have a total of 45 beaches ready for the influx of visitors – especially families with children – who will take to the country’s coasts during the intermediate days of Passover. Many schools are on break during this time.
The earliest beach to begin the summer season will be Achziv, located between Acre and the northern border, where lifeguards will be on duty starting April 15.
Beaches around Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) will start their summer bathing season on April 22, as will Hatmarim Beach in Acre. In Tel Aviv, Netanya, Herzliya, Rishon Lezion and Ashkelon, the beaches will have partial lifeguard service beginning on April 24.
Last month, the Interior Ministry also announced that beaches around the country would be free of charge with the start of the summer bathing season, though it is unclear whether this initiative will begin early as well.
Lifeguard and rescue services at Red Sea beaches in Eilat as well as at Dead Sea beaches are on duty year-round.
With the start of the bathing season, visitors might notice a new purple flag flying as a warning of swimming conditions at the beach. The flag will fly if there are many jellyfish in the water.