Just 12km north of central Tel Aviv, Herzliya is popular due to its fine, clean beaches, marina mall and string of seafront cafes. Named after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, Herzliya started as a small farming community in 1924 and now consists of two main areas separated by Hwy 2. Map.
Middle-class, suburban central Herzliya, east of the highway, is mainly residential and commercial, while Herzliya Pituach (west of the highway) – a neighborhood of huge villas that’s home to some of Israel’s wealthiest residents – is where the beaches are. Herzliya Pituach is also home to Israel’s blossoming high-tech industry; as a result, modern office blocks are rising up all over the area. Pituach, by the way, means ‘development’.
Apollonia National Park (03-903 3130; adult/student/child 22/19/10NIS; 8am-5pm Apr-Sep, to 4pm Oct-Mar, closes 1hr earlier Fri & holiday evenings)
This picturesque coastal park contains the ruins of a Crusader castle that becomes the venue for open-air concerts during summer weekends. There are some stunning views out over the Mediterranean and nearby you can see the remains of a Roman villa and the well-kept 13th-century Sidni Ali Mosque. The park can be reached by a fairly long walk up Wingate St or easily by car from the highway. It is about 3km north of Herzliya Pituach’s main beach, just beyond the small town of Nof Yam.
Herzliya Museum of Modern Art (09-950 0762; http://www.herzliyamuseum.co.il; 4 HaBanim St; admission 10NIS; h10am-2pm Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat, 4-8pm Tue & Thu)
Dedicated to Israeli and international contemporary art with an emphasis on political subject matter, this gallery aims to engage as well as entertain.
As you would expect from such an affluent area, Herzliya accommodation consists of luxury spa hotels, but there are many restaurants for all budgets around the marina and on the beach.
Gelateria Siciliana (http://glideria.co.il; 14 Shenkar St; 1/2/3 scoops 15/20/25NIS; noon-midnight Sun-Thu, 11am-late Fri & Sat )
When at the beach, it’s almost obligatory to enjoy an ice cream. And in Herzliya, the best place to do this is at the local branch of the Tel Aviv gelateria.
Derby Bar (09-951 1818; http://derbybar.co.il; Arena Mall; pastas 69-89NIS, mains 99-135NIS; noon-midnight)
Attached to the Arena shopping mall next to the marina, this well-known restaurant has an expansive waterside terrace where it serves seafood, fish and pasta dishes. Beer is the usual accompaniment – there are six brands on tap.
Benedict (09-958 0701; http://www.benedict.co.il; 1 Haetzel St; breakfast 39-98NIS; h24hr)
The Herzliya branch of the popular Tel Aviv all-day breakfast joint is as popular as its inner-city equivalents. Diners can fill up on eggs Benedict, shakshuka or their choice from an enormous menu.
Agadir (09-951 6551; http://www.agadir.co.il; 9 Hamanofim St; hnoon-3am Sun-Thu, to 4am Fri, to 3am Sat )
A 20-minute walk from the Arena Mall, Agadir sticks with what it does best: tasty meat or veggie burgers with your choice of toppings and sides.
Egged buses 501, 502, 524, 525 and 531 run every 20 minutes to and from Tel Aviv (10.90NIS, 30 minutes). Trains run every 20 minutes (10NIS, 10 minutes). The station is quite a way from the beach, so take a taxi or bus 29 (6.60NIS) to the marina.