The beaches in Tel Aviv are popular places to hang out. The beaches in Tel Aviv are popular places to hang out. The beaches in Tel Aviv are popular places to hang out. (Photo: RnDmS/Shutterstock)

Why we wish we were sitting on a Tel Aviv beach right now

From great waves to relaxing sunsets, we round up 6 reasons you should be grabbing your passport and a swimsuit.

You know you're at a good beach when a swimwear expert says so. In a recent interview with W Magazine, designer Leora Elituv of the Kisuii swimwear brand explained why Tel Aviv is the ultimate beach city. "I have visited Tel Aviv every summer for as long as I can remember," she said. "The atmosphere is so low-key, real and unpretentious. It also boasts an incredible view of the old port in Jaffa. There’s also something so special about the simplicity – white sands and clear blue water. ... All of the beaches are full of energy and culture, the crowds are super eclectic with both tourists and locals. There is just so much character."

Elituv isn't the only fan of the beaches in this Mediterranean metropolis. Below, we round up six of our favorite reasons why we're packing our bags and heading to Tel Aviv.

It's great for surfing.

Surfer in Tel AvivA surfer catches a wave in Tel Aviv. (Photo: israeltourism/Flickr)

The Mediterranean Sea is known as an international hot spot for surfing where surfing is revered. While riding the waves, you may bump into two teenage sisters – Anat and Noa Lelior – with sandy-blond hair and straight out of central casting. The Israel-born siblings train in Tel Aviv for surfing competitions they attend around the world.

Anat (left) and her younger sister Noa are making waves on the surfing scene.Anat (left) and her younger sister Noa are making waves on the surfing scene. (Photo: Yakir Avrahami)

And paddleboarding.

Zen... #vacation #thailand #zen

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Surfing not your thing? Visitors to Tel Aviv can rent paddleboards and even take lessons. Besides being fun, it's great exercise for your abdominal muscles. It's also a nice reprieve for those who want to stay in calmer waters. Above, Israeli actress Gal Gadot shows how easy it is.

You can play a combo of squash and beach volleyball.

Man and woman play matkot on the beachA man and woman play matkot on the beach. (Photo: Erez Kaganovitz)

Ever play matkot? Using a broad wooden paddle or racket called a matka – for which the game is named – players volley a small, hard, squash-like ball back and forth in an effort to keep it from hitting the sand. Sometimes called paddleball or frescoball, matkot almost seems like an anti-sport in that there is no point system and the only objective is to maintain a volley as long as possible. “Matkot is not a competitive sport, it's a sport of togetherness,” said matkot legend Morris Tzadok. “I love this sport. It changed my way of life.”

They turned a lifeguard tower into a hotel.

Want to stay in this lifeguard tower? Read on to find out how.This is not your average hotel suite. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

The city of Tel Aviv built what’s being called the first lifeguard hotel on earth. Yes, you read that correctly. The tower has been turned into a five-star beachfront suite complete with a personal butler, pampering shower, breakfast and even room service. Not to mention the best view of the beach you could ever ask for.

Imagine waking up on this bed with this view.Imagine waking up on this bed with this view. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

You'll see some interesting sand sculptures.

Women take pictures of a sand sculpture of a snowman standing 10-feet tall in Tel Aviv.Women take pictures of a sand sculpture of a snowman standing 10-feet tall in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Intricate sand sculptures dot Tel Aviv's coastline. And they go way beyond your average oceanside sand castles, involving more than filling a plastic mold with sand and water, turning it over, and hoping for the best. Building sculptures as elaborate as these requires patience, an eye for detail, and of course, malleable sand. Sculptors can use anything from a sculpting blade to a kitchen spatula to turn their imaginations into reality. The nearby city of Haifa has even played host international sand sculpting competitions.

They've got great sunsets.

After a busy day of hanging out at the beach, what better way to cap it all off than by watching a beautiful sunset. And Tel Aviv's beaches have those in spades.

Jaffa sunsetA neon sunset in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa. (Photo: Sergei25/Shutterstock)

A couple dances on the beach at sunset earlier this summer.A couple dances on the beach at sunset earlier this summer. (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Gordon BeachThe sun sets over the rocky shore of Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Dan Zelazo/Flickr)

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