Sun to your left – This pleasant, calm path is easy riding for a humid late-afternoon in the summer – tropic weather under light influence of anise.
Starting point – The Carleton Hotel going North.
Timing – Begin between 6:00-6:30PM, finish whenever you like.
Riding speed – Between slow and very slow.
Path – Carleton Hotel, Carleton Hotel Beach, Voyeurs’ Beach (Hof M’tzitzim), the Tel Aviv Port, Gandhi Bridge and the Redding Power Station, Sunset Lookout, Tel Baruch Beaches, back to Gandhi Bridge and Redding, turn east towards Yarkon River, turn to Yirmiyahu St., go down to Voyeurs Beach (Hof M’tzitzim), go back to the Carleton Hotel.
Equipment – One bottle filled with 1/3 quality anise + grapefruit juice + fresh mint leaves, all mixed well, that spent a night in the fridge together. Make sure you wear a helmet, and have the following: something to lie down on, a bike-lock, mineral water, suntan lotion, iPod (or the like), and a camera.
Going from the Carleton Hotel towards the Tel Aviv port:
You begin pedaling north, with the sun to your left, on the marked bike path.
The riding is accompanied by the sounds of the ocean, music from the beach, and a lot of cool ocean breeze.
You’ll be able to see the surfers out by Hilton Beach riding the waves and the group of wind surfers also starting to head out.
The Ocean Port by the Carleton Hotel has light boats and yachts that really enhance the panoramic view of the sea.
Under the Hilton Hotel you’ll see TopSea that is a restaurant, surfing center, and all-around great place to watch the boats anchoring and get a great view of the surfers. In the hot summer nights, they move the tables out of the area to make room for Dub and Reggae concerts.
A lot of the Tel Aviv residents’ sports activities take place on the riding path going north like running, power walking, bike riding, but also sometimes vehicles are permitted on certain parts, so you don’t want to taste the anise until you get to the outlook stop later on.
Voyeurs’ Beach (Hof M’tzitzim) is one of the nicest and sportiest beaches in the area. In the 70’s, a movie was filmed here that became a cult classic, it is shown every Independence Day, and its leading actors underwent extreme changes like becoming completely religious or social isolationists. The beach has changed a lot since then; it has become more family-oriented and more commercial. There is a beach restaurant and bar with Moroccan-style hang-out spots.
But what gets me excited about this beach is the name – M’tzitzim means voyeurs– you really get a good look at the most beautiful Israeli women in their tiny bikinis that come to tan on the beach! Amazing!
The entrance to the Tel Aviv Port area:
The entrance is seen from an impressive view point. The port area is a truly incredible commercial area that is one of the most unique out of the entire country. It operates around-the-clock most days of the year.
The port (which has been active since 1965) is made out of California-style wood parquet boards that are great for bike riding.
There are a lot of businesses in the port like event halls, yoga centers, bars, clubs, seafood restaurants, cafes, designer clothing and shoe stores, an international performance center, and activity centers for kids. There’s also an incredible Farmer’s Market that’s open all week long with an extended version on Fridays.
There is a west-facing lookout point towards the old anchoring point for boats that is no longer active; it’s a good place to rest and wipe off some of the moisture from your skin and take some pictures of the area. There is also an ice-cream shop right next door which can help cool you down in the summer – definitely recommended.
It’s very easy to get out of the port area and continue riding north towards Tel Baruch beach. Just look up for the giant smoke stacks from the Redding power station that are visible for the entire length of the trip. Next to the station, there is a small bridge called Gandhi Bridge that crosses the Yarkon River from south to north. After crossing, take a left on the tree-lined path towards the breathtaking lookout by the Yarkon River Estuary.
The time has come to take out the blanket, spread it out on the grass, open the bottle of homemade anise cocktail, and enjoy the view and the tranquility. Enjoy some rest in one of the most pastoral areas in all of Tel Aviv. After sunset, I recommend to continue about 20 minutes north towards the more isolated beaches at Tel Baruch and to enjoy the breeze and the colors of the sunset. This is an easy, straight ride along the landing strip of the local Tel Aviv airport.
More next week!