Shavei Tzion beach near Nahariya offers stunning beaches with seaside pools. Moreover, near the beach, you can find the mosaic floor of a Byzantine-era church. Let’s begin exploring!
Note: the beach at Shavei Tzion reminds me of Achziv National Park.
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Shavei Tzion is a moshav in northern Israel, situated between Acre and Nahariya. To reach the beach, drive to Shavei Tzion. And after entering the moshav, continue driving straight till the sea.
Map of the area:
The car gate is open daily from 06:00 till 21:00. But the lifeguard services, as well as the restrooms, are open from 08:00 till 17:00.
Free. Parking is also free.
Shavei Tzion Beach
From my experience, if you arrive early (up to 9:00), you can find free parking by the beach. And the later you arrive, the further you have to park.
There are lifeguard services, And as you can see in the following photo, there are several limitations. For example: “do not light fire,” “no entry for animals,” and “setting up tents is forbidden.”
Among the facilities on the beach, you can find restrooms, showers, and changing room.
You can see the outdoor showers, cafeteria, and parking in the background in the next photo. Also, to the left, there is a small playground for kids.
As you continue walking along the paved path towards the lifeguards, you will see two swimming areas.
To the right (north), you can find a shallow pool with few waves (some stones serve as wave breakers). Thus, this area is ideal for families with young kids.
To the left (to the south), you can find a deep water swimming area.
This area is also behind wave breakers. Thus there are fewer waves. But the entrance to the water is at a steep angle. And only after few meters the water level is more than 1.5 meters. Thus, it is hard to exit the water, and older people might need help.
And in the middle between the two swimming areas, you can see fishermen.
Byzantine-era Church and the Mosaic Floor
Behind the beach strip, you can find a walkway. And if you walk to the north for several hundred meters, then you can find the remains of a stunning church.
But if you reached Beit HaEmek river, then you have gone too far and have to return.
Unfortunately, during my visit, the door leading to the church was closed. But since the fences are not high, I was able to the mosaics from the outside.
Today you can see the restored church (currently end of phase one).
The mosaic floor of the Byzantine church at Shavei Zion represents one of the earliest Christian religious buildings unearthed in the Holy Land. The church was located on a sandstone ridge above the Beit HaEmek Creek. Excavations were conducted at this site between 1955 and 1957, with further excavations undertaken in the 1960s. Two Roman milestones found in the vicinity indicated that Shavei Zion had been “Nea Come” in antiquity, a fishing village remembered as “new” in Roman times, located on the road which connected Antioch with Acre.
Nea Come was apparently occupied from at least the 5th or the 6th century BCE. The church itself was built in the 4th century CE. Excavations revealed a spring of sweet water within the church compound that must have attracted both settlers and travelers. During the 5th and the 6th centuries, earthquakes and tidal waves struck the Mediterranean coast at Acre and north of it, causing significant damage to the church. Squatters and looters caused further damage, but the church was ultimately destroyed by fire.
Source: sign on site
And here are several additional photos of the mosaics:
Shavei Tzion Beach is a lovely place, and the sea pool makes it a good alternative for families with small children. In my opinion, this is the free alternative to Achziv National Park. And if you love the sea, then I recommend this place.
Have you ever been to Shavei Tzion Beach? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.